What's Left of Maplewood (MN)

We can't draw, so we are left with verbal cartoons about Maplewood city politics.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Dependence Party ® Ready to Take Orders

As interest in political party involvement in Maplewood municipal elections grows, its only a matter of time before the unveiling of the Dependence Party® of Maplewood: throwing its doors wide open, ready to take orders.

They may already be working on lawn sign slogans:

Cave: what was I supposed to motion?

Bartol: workin' hard to remember my lines!

Since he is likely to soon be out of work (again), we might see this somewhere:
Copeland: fightin' to restore my Republican welfare check!

Vote Dependence! What you're supposed to do depends on it!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

City Manager Special Meeting Postponed

If you stayed up late enough (after 11 PM) to watch it last night, the council discussed the planned special meeting that had been called for Wednesday. Apparently both Rebecca Cave and Erik Hjelle have a conflicting "joint powers" meeting. Some interesting discussion ensued, but the short newsworthy outcome is that the special meeting was rescheduled for Monday, July 17th, at 7:00 PM, which will follow a council/manager workshop that is scheduled for earlier that evening.

The Schultz Report - Where are the Citizens?

Reading and rereading his report brings to light an assumption made by Dr. Schultz in his attempts at facilitating improvement in council trust and communication. He assumes that distrust and poor communication are problems the new council members want to solve. It is just as likely the opposite is true.

Schultz, as was his charter, only considered intra-council relations and council-staff relations in his examination of trust and communication. A more complete picture includes some of Maplewood's citizenry as the third body in this love triangle, the constituency of the new members.

Future posts can develop documentation, but I want to make these assertions clearly. As an observer with no inside knowledge, it seems to me that:

  • Cave works to separate citizens from one another (group homes from neighbors, seniors from other citizens) and their government (eminent domain) to create an agitated group for which she can be the champion.
  • Hjelle works to encourage distrust within the ranks of public safety workers, and between citizens and the public safety department heads.
  • Longrie works to undermine the professionalism of staff by constant second-guessing of engineering, planning, financial, and legal work. We are likely to see this in Technicolor as Gladstone continues to develop.

If you want to be seen as the fixer to your constituents, something has to look broken. Nothing does this better than creating an atmosphere of distrust by undermining the relationships and traditions in place. They are indifferent to governing: they want to rescue, to be the saviors.

It is not clear that the three of them are even conscious of what they are doing and how they are doing it. It is like a big, tall guy going around being intimidating. As far as he knows, he is just going around being big and tall. It seems that distrust, tribalism, and the idea that rules are for other people are fundamental aspects of human nature in their worldview, so they act as if these traits are universal.

It was not in Dr. Schultz'’s purview to look at citizen attitudes, and it is consistent with the threesome's attitude to forget that outside of their control citizens have a voice and power. But citizens have not forgotten. At least some of us credit the city staff for the professional work that has made Maplewood a good place to live, administrators like Richard Fursman for creating conditions where professionals want to work, and prior city councils for open and fair public discussion of public policy, leading to consensus positions.

We credit the new crowd with reaping dissent and distrust, as they have sown.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Schultz Report

The East Side Review article linked a couple of posts ago mentioned that interim manager Copeland was hiring Professor David Schultz (of Hamline University’s Graduate School of Public Administration and Management) to lead a "strategic retreat" and help the council learn to work better together.

To be honest, I was planning to write something snarky about this effort, since at first blush it sounded like Copeland was brown-nosing his former teacher (and buttering him up by offering to pay him 2-3 times his going rate for the work). It now looks like such snark would have been quite misplaced.

What's Left of Maplewood has obtained a copy of Prof. Schultz's report, dated June 16th. It is a frank assessment of the political and interpersonal rifts that afflict Maplewood's city hall. If you were expecting the report to say everyone is now ready to hold hands and sing Kumbaya together, or to paper over the council's problems in its own ranks and in relation to the city staff, think again.

