Tag Archives: David Meisinger

Unprecedented Voter Energy in West St. Paul

As we approach the 2018 elections, people in West St. Paul are engaged. It used to be that nobody knew anything about local elections and finding information was an exercise in futility—especially in our first-ring suburb of 20,000 people. But now my neighbors care. And that’s so inspiring.

Sexism Controversy

It started with a sexism controversy that flared up in April, resulting in packed city council chambers and nearly two hours of citizen comments. The TV news showed up and residents donated money and feminine hygiene products to a local nonprofit—earning national attention. The issue even launched two city council campaigns (here’s the speech launching one of those campaigns)—creating a four-way primary that will be narrowed down next week.

But when the cameras went away and the hype died down, people kept showing up. Council meetings used to have paltry attendance at best, but every council meeting since has had a large crowd. Continue reading Unprecedented Voter Energy in West St. Paul

Huge Turnout at West St. Paul Ward 3 Candidate Forum

I’m so excited and proud of my city right now. More than 70 people showed up at a candidate forum for ward 3 city council candidates. Some 600 people were watching the Facebook video feed live and the number of views has doubled since then.

Standing room only to hear from the candidates.

Too bad all the candidates aren’t as engaged as the community. 

All four candidates were invited to this non-partisan event, organized by Women of West St. Paul using rules from the League of Women Voters: Continue reading Huge Turnout at West St. Paul Ward 3 Candidate Forum

Robert Street Debt: Where Do West St. Paul Ward 3 Candidates Stand?

We’ve got a four-way primary for West St. Paul’s ward 3 city council seat. The top two will advance to the general election in November. So it’s important to know where these candidates stand.

I’ve been asking the candidates questions, including asking about Pride flags on Robert Street, the River-to-River Greenway project, and I collected their responses to the West St. Paul sexual harassment.

This week I’m asking about debts from the Robert Street project:

The Robert Street project is now finished, but paying for it is not. Like any major project, bonds were issued and we’ll have an increased debt obligation on the city budget. How will you approach this challenge?

I sent that question to [most of] the candidates on July 18 and gave them July 25 as a deadline. Here are their responses: Continue reading Robert Street Debt: Where Do West St. Paul Ward 3 Candidates Stand?

Pride Flags: Where Do West St. Paul Ward 3 City Council Candidates Stand?

Four candidates are competing in a primary for a Ward 3 seat on West St. Paul’s city council.

Last week I posed the following question to [most of] the candidates:

At the June 25, 2018 city council meeting, a citizen asked about the possibility of displaying LGBTQ Pride flags along Robert Street for Pride Month next year. The city council would need to approve such a move. Assuming the logistics can be worked out, would you be in favor of displaying Pride flags on Robert Street?

I sent the question on July 10 and asked for their responses by July 17. Below are their responses in alphabetical order. Continue reading Pride Flags: Where Do West St. Paul Ward 3 City Council Candidates Stand?

David Meisinger Should Never Hold Public Office Again

David Meisinger is running for city council in West St. Paul. However, his recent behavior should disqualify him from public office. No one should vote for Meisinger.

Below I’ll detail three public examples of David Meisinger’s bullying, intimidating, and mean-spirited behavior. This is not what we want in our elected officials, and so I’m suggesting that David Meisinger should never hold public office again. Not city council, not mayor, not commissioner nor committee member—and definitely not higher office (which he’s hinted at in the past).

Meisinger has every right to run for office, but as voters we get the final decision. I’m detailing these instances of inappropriate behavior to help voters know the kind of person that’s on the ballot.

Who Is David Meisinger?

Meisinger has a long history of service in West St. Paul. His father uncle served as mayor, and Meisinger followed in those footsteps serving on city council from 1996-2000, as mayor from 2001-2002, then again on city council from 2003-2004, and most recently as mayor from 2015-2016. He runs a residential and commercial contracting business.

Meisinger also ran for state legislature in 2012, but lost in the GOP primary.

I’ve disagreed with some of his positions, but he’s served this city for many years and I appreciate his willingness to serve. Unfortunately, Meisinger’s recent behavior goes far beyond any political stance or simple disagreement.

