Independent Minneapolis mayoral candidate says he's 'the only fresh set of eyes'

  • Article by: MAYA RAO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 25, 2013 - 7:10 PM

Minneapolis mayoral candidate Cam Winton, an attorney for a wind energy company, is running as an independent.

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libertyformeMar. 25, 13 7:28 PM

This guy is exactly what Minneapolis needs! One party in control of a large city for decades only leads to Chicago style politics. I'm voting for a "fresh set of eyes"

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crzMar. 25, 13 9:24 PM

It's interesting that all these people are "running" for an office for which you can't file until July 30. Can I say I'm running for mayor on March 25 and get the Strib to run a profile on ME? (Hey Maya Rao - call me!)

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jaynedrakeMar. 26, 1312:56 AM

This candidate has already lost me because of his views on the following issues: 1) Would have stood against a Vikings stadium 2) Would end tax-increment financing 3) His stance on teacher evaluation and wanting to appoint school board members

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twincitizen1Mar. 26, 13 2:50 PM

I agree with everything he said about merging City and County departments to save money on duplicative positions and then put that money back into the police department. Then he had to go and criticize bike lanes (which are incredibly cheap to implement in the grand scheme of things) and lost any credibility.

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cyclistMar. 26, 13 6:43 PM

Most of the bike lanes were funded by a 2007 award to us and five other cities around the country. If he'd read the budgets he'd know that. Fresh set of eyes who doesn't know how this place works. How long has he lived here? Kind of reminds me of Scott Walker with the budget pot-shots. Hey Strib has there been a study on combining city/county positions?

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cyclistMar. 26, 13 6:56 PM

DId some Googling and discovered that he has been involved in politics as Campaign Treasurer for Ashwin Madia (dfl) in 2008 and that his Ashwin is working on this campaign.

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camwintonmnMar. 27, 13 6:53 AM

@cyclist: I appreciate your feedback, but respectfully, I think we may be mis-communicating. You are of course correct that many of the bike lanes that *already exist* were funded by the federal Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Program. My comment, though, was regarding *new* bike lanes. Specifically, now that Bicycling magazine has ranked us the #1 bike-friendliest city in the country, I think we need to restore balance by funding other priorities until, e.g., our fire & police departments are fully equipped & staffed and our roadways for motorized infrastructure are not crumbling. Specifically, the Minneapolis Bicycling Master Plan calls for spending millions of additional *city* dollars -- not federal dollars -- to pay for *new* bike lanes. I love riding my Trek and used to bike commute when I worked downtown, but when we're already #1, I believe that millions on *new* bike lanes is not the right priority for the city at this time. Sincerely, Cam Winton

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hayfordolearyMar. 27, 1310:20 AM

@camwintonmn Since you're reading these comments, I'd like you to give some expression of cost for the street improvements you propose (dramatically raising pavement quality across the city street network) versus the "cuts" you also suggest -- no new bike lanes. While I very much agree that pavement management should be improved within the City of Minneapolis, on many of our streets, the damage is already done. Even minor repaving is a major cost burden to both the City and the homeowners -- full reconstruction can cost homeowners thousands apiece, and that's with the City still picking up much of the tab. How much would it cost to raise pavement quality to the level you want? If you're spending the money that you're "saving" on bike lane stripes and signs, you're not gonna get very much asphalt... In any case, anything that reduces the wear and tear on our streets seems like a good idea, and in the long run, could reduce Minneapolis' pavement management costs. So why would you oppose two of those measure: bike lanes and car sharing? Every bike on the road is one less car tearing up the pavement.

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camwintonmnMar. 27, 13 4:59 PM

Over the next three years, the city plans to spend $37 million/year to re-pave 21 miles/year. That's $1.75 million/mile. We'd need to pave 64 miles/year just to keep up with a standard city re-paving schedule -- which would cost $112 million. We don't have that kind of money (even using bonding and paying back over time), but I would shoot for as much as possible while balancing that priority with my other priority of fully staffing the police & fire departments. I support car sharing. I think the private sector (ZipCar and HourCar) do a great job of providing the service. I'm not sure why it's a priority of the Public Works department to roll out its own car-sharing service (which it's doing). Back-office consolidation, smarter IT purchasing, cuts to non-essential gov functions like duplicative communications dept. and business retention visits already performed by Chambers of Commerce, ensuring tax revenues flow to general fund by reining in abuses of tax increment financing, and, yes, not spending the millions in *city* money proposed by the Bicycling Master Plan on *new* lanes when we're already #1 Bike-Friendliest in country -- all of these things and more will be required to pay for our priorities. (Respectfully, I disagree with your premise that every bike on the road = one less car. As you likely know, many bike owners use transit instead of car when not on their bikes. Also, as much as I personally love riding my bike, bikes are not a viable method of transportation for many members of our community, including many disabled persons and many elderly persons.)

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garagewineMar. 31, 1310:18 PM

An anti-developer welfare candidate in Minneapolis? And a focus on basic services? This is too good to be true. Finally, Minneapolis residents have a real choice.

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