Friday, January 7, 2011

North Minneapolis Bike Walk Center Goes Back To The Drawing Board...

Blog post by John Hoff

The complex issues surrounding the Bike Walk Center proposal in North Minneapolis, which have been discussed extensively on this blog, click here for an example, have taken a new turn...

Yesterday's Public Safety and Health Committee, which last month had kicked the "winning" proposal by Cultural Wellness Center back to staff for further questions and review, has now rejected the proposal by Cultural Wellness Center and reformulated the Request For Proposals. The entire portion of the meeting pertaining to this topic--approximately 13 minutes--can be viewed above. (The sound of cats meowing didn't happen at the meeting, however, that's just kind of a technical issue which cropped up as the meeting was videotaped off a laptop computer kind of like "head shadows" in bootleg videotapes shot in movie theaters)

The new Request For Proposal makes it clear the final recipient of the grant will need to be a not-for-profit, something which apparently wasn't crystal clear in the previous Request For Proposal, but apparently needed to be. Furthermore, a business expert will be added to the approval process to render an opinion on the financial feasibility of any proposal. It is strongly emphasized by council members that previous applicants (all two of them) should apply again.

In a subsequent action following this meeting item, money to promote biking and walking in North Minneapolis was also delayed. This is federal money, part of President Obama's economic stimulus package.


Anonymous said...

Cam Gorden seems more concerned with perpetuating the process then risking a poor investment of public funds.

NoMi Passenger said...

While it is unfortunate that some nonprofits have ruined faith for some of us causing us to be leery and scrutinize unknowns with a skeptical eye, I for one, am glad that the city council committee took this extra cautious route and is providing the opportunity for applicants to strengthen their proposals and stand up to a more financially sound litmus test. It's the right thing to be extra careful with our federal taxpayer money and extra careful that we are establishing entities that will endure the slow market that the northside seems to have right now. I want a bike shop that will be around for years and decades; I want to be over prudent with taxpayer money; I want nonprofits to know that neighbors here care whether or not things are being operated and executed wisely.

Looking forward to when the new bike walk center opens up, under the operation of the strongest entity and the best proposal.

Pond-dragon said...

Democracy in action! JNS thanks for posting/hosting this online discussion.

Anonymous said...

Can someone help me understand how this isn't just the Pohlad foundation with Hofstede and Johnson in their pockets, pulling a political move? How is this 'democracy'?

Two proposals went in. A review panel which included city and community members reviewed them and chose one. And then Johnson not only rejects it, but adjusts the RFP rules (broader geographic area for possible site locations) to benefit the Pohlad Foundation. That's the only possible reason she'd change that requirement as far as I can see.

Seems less like democracy and more like political shadiness.

Anonymous said...

LOLz @ meowing cats!!


I don't know why but that is totally making my day.All city council meetings should have meowing cats.

Anonymous said...

I suppose it’s democracy because it’s citizens being engaged and active in how their taxpayer money is spent, asking questions, seeking answers and doing over what might not have been done right the first time around. There were a lot of people asking questions and raising concerns first and that is how it came to the attention of this blog to begin with. It’s not just Barb Johnson and Diane Hofstede being in the pockets of the Pohlad group as you are trying to assert. Meg Tuthill, councilmember from Ward 10 was very concerned with the health department staff recommendation and asked some very tough questions as well as brought up some very good points. She is a small business entrepreneur and she seems very cautious to spend taxpayer dollars wisely. You can see her asking questions about health club membership fees for police and fire staff so I feel like being fiscally prudent with taxpayer money is high on her priority. She is not a north side council person so she has nothing to do with being in the Pohlad pockets like you are trying to smear. If the proposal that was recommended by the health department is so good, then it will be even better and stronger and more confident in the upcoming re-do process, so what is there to whine about?

Anonymous said...

From what I hear the original RFP was issued with wording that nonprofits, for-profits and governmental entities were eligible to apply when in fact later the Feds corrected or clarified and said that it was for nonprofits only so the original RFP stated an error. Reissuing allows that error to be corrected.

Pond-dragon said...

To Anon 1/8/11 7:17 AM,
Please explain to me how a non-profit that wants to GIVE an under served community ~ $250K +/- and questions how a proposal was issued is a political move? Please connect the dots, as some of us folks are having a hard time seeing the light under the door. Please also connect the dots to Hofstede, its not even in her ward!

Biker Dude said...

Not that this is any how related to northside bike center, or any of the players and entities involved, it just sort of seemed interesting to those that are interested in the whole bike walk center saga

Full Cycle

Anonymous said...

From a city insider please look deeper. Could a powerful foundation and some council members working to support one anothers self-interests.

Don't just follow a flashy foundation. Look to see what the Pohlad foundation is really doing to "change" NOMI. What are their outcomes? How many lives are they really changing for all the money they are spending?

Maybe their foundation board should be asking that question?

Johnny Northside! said...

Oh, you're a "city insider," huh?

Then how is it you sound like the usual troll voice with such bad grammar and punctuation?

Johnny Northside! said...

I mean, really, could it be any more OBVIOUS who wrote that troll post? It's not just the grammar and punctuation but the usual obsession with measurable outcomes of non-profits and, oh my word, the money the money always the (expletive) money. Why can't the anonymous poster get a little taste of that money? Just a little taste?

But the random quote marks used for emphasis and not how quote marks are supposed to be used is really the obvious set of fingerprints, here.

Here's a great quote I read recently which describes a particular blog.

"That blog is the equivalent of black on black crime."

And here's another great quote:

"We have many civic-minded volunteers and practitioners that are often overshadowed by individuals that have mastered the art of the shakedown."

These quotes might be relevant to this discussion. Might not be. Just throwing 'em out there.

Johnny Northside! said...

Oh, and the taking on of a fake anonymous identity.

Another indicator of who wrote it.

City insider, indeed. There are no city insiders with grammar and punctuation that bad. You're not an insider, you're quite the opposite. In fact, I bet even the Tea Party doesn't want you.