Anderson: Council's advice needs to be heeded

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 15, 2013 - 7:24 AM

Citizens' voice can get lost when legislators covet Legacy Act money.

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bjdimondFeb. 15, 13 7:14 AM

Anderson captures the Legacy Act perfectly – funding for the restoration and conservation of Minnesota’s natural resources to fill the gap that generations of legislators had neglected. Kahn and her ilk hate the fact that the voter took the checkbook away from them. You can parse their motives in many ways but the key factors are that politicians don’t like having the purse strings removed from their hands and that politicians believe they know better than the people what is best for them and the state. Phyllis Kahn – in office since 1972!! Really, how entrenched is she? Is she a paragon of virtue (see DeLaSalle High School football field, Nicollet Island boondoggle, campaign literature shenanigans)? Phyllis knows best how to distribute the Legacy Act proceeds – trust her…

daveparkFeb. 15, 13 7:53 AM

Phylis Kahn is a perfect example of why there should be term limits.

jackpinesavFeb. 15, 13 9:04 AM

Good article, Dennis. But do not forget that metro parks are really state parks in the metro area, where the vast majority of Minnesota residents live. They are not the enemy but a partner.

lesbenschFeb. 15, 1311:32 AM

As a successful business person I try to surround myself with good people who add to my ability to make sound business decisions. Apparently not true with Kahn!! As a past member of the LSOHC we spent the first four years developing a good sound evaluation and administrative strategy. It is working very well. The actions of Kahn are based on non- factual prejudicial bias. As a council person I felt it was and is our responsibility to enforce the dictates of the constitution of the State of Minn and the will of the people of the State. I believe our legislators need to follow suit.

tmrichardsonFeb. 15, 13 1:53 PM

I would not say it is working as intended LesBensch--but the reason why is the political influence exerted. The political appointees to the council have staked out political positions on the council! The last thing we need is MORE politics in the process! Case in point--and Dennis Anderson is well aware of this. One of the recent large land acquisitions was a fantastic tract along the mississippi river up north. Miles of forested undeveloped river frontage. Wild Rice. Ducks and fish galore. Grouse and deer in the forests. Very much in danger of being platted up and sold in small chunks! Dennis wrote about this piece of land in the tribune and how it was an ideal use for the money, just the thing intended when the LSOHC was created. As they say, a no-brainer for funding! But lo and behold, there was opposition on the council--from a highly partisan stance. One of Pawlenty's citizen appointees and republican reps--who for political purposes do not like the government to buy more land--almost scuttled that purchase. Luckily enough people came to their senses--including the republican lawmakers in the location of the land, I believe--that it was allowed to go through. That was a republican scare. Today we are dealing with a real democratic threat. This ought to be instructive. It's not a republican or democrat thing--it's POLITICS--and politics have NO place on the LSOHC!

aarghmebuckoFeb. 15, 13 2:41 PM

IF there are viable wildlife projects in the metro why shouldn't the Lessard Sams funding be used for them? There are lots of WMAs in the metro where people hunt. Lots of fishing improvements are needed too, and it make sense to do them near where the bulk of the population lives. Dennis seems to think that Lessard Sams funding should only be used outside of the metro but provides absolutely no defense of his position. I don't think the amendment I voted for drew geographical boundaires like that.

petenelsonFeb. 15, 13 4:15 PM

Les Bensch et al have done their best to funnel millions to dubious projects, at best, that serve their friend's interests, lining pockets already cash-rich. The Missouri system of funding that we were supposed to follow works all the way down to the ground level. What we have now is a bunch of have's, with their hands out, asking for more funding that won't do a diddly damn bit of good on the ground for the people paying into this system.

imkirokFeb. 17, 1310:41 PM

Dennis Anderson and many of the so-called sportsmen have always looked at the Legacy funds as "their" money. It is not theirs, it is the taxpayer's money, and should therefore be appropriated by legislators who are accountable to the public - not a bunch of self-serving hunters and fishermen who fund projects that they have personal interests in. There is a lot of need to improve wildlife habitat in the metro area. The voters approved the Legacy amendment to help out all of the state, not just rural areas.

bjdimondFeb. 18, 13 8:51 AM

imkiol misses the point - the voters.i.e., taxpayers, deliberately took this responsibility out of the hands of legislators by passing the Legacy Amendment. legislators were NOT getting it done for wildlife habitiat. The Legacy Amendment, took the "accountability" out of the hands of the Legislature and funding critical habitat, clean water, clean air and other conservation and enviromental priorities that never seemed to bubble up to the top of the pork-barrel laden appropriation process. Regarding your screed against "so-called" sportsmen I ask a simple question. What have you done to improve wildlife habitat or the environment?

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