A statement from West St. Paul city council ward 1 candidate Bob Pace appeared in the November 2016 issue of the St. Paul Voice:
“[Bob Pace’s] top priority is to put the current Robert Street project on a spending freeze until it is determined how it will be funded. He wants to make the City business-friendly and would work with developers ‘instead of against them,’ in the continued revitalization of all business districts.”
The idea of a spending freeze on a nearly finished project raised some eyebrows. Turns out that’s not what Pace actually said.
Here’s the actual statement Bob Pace gave to the Voice outlining his top priorities:
“To work with developers to continue the revitalization of Robert Street and the rest of the cities businesses, to try and put a hold on spending money on projects that are not absolutely needed until we actually have the money. The citizens can not keep taking tax increases at the current rate.”
West St. Paul ward 2 city council candidate John Justen is doing a meet and greet at Carbone’s Pizza on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 3-5 p.m. What a great opportunity to meet a local candidate face to face and get your questions answered.
John has been one of the truly interesting candidates in our local West St. Paul race. He’s a business owner impacted by Robert Street who doesn’t think it’s the worst thing ever. He also appeared on the Streets.mn podcast, totally nerding out with host Bill Lindeke for an hour about local development, business opportunity, city design, sidewalks and more. If you want to see an example of a knowledgeable and engaged candidate, take a listen.
“One lesson we can learn from the Robert Street reconstruction is that the delay of necessary spending increases results in higher costs in the long run. As a retail business owner, I make decisions about how and when to spend my money every day. As is true in business, our city’s success is based on frugal but forward looking investment. Fiscal responsibility does not mean doing nothing; it means recognizing needs and opportunities and responding to them in a timely and efficient manner.”
That, in a nutshell, is the Robert Street project. It had to be done. Delaying the inevitable just makes it cost more. So let’s seize the opportunity. I think mayoral candidate Jenny Halverson has the same investment-focused view.
I’m also appreciative of John Justen because he gave a comment for my Robert Street easement story that included an actual opinion. I understand the current council members and mayor were advised not to weigh in (rightfully so), but the other candidates were free to share their thoughts. Even if you disagree with John Justen, at least he weighed in.
I guess I’ve taken it upon myself to call B.S. on local election lies this year.
Today’s misleading statement comes in an education-themed mailer from Republican Mark Misukanis, candidate for Minnesota State Senate District 52. He’s challenging Democrat Matt Klein for the seat formerly held by the late Jim Metzen.
The heated elections in West St. Paul continue. I already posted about the West St. Paul mayor election, and now I’m going to look at the West St. Paul City Council Ward 3 race. We have the incumbent city council member Dave Napier running against challenger John Ramsay (who also ran in 2014 and lost a close race).
Much like the West St. Paul mayor’s race, in city council we’re facing the same issues. I think it comes down to vision and investment vs. penny pinching.
Dave Napier has been on the council for four years and has been involved and advocating for strategic planning. In the candidate forum he talks about getting community input and then pursuing those goals.
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.
Today is the first day of school. My kids are off to second grade and fifth grade (middle school!).
Pardon me while I celebrate the end of summer.
(I’m a work-at-home dad. Summer is not so easy.)
School can always be kind of crazy making. I’m 37, I’ve been out of school for… a long time, and I still have recurring nightmares about getting lost in school, unable to find my classes or remember my schedule.
This prayer seems apt:
May all the kids find someone to sit with at lunch. #annualprayer
Even when there’s not much to be nervous about—my kids have it pretty easy—they’re still nervous.
Just looking at this photo from the superintendent, the welcome wagon at high school—especially the high fives—makes me a little nervous. It’s a welcoming gesture, sure, but it feels like window dressing for the high school experience. When it comes to finding a seat in the cafeteria or sitting next to someone on the bus or just walking down the halls, will those smiles and high fives still be there?
Honestly, I feel a little bit of relief that I don’t have to deal with any of it, that the kids are off and the house is quiet again. They’re as prepared as they’re going to be, and they’ll have to face it themselves.
Last year I did a summer book club with Lexi. We’d read the same book, then go to the coffee shop for snacks and talk about it. This year we did it again.
And Milo joined in.
I didn’t think Milo was ready for chapter books. He’s been reading those numbered early readers (1, 2, 3) that I find brain-numbing, and I thought he was still struggling with those. But when I started the book club with Lexi, he wanted in. He’s definitely not ready for the harder middle grade books Lexi is reading, so we opted to do a separate book club with him and he totally nailed it.
As we talked about the books, it was clear Milo completely understood what he was reading. I even tested him to see what he could read, and discovered he couldn’t actually read a lot of the bigger words. But he could still figure out what was happening in the story. That’s pretty incredible. (My wife the teacher is rolling her eyes; apparently this is what all kids go through as they learn how to read.)
So I did book club with both kids. We didn’t get started until July, and reading for two different kids took more time, but we still got through three books each.
Lexi’s Book Club:
Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass
I Lived on Butterfly Hill by Marjorie Agosin
Bird by Crystal Chan
Lexi’s favorite:I Lived on Butterfly Hill
My favorite:Every Soul a Star (Learning about solar eclipses was pretty cool—we’re planning to check out the 2017 total solar eclipse in Nebraska next summer.)
Milo’s Book Club:
Lulu and the Brontosaurus by Judith Viorst
Ellray Jakes Is Not Chicken by Sally Warner
Stink and the Incredible Super-Galactic Jawbreaker by Megan McDonald
Our favorite:Lulu and the Brontosaurus (we both liked that one best)
Since we got a late start and I couldn’t seem to keep up with both kids, it didn’t feel like we got through many books. Both kids are wanting to keep doing book club in the fall (I imagine more motivated by the chance to go get a snack than anything), so we’ll have to see. It is a fun way to engage with them.
A work-at-home dad wrestles with faith, social justice & story.