Schultz draws a picture of a council that needs to first "learn how to act like adults." He offers some constructive and specific suggestions (such as adopting a conflict of interest policy, developing policies for e-mail and communication to include everyone, following the Minnesota Open Meeting Law, giving all elected officials a fair opportunity to participate in meetings). The last paragraph of his "Conclusions and Recommendations" section is direct and harsh:
Finally, while the above policies or recommendations will address many of the communications issues, and perhaps some of the trust matters, I do not know how to make a recommendation regarding basic civility and maturity. The meaning of being a professional is placing personal animosities off to the side and learning how to work for a collective good. I encourage all parties to take this advice personally, or consider leaving office.
There's a lot more to the report -- I hope it will be online for everyone to see, if not the city's site then a citizen venue like savemaplewood.com.

Credit is due to Mr. Copeland for retaining the services of an objective outsider to give the council and the public a portrait of this council's own dysfunctionality without candy coating.

Now will the council have the ears to hear?

Update: The Maplewood Citizens League has scanned and OCR'd the report, and it's now available on their website in its entirety.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Chumpocracy, Gladstone Edition

The packet [warning 23mb pdf] for the 6/26 council-manager workshop contains the individual councilperson markups and comments to the Gladstone Master Plan. As Mr. Hjelle's offering is toward the end of the giant pdf and in image rather than text form, I thought I would supply the text for our consideration:

Density range from 600 to 650.

No buildings to exceed 3 stories and they must be set back in plan, not on Frost or English.

Roundabout must be larger than English. Whoever designed the English St. roundabout failed in its size. European roundabouts (which everyone compares it to) are very wide and open. I would be happy to take anyone on a fire truck ride to prove my point.


Should be cleaned up with a trail to connect the existing network. In the future, more could be done but the idea of having a "cleaned up" accessible natural area surrounded by neighborhoods was a common theme last fall while door knocking. Mother nature does a good job as custodian as long as we stop trying to actively manage or destroy it.


Tourist Cabins. I will not support any TIF for this project. A builder/developer should not need any enticements to build on lakeshore that is 10 minutes from downtown. This is not negotiable for me.

I can agree to use TIF if there is a clear and convincing need in the remainder of the Gladstone project. TIF has a limited place.

CULVERT/BEEBO [sic, is BEBO, which apparently is a product name, not a descriptive noun]

Given human nature, "jaywalking" is a fact of life. It was not apart[sic] of the original plan and I would like to see half of the savings go into upgraded streetscape and the other half used to reduce the overall bill. Unless there are plans to use pedestrian fenceing[sic] to "herd" people towards the tunnel, people will avoid it and simply cross where they want. Plus, a crosswalk that is substantial in scope will slow down traffic between the roundabouts.


I would like to see that businesses have a chance to leave OR stay. If they stay, renovation loans should be available to help and if they leave, the city should be prepared to buy land to help with consolidation of parcels for attracting developers.


Keep densities to the 650 mark or below. If the plan would have been "feasible" at 500, then 650 will give more comfort and more funds for improvements (streetscapes). Use the savings from the BEEBO to lower the overall cost and provide more resources for enhancements. During the campaign, I doorknocked from East Shore to WBA and Frost to Larp. I had less than 15 people tell me they support the higher density, but I do realize that with density comes more enhancements. The overwhelming support was for a "cleanup" with moderate densities.

I really wanted to examine the view of human nature and the rule of law projected by Hjelle onto the rest of us in the BEEBO section, but cannot pass up the contradictions inherent in this:

In the future, more could be done but the idea of having a "cleaned up" accessible natural area surrounded by neighborhoods was a common theme last fall while door knocking. Mother nature does a good job as custodian as long as we stop trying to actively manage or destroy it.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Copeland Background Check

No commentary at the moment, just a link to an interesting article: "Who ordered a background check on Greg Copeland?"

Update, 6/24: More on the background check in today's Pioneer Press. It's looking like it will be an interesting week in Maplewood city hall . . .

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Math Skills

I've been curious as to whether any other Twin Cities bloggers have shared any thoughts on the Maplewood situation. I haven't found much, but a search this morning did turn up a commentator who wrote about the East Side Review's coverage about former city manager Fursman's firing back in April.

This blogger from Saint Paul is mostly complaining that the newspaper researched the background of interim manager Copeland (a Republican activist), but did not dig into the background of various Democrats/progressives who were quoted speaking in support of Mr. Fursman or criticizing the new council at the meeting. His complaint is bogus. The background of a completely unknown person who has just been made the executive in charge of the city is 100% newsworthy, and the sort of thing we Maplewood residents wanted and needed to know. If Mr. Martin thinks that the background of residents who speak at council meetings should be researched and reported, he should be complete by adding Stephen Carlson (who spoke in favor of Mayor Longrie) to the list, since he was also quoted in the article. Carlson appears to be a Republican who once registered as a candidate for the legislature ... with Mayor Longrie's husband as his treasurer. The point being, the newspaper was not distinguishing between "left" and "right" in deciding who to dig up information on -- it was distinguishing between "public servant" and "private citizen."

