Monday, November 2, 2009
Support for Barb Johnson, Carol Becker, David Wheeler, and Vote No on 168
Guest post by the Hawthorne Hawkman. Image from www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us.
Since it's in the wee hours when I can do my political statements, I haven't had a chance to check with John about the statement, "This blog endorses..." But there's still more on a NoMi ballot to be filled out.
I support Barb Johnson in the 4th Ward, Carol Becker and David Wheeler for the Board of Estimates and Taxation, and a "No" vote on 168. Here's why...
In a previous post, I shared a story about CM Johnson being right about certain housing issues in NoMi. I don't think I can stress how impressed I, as a mortgage geek, get when someone else demonstrates a deeper understanding of those issues.
CM Johnson has recently taken some heat on the Minneapolis Issues List for her support of the lurking ordinance. That ordinance essentially gives police the ability to take action when someone who has no business at a certain property is acting in a suspicious manner. (There may be a more legalistic way to explain it, but look, it's 1:30 a.m. so this is what you get from me.) Certain rights groups have railed against it as it could be rife for abuse. But the ordinance is a key piece of the puzzle in making our neighborhoods safer.
While we suffer from a dearth of vacant homes, we'll sometimes see a guy (or gal, but mostly guys) with a baby stroller and no baby, hovering around a boarded house. They definitely have no business there, so citizens acting on the city's "adopt vacant houses" directive, call the police. This ordinance gives Minneapolis' finest a tool to protect that house from squatters, arsonists, scrappers, and copper thieves. Thank you Barb Johnson for understanding that and not bowing to external pressure.
As I've said before, I have nothing negative to say about Troy Parker or Marcus Harcus. But there just isn't a demonstrable reason to me why either of them are more qualified than CM Johnson, so she gets my support.
Now we get into the minor arcana of Minneapolis politics in 2009. First up, vote "No" on Charter amendment 168. That is a proposed amendment to merge the Board of Estimates and Taxation (BET) into the city of Minneapolis. It would no longer be a separate entity. (Click here for an explanation of what the BET does.)
Once again, check out the Minneapolis Issues List for some VERY LONG emails pro and con about this issue, if you're so inclined. Chances are that if you ARE so inclined, you're already there and WRITING those long posts, but I should still point folks in that direction. There are plenty of good reasons to keep the BET around, but the main one for me is that we just don't need to give the city of Minneapolis that kind of unchecked power.
The two best BET candidates that support keeping the BET separate are Carol Becker and David Wheeler. The best way we can ensure that the BET remains so is to get both of these candidates elected. Carol Becker has been endorsed by the DFL, so chances are that she'll get the most first-choice votes. That's why I recommend voting for Wheeler first and Becker second. It should help both of them lock up their fair share of 1st and 2nd place votes.
There are also at-large park board seats on the ballot, but I haven't done enough research on those candidates to make a public recommendation.
And now the JNS ballot recommendations are complete.