Thursday, January 10, 2013

Five In Ward Five? Candidates And Possible Candidates For The Council Seat Of Don Samuels, Plus Pressing City Issues...

Creative stock photo, blog post by John Hoff

With City Council Member Don Samuels running for mayor, the field of candidates for his seat in Ward Five is getting crowded.

Here are the individuals who I believe may be running...

1.) Attorney Ian Alexander isn't officially running yet but I've heard he will make a decision after Martin Luther King Day. He's interested in improving the economic and business climate on West Broadway, Glenwood and Lowry Avenues, public safety, and better city services for North Minneapolis. His grad school thesis was about attracting business and economic development to our neighborhood, click here for a link to the thesis. He is a family law attorney and one of the few attorneys to maintain an office in North Minneapolis.

He has also worked for the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights as an investigator.

Alexander recently ran for the state legislature in 59B and lost to Ray Dehn in a contest that was vicious and dirty even by the bare-knuckle standards of North Minneapolis politics. I hope Alexander will ultimately decide to run. If he runs, I solemnly vow to link to his master's thesis every time I write about him.

2.) Brett Buckner is an announced candidate. He used to work for Congressman Keith Ellison but doesn't anymore. I don't know what the story is about him not working for Ellison anymore. Click here for the Linked In profile of Buckner. 

3.) Former state rep Augustine "Willie" Dominguez is reportedly running. He appears to have the most experience being an elected representative, click here. He has a degree from Hennepin Technical College, which isn't all that impressive but puts him way above...

4.) Kenya McKnight, a/k/a Kenya McKnight Ahad. On her linked in profile, click here, McKnight lists two universities but doesn't claim to have a degree from either one. She says she "expects" to have two degrees, one in 2013 and one in 2014. Her desire for political power appears to be constant, her qualifications to have it virtually nonexistent. Rumor has it she'll run again. I'm rubbing my palms together with excitement over the prospect. Kenya can be depended upon to say and do bizarre things that make for primo blogging material, click here for an example and be sure to read the comments.

Kenya always seems to be wearing a pissed off look, except when she has that "I'm not pissed off, really" false smile on her face. 

Kenya's middle initial is "S," right? OK, never mind, I know it is.

(Rubbing hands together, grinning)

5.) Cathy Spann, the executive director of the Jordan Area Community Council, hasn't made an official announcement but has reportedly been telling lots of her friends that she's running. She also designs and makes children's wear for special occasions, click here for her website. Ah, just think. If Jerry Moore was still Executive Director of JACC, he'd be running right about now.

But he isn't.

That's the five who are running in Ward Five, or MIGHT be running, based upon what info I can gather. It's early in the game and the field is already crowded.

Of course, "Garden Gnome" Candidate Roger Smithrud is likely to be running but, well, that would only add up to 5.2 candidates, which is rounded off to 5. Also, I would be amazed if Natalie Johnson Lee didn't run, but perhaps she is tired of losing. You can only do the "badonkadonk" on a street corner, waving a sign, just so many times before you start to feel foolish. If Natalie was running, her husband Travis Lee would be promoting her in his raggedy Trend Setter newspaper, but I don't see any evidence of that.

At some point this blog may announce a "favorite" candidate, but here's the deal. I want to know what each of the candidates plans to do about the unacceptable concentration of Level Three sex offenders in North Minneapolis. Any of the five candidates who may be running is welcome to tell me their ideas by email, which I will be happy to publish.

Yes, I know this is more of a county issue. Well, somebody point me to any progress coming from the direction of the county. I don't see it. So I'm left to ask candidates for city council WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT THIS ISSUE?

Also, here is a Johnny Northside laundry list of other city issues.

1.) Why is the city's property website PURE CRAP when it comes to information about property sales? Why can't citizens perform searches by names of owner like in other cities? This is really helpful when trying to see patterns when it comes to irresponsible property investors and slumlords.

2.) What is the deal with 311? Why won't they take reports about problem with properties owned by the county? This is very frustrating. There is a similar problem with Metro Transit and Park Board properties. 

3.) It's against the law in our city to throw peanuts to squirrels, bread crumbs to birds, to toss the remains of a burned bratwurst to a stray cat. Is that consistent with the way people in Minnesota perceive themselves? As nice? As liberal? As humanitarians? It's time for a review of this city law against "ground feeding," which appears to only be selectively enforced against a limited number of overly-idealistic people trying to help stray cats.

4.) When can Minneapolis adopt the "Montreal model" of car towing? Want to know what that is? Click here.

5.) We need more police cameras. More cameras would not only solve murders, but will keep at least some of the murders from happening in the first place. How are we going to get more high tech equipment without breaking the city budget? Will the federal government give our city some military surplus equipment? 

Oh, I love political races.

Especially in Ward 5. 


Johnny Northside! said...

Very informative article about Cathy Spann.

Anonymous said...

I am begging Al Flowers(degree from State Pen, not Penn State,no big deal) to run. If he cain't, hows 'bout Lennie Jism? Don Allen? Staten? If you want fodder for your blog you should be shitting your pants right now.

Anonymous said...

Which of these candidates will take on our problems associated with neglectful absentee landlords and nuisance properties?

Anonymous said...

I hope the City looks at it's election filing fees and adjusts them according to today's rates. It only costs $20 to file for mayor in Minneapolis. I'm not sure, but it's probably the same for council member. This didn't pose much of a problem when we had a primary and the final ballot wound up with just two or three names on it. Now, our ballot could be pages long. It seems that $20 is insanely cheap. St Paul charges $250 to file for mayor.

Not only will numerous filings by people who like to see their names on the ballot and cause craziness along the way,cause the City more money than it makes from fees, Rank Choice Voting means that numerous candidates will delay the election results. Apparently when the Charter amendment was passed, it did not state that as soon as one candidate got 50% of the votes plus one, the winner could be declared. This means that all votes have to be tabulated by hand. Makes a big difference if you have five candidates or twenty.

This abundance also leaves more room for recounts, law suits, conspiracy theories...Get the picture.

Seems to me that $250 or even $350 is not an onerous amount for a serious candidate to raise. If said candidate cannot post that fee by them self, he or she should have enough supporters to come up with the funds.

Just something to look at, folks.

Anonymous said...

Willie Dominguez was the most useless elected official I ever encountered during my time living in north Minneapolis. Listen to his speeches when he tries again and again to regain office. He does nothing except speak in crowd-pleasing platitudes while avoiding the sensitive topic of what has done or will do, because there is nothing there to speak of.

Not that his successor was any different, just a better speaker.

Naysayer said...

The call probably needs to be put out to Natalie Johnson Lee to once again try to recapture her former council seat. It would then be a tough call between Willie and Natalie for the title of most useless elected official from NoMi.

Anonymous said...

To defend both of these individuals is easy. They both haves roots in the community going back at LEAST forty years(each). I happen to like both Willie and Natalie so cease the criticism or tell your stories. I've got five good stories to anybody's one.