But I digress. What's really interesting is that our Mayor, Diana Longrie, stopped in to thank the blogger and share some voodoo budgeting. Her message reads (I copy it here in its entirety in case it disappears from the original location for some reason):
  1. Mayor Diana Longrie, Maplewood Says:

    Just surfing the web and came across your EXCELLENT article and analysis. We are doing a lot of good, positive things in Maplewood for the Maplewood taxpayers and residents. I wish to extend an invitation to you and any of your friends, family and visitors to your Blog to join me at the Mayor’s Forum held the first Saturday of every month at Maplewood City Hall from 10 a.m. to noon in the Maplewood Room where we talk about issues of concern to those who attend. ADDITIONALLY, please attend our upcoming Council Social Supper scheduled for June 3, 2006 at 6:30 p.m. at Guildens in sunny Maplewood. As a side note or two, at a recent City Council meeting we directed staff, through the interim City Manager, Mr. Copeland, to work with the same budget number from 2006 when putting together their draft budget for 2007. The Council has taken the first step by leading by example. Since Maplewood is a Plan B city, we only have one employee that we are directly responsible for even though we are directed by statute to manage and control the budgetary taxing and spending of the City. The previous City Manager, Mr. Fursman, was making $128,000.00 annually plus benenfits (BIG benefits). We now have a City Manager who is working full time, hands-on, putting administrative systems in place that should have been in place previously, taking steps to fix the leaky roof of City Hall, and making $78,000.00 annually plus reasonable benefits. We have cut $50,000.00 dollars from the budget. We are asking the citizens to help us prioritize our city spending, to better understand how we can economize our processes, better utilize grants, and develop partnerships with the private sector. Thank you for being interested in local municipal govenment - come join us! Mayor Diana

This is just hilarious. We fired a professional manager and replaced him with an unqualified, partisan hack, but it's saving us $50,000 a year!

Not so much, actually. Keep in mind:
  1. He's an interim manager, so we're only getting this bargain-basement low-rent salary until we replace him with a real manager ... which is probably going to cost us something comparable to Fursman's salary (maybe more, to pay the risk premium of dealing with a volatile council with a penchant for micro-managing, ignoring the finer points of the law, and trying to purge people who displease them).
  2. Firing Fursman cost the city a severance package of 6 months' pay plus benefits, which works out to $85,300 (citing the same article, quoting Finance Director Faust).If this were a business investment in capital equipment or real estate, we might look at how long it would take our "up front" investment in firing Fursman to pay off in the lower costs for Copeland over the long run -- just like paying points on a mortgage to buy a lower interest rate.
Here's a worksheet comparing the two. We can look at the old cost of Fursman (according to Diana $10,667 per month) versus the new cost of Copeland ($6,500 per month plus an up-front expense of $85,300 for Fursman's severance). For simplicity, we need to assume that the benefits packages for both are pretty much comparable and so would be spent if either one was employed. Totals are cumulative.

Keep Fursman
Fire Fursman,
Hire Copeland
Month 1
Month 2
Month 3
Month 4
Month 5
Month 6
Month 7
Month 8
Month 9
Month 10
Month 11
Month 12
Month 13
Month 14
Month 15
Month 16
Month 17
Month 18
Month 19
Month 20
Month 21

So what does this mean? Well, it means that to "break even" on the extra costs of firing Fursman, Copeland has to stay in the job for almost 21 months. To actually cut $50,000 from our city budget, as Mayor Longrie has claimed is her intention, we'll have to keep him a bit longer ... so let's continue the worksheet:

Month 22
Month 23
Month 24
Month 25
Month 26
Month 27
Month 28
Month 29
Month 30
Month 31
Month 32
Month 33

Yep, it'll take 33 months of Copeland in the "interim" city manager's chair (without him being elevated to full manager, with commensurate salary) to get the $50,000 savings Diana is promising. Given the pace of the search for a new, professional manager, maybe this is the plan ...

