LETTER: Questioning New Brighton’s intentions

To the Editor:

 

Elections have consequences! But when elected officials break the law to win, it’s unconscionable.

In March, the Office of Administrative Hearings found New Brighton violated fair campaign practice laws by posting “less-than-neutral” campaign materials at polling locations during the 2018 election. 

The city sought to misrepresent a ballot question to make you believe it was about odd vs. even-year elections and saving money. That is absolutely not true — it was about four council members voting to cancel our 2019 election. This allowed them to stay in power for an extra year without being elected.  

And they’re certainly wielding their power. Over objections from many residents they are moving forward with another high-density, low-income apartment development on Old Highway 8. Taxpayer-guaranteed tax increment financing dollars will tie up any increase in tax revenue for up to 26 years. 

You should be asking questions about where your money is going. Taxes have gone up steadily and that trend will continue. Is buying property with tax dollars an appropriate use of your money? Why is the city even buying property? We’re currently on the hook to guarantee about $30 million in debt. And why is there a huge contribution to Community Partners for Youth? This charitable contribution increased from $12,500 to $77,500 last year.

Don’t blindly trust that our elected officials know what is best without even listening. The government doesn’t have money except what we give them. I encourage you to find the truth and make the 2020 election also have consequences. 

 

Susan Erickson

New Brighton

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