Public Scrutiny for Public Officials

Let’s be clear what I’m doing here: David Meisinger is running for city council in West St. Paul’s ward 3. He wants to be an elected official (again). That means public scrutiny.

If Meisinger wanted to continue being a private citizen, I wouldn’t publicize any of this. But if he wants to represent the citizens of West St. Paul, then we deserve to know what kind of person he is. Continue reading David Meisinger Should Never Hold Public Office Again

West St. Paul City Council: Appointed, Apologized, Attacked, Admitted

West St. Paul city council meetings continue to be full of drama and public outcry. Last night’s June 11, 2018 meeting (you can watch online) was the third meeting since the infamous April 23 meeting when charges of sexism were levied against four male council members—and it was the third meeting in a row that featured a packed house and multiple citizens addressing the council.

It’s so encouraging to see people standing up and speaking out. As Councilperson Dave Napier said, “It’s your city.” Continue reading West St. Paul City Council: Appointed, Apologized, Attacked, Admitted

2018 West St. Paul Candidates on Sexism Controversy

The candidate filing period closed on Tuesday and the last chance to withdraw ended yesterday, so we’ve got our official candidates for the 2018 election in West St. Paul. How do the 2018 candidates stack up in terms of the current hot-button issue in West St. Paul: sexism?

The April 23, 2018 council meeting erupted into charges of sexism over the rejected appointment of Samantha Green that spawned harassment of Mayor Jenny Halverson and Green, as well as an estimated 150 people showing up at the May 14 city council meeting and another 75 or so at the May 29 city council meeting. The story sparked local news coverage and even national attention.

Obviously this isn’t the only issue in the 2018 election, but it is a big one. So where do our newly minted candidates stand? Continue reading 2018 West St. Paul Candidates on Sexism Controversy

2016 Elections in West St. Paul: Taxes & Infrastructure

This year I’ve blogged about a lot of local elections here in West St. Paul:

Why?

Part of my frustration goes back to the misleading statements and misinformation in the 2014 election. But alas, I’ve been complaining about how hard it is to find information about local races since 2003.

Seriously, the most we get are candidate sites and a few candidate forums and questionnaires. Those are helpful, but there’s no push back. A candidate can say whatever they want and it goes unchallenged. It’s no wonder turnout for local elections is horrendous.

So I guess it’s time to start fixing the problem. I did push back when candidates were leaving out important details or being completely misleading. I also spoke up when they were being misrepresented. I’ve been passionate and certainly biased, but hopefully I wasn’t too much of a jerk. Continue reading 2016 Elections in West St. Paul: Taxes & Infrastructure

West St. Paul Robert Street Easement Deal Gone Awry

On Sept. 15, West St. Paul Mayor David Meisinger boasted about saving the taxpayers $30,000 by vetoing a Robert Street easement settlement. He positioned it as spending $30,000 for two trees.

That sounds pretty bad. But it’s not that simple.

Let’s dive into the weeds and sort this out. Continue reading West St. Paul Robert Street Easement Deal Gone Awry

West St. Paul Mayoral Election 2016: David Meisinger vs. Jenny Halverson

The West St. Paul mayoral and city council races are heating up in 2016 like never before. In my opinion, the campaign comes down to a choice between the penny-pinching approach of the  incumbent Mayor David Meisinger and the investment approach of challenger and current City Council Member Jenny Halverson.

I blogged about the West St. Paul mayor race back in 2014 because I was frustrated about the lack of coverage, clear details and accountability. Not much has changed.

Last time around I spoke directly to the candidates, trying to clarify some of the false and misleading statements. I didn’t get very far with that, especially when one of the candidates, current Mayor David Meisinger, blocked me on Facebook when I asked follow-up questions.

So this time around I opted to cut to the chase and look at what each candidate has already said. Many of these statements are snippets from the Dakota County Chamber of Commerce candidate questionnaires. I encourage you to read the full responses there, and watch the public television candidate forum and meet the candidates. You can also get details from official sites for David Meisinger and Jenny Halverson.

This post is my opinion, and you’re welcome to your own opinion, so please educate yourself and vote on November 8. Continue reading West St. Paul Mayoral Election 2016: David Meisinger vs. Jenny Halverson