We can conclude one of two things from all this. Either Mayor Longrie lies about the numbers when it's convenient for touting her agenda, or she needs some remedial help in the math department. Neither option bodes well for the city's upcoming budgetary process.

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Friday, June 16, 2006

Hands-on: Just Another Word for `Afraid to Let Go`

Saying one is 'hands-on' can bring to mind the smooth performance of the expert: economy of movement, selecting just the right tool and just the right material, little touches quietly attended to. All focus is on the job.

Then there is the 'hands-on' seen far more often, a drive to control that is born of fear and need: fear that incompetence will show through, fear of being irrelevant to the job at hand, the desperate need to be seen as making a difference, the need to be the center of attention. All focus is on self.

Surrounded with incompetents and sycophants, the control freak hopes to emerge as the only one capable of doing the job. Encounter a professional? Attack their professionalism, hoping to get one leg up. Encounter a job well done? Take credit. Pathetic, really.

The discussion of the Valley View Avenue drainage issue during the 6/15 continuation of the 6/12 council meeting provides a recent example. Mr. Ahl had to deal with endless questions on the efficacy of debris traps, storm probabilities, and whether just cleaning the drains wasn't good enough instead of solving the problem in accord with industry standards. He - the engineer - finally had to make the policy statement that the reason the city operates a storm water service was to protect the property of residents, and, having made the decision to operate a service, you do what you have to do to meet that commitment.

Instead of posturing as Defender of the Treasury, Ms. Juenemann demonstrated the counter stance, saying, "I believe the engineer because I am not one of those." She listened to the engineering professional for the engineering. Then she attended to the political considerations. During a similar issue (Brand Avenue drainage) moments later, Mr. Hjelle stayed in that vein - "I trust Mr. Ahl to do it the right way".

It could be argued that it is the council's job to play skeptic and not just rubber stamp all staff recommendations. While skepticism is part of stewardship, you cannot do just one thing. Constant public skepticism directed at the work of city staff has the effect, intended or not, of undermining public trust in the professional judgment of the target.

Random audits of city projects to ensure methods and materials used are consistent with industry standards and the practices of comparable cities would serve the stewardship goal far more effectively than ill-informed badgering, and would enhance public trust in the city's professionals.

Might be what the framers of Plan B government had in mind.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Chumpocracy in Action

It's rerun season, so why not watch the Maplewood City Council for entertainment?

This week's meeting featured a lot of audience participation -- from our state legislators to ordinary citizens to the National Park Service -- and not as much verbiage out of our city council (except, of course, for Mayor Longrie, as she kept the meeting lurching forward until well past midnight).

Being a Hjelle-watcher requires patience, like wildlife enthusiasts who are willing to wait for hours (or fast-forward through hours of recordings), watching some creature sit and do pretty much nothing, hoping for the moment when it will spring into action and do something noteworthy. Hjelle leafs through papers, drinks his water, looks like he wants to belch but holds it in (it's not like being home at his personal fire station, where that sort of thing would be okay). At times, oddly, it looks like he wants to cry. What mysterious inner life may be occurring behind those enigmatic expressions? Is he literally bored to tears?

The noise ordinance comes up.

Although she's a lawyer (as she has mentioned repeatedly at past meetings), Mayor Longrie is surprised that city ordinances such as this are punishable as misdemeanors or petty misdemeanors. Is that such a surprise? Doesn't "petty misdemeanor" include things like, well, parking tickets? What should ordinances have as consequences -- a statutory "stern talking-to" perhaps? In the meantime, Longrie thinks the city newsletter should mention that violations of city code may be misdemeanors or petty misdemeanors, just to warn the possibly unwitting public. Watch out, if you're one of those people who like to mow by flashlight.

Erik leaps into action. The notion of a "reasonable person" seems to trouble him, in a way he can't quite articulate. He suggests that people who violate city ordinances, like the noise ordinance at issue, should get warnings. One imagines him silently adding, Like I should have just gotten warnings, for those pesky election campaign violations!

As the hours pass, the meeting turns to a proposed development around Fish Creek (the Carver Crossing Improvements -- item L4 on the agenda), which has various citizens and area environmentalists concerned.

