EGF leaders: Meeting didn't shed light on Local Government Aid
Last week's Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities meeting didn't shed any light on the future of Local Government Aid. So say East Grand Forks city leaders who attended the meeting in Alexandria with the lobbying arm of outstate cities. With the ...
Last week's Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities meeting didn't shed any light on the future of Local Government Aid.
So say East Grand Forks city leaders who attended the meeting in Alexandria with the lobbying arm of outstate cities.
With the House and Senate going from DFL to Republican control and the governor's seat likely going from a Republican to a DFLer, "no one knows what's going on yet," Mayor Lynn Stauss said at Tuesday's City Council meeting.
"The worst I heard is that they don't settle and there will be a government shutdown."
Thirty percent of East Grand Forks' budget comes from LGA. But it's been cut each of the last three years as former Gov. Tim Pawlenty has used it to balance the budget. Mid-year cuts have been especially troubling to city leaders.
Gubernatorial DFL candidate Mark Dayton, who leads by about 9,000 votes over Republican Tom Emmer entering the recount, is more sympathetic to LGA, Stauss said. "His position is that all programs will be equally hit and small cities won't be hit harder like under Pawlenty."
The Legislature also experienced a big turnover, so Stauss said council members need to contact the new regional officeholders. Council member Marc DeMers went a step further: "A lot of voices are going to be needed," he said. "It's important to repetitively contact legislators, including those outside our district, because it's a whole new ballgame down there (in St. Paul)."
Closed meeting upsets alderman
Alderman Mike Pokrzywinski asked that the city write a letter to Congressman Collin Peterson to complain about last week's closed-door meeting between Army Corps of Engineers representatives and local elected government officials in Fargo-Moorhead.
The Corps met with the mayors of Fargo and Moorhead and Cass and Clay county commissioners regarding the F-M Diversion. The meeting was unannounced and closed to the press and public at the request of Corps leaders.
"Representative Peterson told us to trust him that people downstream wouldn't be hurt by this," Pokrzywinski said. "But when you close meetings and keep the press out, it's hard to go on believing you can be trusting.
"If we don't say anything about, it would be like saying we're OK with it. We're not."
Reach Bakken at (701) 780-1125; (800) 477-6572, ext. 125; or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .