Governor fires back at Bemidji mayor

  • Article by: Jill Burcum
  • Updated: February 5, 2010 - 1:47 PM

The dispute between Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Bemidji mayor Richard Lehmann over Local Government Aid continued Friday on Pawlenty's WCCO radio show.

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mutt10RFeb. 5, 1011:35 AM

Lehmann's letter closes with an invitation to Timmy. Obviously, Timmy would rather rant from the safety of a radio studio than face the people affected by his selfish and short-sighted ideologies.

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horacedjonesFeb. 5, 1012:07 PM

As Governor, Pawlenty has made Jesse Ventura look like the second coming of Lincoln. Pawlenty takes his pay from us tax payers but gives nothing back in return. His do nothing policies have been crippling local governments as he continually strives to steal money from LGA and schol districts to cover his own budget ineptness. He has been an obstructionist governor demonstrating no leadership skills to guide the state in a positive manner. Good riddance, Timmy! I don't care about yur belt size but I do care about the size of the deficit you have saddled us and our children with.

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OttovilleFeb. 5, 1012:11 PM

How much faster have city and county payrolls been expanding than private sector spending, or the growth in population, or the growth in per-capita income? Most local elected officials view their jobs as keeping public sector labor unions happy, which, in turn, keeps campaign contributions flowing.

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smarotzFeb. 5, 1012:15 PM

The LGA cuts have definitely had many painful short term effects for local leadership, staff and citizens. However, my concern is with the long term effects of these actions. Rural and small towns communities throughout this country are consistently declining in population as they migrate to the urban areas to follow employment opportunities. Pawlenty has himself allocated money to boosting rural community development with such programs as JOBZ. Now, in stark contrast, he cuts vital LGA aid that allows many of these small to medium sized communities in outstate Minnesota implement Economic Development programs that help them grow the tax base to diminish the reliance on LGA funds. Seems to me the governer is creating more problems than he is solving by cutting these LGA funds. Maybe it would be worth his time to sit down and discuss the matter in detail with the local leadership that deals with the citizenry in a more personal way. Maybe the local communities would have some worthwhile suggestions that not only help their local communities, but benefit the state as well.

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smarotzFeb. 5, 1012:29 PM

Ottoville, your comments reflect some of the mentality involved in larger municipal governements. I want to avoid lumping all communities in the same pot, because I'm sure there are some out there that fit your description, but by and large the communities that recieve LGA funds are small, rural communities with councils and governments made up of local citizens with no delusions of fame or fortune or further political aspirations. These are citizens who basically "volunteer" their time to serve their communities. (I know they get paid, but their salaries are comparable with a part time job at a fast food restaurant) These governmental bodies have their characters and their faults, but bowing to political pressure from unions and special interests to gain campaign contributions is not one of them. These governments are some of the purest examples of democracy in our country. If you haven't attended a city council meeting in a small outstate community, I suggest you do. It is amazing how personal these meetings are. The elected officials are available to the citizenry they serve. You can argue the merits or faults of LGA to outstate cities, but don't somehow argue that this is T-Paw's way of combating the special interest influence in municipal politics.

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herbers76Feb. 5, 1012:32 PM

It's your city, pay your own bills. Frankly, the cities that don't get any LGA at all and are helping you pay your bills in addition to paying all of their own aren't really impressed by the fact that you are getting less help.

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ranger1873Feb. 5, 1012:34 PM

I've been a conservative all my life and my question for the Governor is this; how do you propose to become President of the entire United States when you think the State of Minnesota stops at St. Cloud? Cities have been asked to bear a share of the state's debt burden that is wildly disproportional to the role they played in helping create it. Outstate cities, which don't have the same tax base as the ring suburbs of Pawlentyland, suffer greater proportional hits to core services than cities like Minneapolis and St. Paul, which also receive large amounts of LGA. It's getting harder and harder to pass the conservative message outside the Twin Cities when the governor refuses to see how his LGA policy is driving taxation. I'm as keen on reducing government as he is, but to simply say 'you aren't doing enough to cut spending' as a response to every city in the state that is being eviscerated by LGA cuts simply doesn't feed the bulldog.

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rmartell5Feb. 5, 1012:44 PM

gets a little more than 12% of my real property tax. For that the State agreed to fund LGA and school expenses. With Timmy's cuts, real property taxes had to increase. And so did the State's share. So, the State gets more money from the property tax and Timmy sees to it that the State does not live up to its promises for local funding.

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jackpine091Feb. 5, 10 2:31 PM

how sad.

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lvpops53Feb. 5, 10 5:33 PM

Timmy is a republican. They know nothing of mathematics.

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