Here the patience of the Hjelle-watcher is at last rewarded. What sorts of questions will Erik Hjelle ask? Well, they're all pretty similar. To paraphrase:
  1. You don't live in Maplewood, do you? (As we've learned in the past, the triumvirate is big on dismissing input from non-residents. Except of course when it's their own Greek chorus brought in from neighboring cities.
  2. You're just an individual who happens to be a park ranger butting into our business, right? (No, the park ranger was present in his official capacity on behalf of the National Park Service. Too bad for Erik; it's easier to dismiss some tree-hugging outsider than, say, a federal agency.)
  3. Doesn't Fish Creek just run into a culvert? (I.e., why should we care about some glorified ditch?)
At one point, Erik telegraphed his boredom with Yet Another Environmentalist Kook by interrupting him to suggest that the police and fire chief should feel free to leave, since it was so late and they shouldn't care about any of this tedious stuff. Clearly, Erik himself would have liked to tune it all out and go home already.

To her credit, Mayor Longrie asked thoughtful questions of the presenters, as did Council Member Juenemann (no surprise there, though; Juenemann is probably the environment's best friend on the council). The mayor observed that the environmental report did not mention the impact on birds, for instance, which she thought was a significant oversight, given that various speakers did raise the issue of the impact of development on migratory species crossing over the land, and the EAW did mention other kinds of wildlife specifically.

Ultimately the council decided to delay a decision, giving staff a chance to address various issues. Maplewood Public Works Director Chuck Ahl, who always seems on top of things in these meetings (and incredibly patient in explaining the details -- man, he should run for something!), had rightly mentioned that a more complete Environmental Assessment Worksheet would be a good thing -- not just because the council should have answers to its questions, but because a stronger EAW is more likely to stand up in court, regardless of which side might challenge the council's decision (the environmental interests or the developer). Plus, having to rewrite part of the city's comprehensive plan to accomodate this project would require future approval from the DNR -- approval that will go more smoothly, the better the EAW is at this stage.

Given that it was past midnight, it was hard to tell if the unanimous vote reflected an underlying agreement on the council, or a universal desire to get to bed sometime before sunrise. Clearly Juenemann and Longrie wanted more information. Rossbach seemed to want to give the developer a green light with as little extra fuss as possible. Hjelle seems to mostly want those tree-hugging hippies out of his city. I don't know about Cave -- with those always-arched eyebrows, she's hard to read, as she just seems perpetually surprised. (I did see her blink, so I know they're not actually super-glued open.)

Be sure to tune in Thursday for the exciting continuation of this meeting, at a special time and place. The place will be city hall; the time will be 4 PM -- earlier than usual for a continued meeting, because Hjelle said he has some commitment in the evening. (It's clever of him to lay groundwork ahead of time for an early departure, assuming the Thursday meeting runs long too.)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Bartol - stage right

Short-term-appointed-never-elected-past-councilman Bartol made his regularly scheduled appearance at the June 12 council meeting with three lines to recite.

He claimed that most Maplewood residents don't want the Gladstone master plan to be adopted. How does he know this? Because he held two meetings aimed at opposing the Gladstone plan and asked those who showed up what they thought about the plan. This is like declaring all citizens love bowling after asking around at a bowling alley. This sort of thinking is not foreign to the mayor, who reported at a council meeting early in her tenure that everyone at her church that hung around to talk to her wanted to shake her hand, so clearly she had majority support.

Bartol might like this reasoning by bowling analogy since he reported a family dilemma as an analogy to the Gladstone saga. He shared his desire that his son become a doctor, the best profession ever, even though his son wants to be an engineer, just like daddy. What to do? Force him to become a doctor? Unlike what his son might be facing, Maplewood residents are not the hapless children of authoritative fathers, but adult citizens of a democracy who elected a government that created a process that went to great length to gather professional and resident input into the creation of a plan with the best chance of succeeding. What to do seems pretty clear, both for Maplewood and choices made by young adults.

Bartol closed his soliloquy with an admonition to the new council members to serve those who elected them. Never mind the quaint idea of serving all the residents of Maplewood by seeking the public good. As Molly says, You Got to Dance with Them What Brung You.

Update 6/13: minor edits, because I can.

Monday, June 12, 2006

A New Vision for Maplewood

When Maplewood City Council Member Erik Hjelle declares,
“I'm a chump,” you've got to figure he knows what he's talking about.

