From the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association – Where Every Story Has Three Sides
Thank you so much to 10th Ward residents for the opportunity to represent you on the Minneapolis City Council. I appreciate the trust you’ve placed in me to work for you on important city and neighborhood issues.
As you know, I am heavily invested in this community. My husband Dennis and I have lived in the Lowry Hill East neighborhood for over 40 years. We raised three children and sent them to Minneapolis public schools. We ran our family business – Tuthill’s Balloon Emporium – for 30 years.
In my service on the City Council, I have worked to:
As Council Member, I have focused my activities to create and maintain Great Neighborhoods, Economic Opportunities and a Green Minneapolis.
To maintain Great Neighborhoods, my first priority has been to ensure public safety. I voted against cuts to firefighter ranks, and supported hiring a recent class of firefighter trainees and increasing daily staffing levels of firefighters. To raise the number of police, I supported the rehiring of 12 Community Service Officers after they were laid off, and hiring a new cadet training class.
One of the issues I faced early in my term was late night noise and disruption in Uptown I’m all in favor of people having fun, but too much public revelry intruded into people’s streets and homes. I brought stakeholders together in an Uptown Outdoor Area Task Force. My goal was to achieve balance – our community thrives with vibrant businesses and livable neighborhoods. The Task Force resulted in the Uptown bars and restaurants hiring a sound consultant, agreeing to control the volume of late night outdoor amplified music, and paying for two additional police patrols Thursday to Saturday nights. Additionally, new taxi stands and parking options help keep visitors’ vehicles out of the neighborhoods.
I did not support a rezoning to permit a Trader Joe’s in our neighborhood. The zoning on these lots was reviewed in the Midtown Greenway Rezoning Study, which was adopted by the City Council in 2010. The neighborhood board did not support the proposed single story, single use, building with a surface parking lot occupying over half of the block. The city council voted 13-0 to deny the rezoning application.
To improve pedestrian safety, I worked with the City’s Public Works Department to implement a Leading Pedestrian Interval at the intersections of Hennepin and Lake and Hennepin and Lagoon. This feature gives pedestrians the walk signal about four seconds before the green signal for traffic, allowing pedestrians to be more visible to drivers and safer crossing the street.
I have been an advocate for city taxpayers, working to restrain city property taxes. I voted against the 2011 city budget because it included a 4.7% increase in the city property tax levy, an unsustainable level of property tax increase. I supported the 2012 (zero levy increase) and 2013 (1.77% levy increase) budgets.
I initiated the successful effort to abolish the $400 automatic monthly car allowance for Council Members, and to cut expensive art drinking fountains planned for the city.
One of the tough calls I made as your Council Member was whether to support a new Vikings stadium in Minneapolis. Calls to my office on this issue ran about fifty/fifty pro and con. I decided to support the Mayor’s proposal to invest some of the City’s special sales tax revenues in a stadium. My vote was based on the need to create jobs in Minneapolis. Building the stadium will create high-paying union construction jobs. A commitment was made to hire and train Minneapolis residents living in neighborhoods with the highest unemployment rates. The stadium funding package will also permit Minneapolis to use sales tax revenue – instead of your property taxes – to renovate the Target Center and support citywide development projects.
I have also worked to attract more small businesses to the Ward and City. My goal is to increase day jobs in the Ward, and have a variety of businesses (retail, office, restaurant, theater) that contribute to a vibrant community. My office and I have worked with entrepreneurs to connect them to the right city staff to get things done.
Dennis and I walked to work for many years. I often ride the bus to work at City Hall. I have worked to improve options for bicycles. I supported the Bryant Avenue Bike Boulevard and the bike lanes on Blaisdell and 1st Avenues. I am currently working with Public Work’s staff, neighborhoods and businesses to design bike lanes on 36th Street.
I support increased recycling by Minneapolis residents and businesses by switching to single sort recycling. East Calhoun was one of the two neighborhoods chosen for the successful single sort pilot program. Citywide implementation of single sort recycling began in November 2012 and will be completed in April 2013.
I supported the first Open Streets event in Minneapolis, when in 2011 the city closed Lyndale Avenue from 22nd to 42nd Streets to motorized traffic for four hours. Open Streets returned in 2012 and will return again in 2013.
I am seeking a second term to continue my work to enhance neighborhood livability, create opportunities for good jobs and small business successes, and support sustainable, environmentally-sound city policies.
The Tenth Ward is a vibrant, diverse mix of students, young adults, families and seniors. Together we are working to develop a ward that reflects everyone’s needs and respects their quality of life.
I would appreciate your support in 2013.