A trio of newcomers now controls the Maplewood city council — Mayor Diana Longrie and council members Rebecca Cave and Erik Hjelle — and they have a new “vision” for Maplewood. Our former city manager, Richard Fursman, did not share that vision, according to Longrie, so he was quickly fired. The exact nature of the new vision guiding Maplewood, however, has been left as an exercise for the citizenry to decipher.

To uncover this new vision, we can turn to an investigative report that the former city manager authorized. Cynics might say that this report led directly to the city manager's firing, but we can look for deeper meaning in its pages. As Hjelle defended himself against allegations of improperly using city resources in the 2005 election campaign for himself, Longrie, and Cave, he offered a surprisingly unguarded glimpse into his attitudes toward the city, ethics, the rule of law, and governance.

When his feet are held to the fire, what principles can we expect to guide a council member like Erik Hjelle? Here are a few that stood out to me, as I studied the report.

1. La Ville, C'est Moi!

At the height of the French monarchy, King Louis XIV famously declared, “L'état, c'est moi” — “I am the state.” On a slightly more modest scale, Mr. Hjelle has applied this slogan to his work as a volunteer firefighter, declaring that the city's fire station is actually his. Despite the sign outside the building, Hjelle insisted to investigators, “No! It's not the city's fire station. It's my fire station. The City technically owns it, but it's my fire station and my fire truck.” That's why working on his campaign there did not, in his view, violate the city's rule against campaign activities in municipal buildings.

As a city councillor, Hjelle is now in a position to extend this theory far beyond his personal fire station. Watch for him soon to object to your children and pets tramping across “his lawn” in city parks. Perhaps he will decide to go swimming in “his” pool in your back yard, or enjoy a movie in “his” home theater inside your house. Yes, technically you own it, but it's his city now.

2. Schrödinger's Ethics: It Can't Be Wrong if it's Secret

Hjelle defends the campaign activity on the basis that “no one knew,” and thus it did not violate City policy. “I don't think what I did was inappropriate because no one knew about it.” Armed with a daring hybrid of quantum mechanics and moral relativism, Hjelle has decreed that only if an outsider observes wrongdoing can it actually be wrong.

We've already seen one effect of this grand unified theory of city hall ethics: If you fire or chase away the tattle-tales, there will be no one to observe any wrongdoing, and thus no wrongdoing! Thus the new council's project of “cleaning up” city hall is well underway.

Carrying this vision forward, we can ultimately expect the elimination of the police department. This will have the twofold benefits of saving the city money and completely eliminating crime.

3. Mulligans

You might wonder how a scofflaw can credibly enact rules for others, such as city ordinances, or enforce them. In his own words:

“I can do it because I did not intend to do anything wrong. I didn't do anything malicious or with the intent to deceive. If faced with that, I can be a lot more accommodating with people. I'm a chump. The first time I have to deal with something like that, I'm probably gonna give people the benefit of the doubt. To a certain degree, that's how I think the City should be addressing this issue.”

Hjelle offers us a pretty sweet deal: If we let him take a mulligan here, he'll be ready to look the other way when any of us overlook a pesky rule or two. Should you ever run afoul of city hall, don't forget to invoke the Chump Defense!

4. Don't Sweat the Details

If you've ever watched Mr. Hjelle nod off in one of those late-running council meetings we enjoy under the new regime, you won't be surprised to learn that he's not big on details, even when they are his responsibility. In the end, Hjelle admitted, “Look, if I'm guilty of something, it's that I didn't sit down and read the rules after I filed for election.”

A brave willingness to go forth without first reading the manual, as it were, is good news for those of us interested in city politics who haven't read up on Robert's Rules of Order, the “open meeting law,” or what exactly “plan B form of government” means. Unfortunately, it is likely to mean more unbearably long council meetings for the indefinite future, if the rules have to be made up on the spot and no one can be expected to have prepared in advance.

Alternatively, the ruling bloc could choose one of their number to do all the homework, and the others could just vote the same way she does on everything.

While we can't say for certain, the lockstep voting of the new triumvirate on the council so far suggests that they share a common vision. Still, we citizens will need to examine the words and deeds of the others on the council, to see how and where they may diverge from the political philosophy Mr. Hjelle has articulated.

Friday, June 09, 2006

How soon is there an election?

It is time to get to work.