The following is Candidate Greg Copeland’s response to St Paul Strong’s 6 Principles that was posted on their site. The six principles are SAFETY, TRUST, RESPONSIBLE, OPEN, NEIGHBORHOODS, and GENERATIONS. Feel free to click on the links below. ~~ Publius Jr.
This is good work you are doing! I am only too happy to endorse the Principles of Saint Paul Strong.
You and I know John, as those who have actually fought many public battles at Saint Paul City Hall/Ramsey County Courthouse, that foreclosing public participation in public policy making is not a new problem in River City !
In February 2011 as an individual Citizen I stood up at the Ramsey County Commission’s to meeting to demand that Public Comment be heard in opposition the Ortega/Bennett proposed Viking’s Stadium 1/2 Cent Sales Tax after County Commissioners listened to the Viking’s Lester Bagley Billion Dollar Stadium Pitch just before they voted, ultimately, without taking any Public Testimony to spend hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars to sell the Public the Stadium and the Sales Taxes to pay for the Billion Dollar Bond Issue. Discarding for almost nine months any opportunity for public participation for their “We know Better Than You Do” sales campaign for more taxes; Governor Dayton ended the Ramsey County Commissioner’s stadium quest on November 1, 2011 after the Viking’s rejected a public outcry demanding a public referendum on the tax under the Ramsey County Home Rule Charter.
Next I had to sue Mayor Chris Coleman, who was in such a hurry to build the millionaire owners of the Saint Paul Saint’s a new $63 Million Stadium financed with Millions in unprecedented taxpayer subsidies, that Coleman decided to issue the city construction contract to his pals at his favorite construction company without any public bids! Coleman’s City Attorney defended his Boss in the press, but before the first court hearing could be held, Governor Dayton told Coleman if he did not put the city construction project out for Public Bid as the law requires, the State of Minnesota would withdraw their $24 Million stadium grant to the City of Saint Paul. Coleman finally relented agreeing to publicly bid the job; and his buddies still amazingly got the contract by bidding for it the old fashioned way.
I would like to suggest that Saint Paul Strong amend it’s statement of Principles to include Public Education as important as Public Safety. No doubt you are aware of the Saint Paul School Board decided on August 18, 2015 to no longer broadcast on the city’s Cable TV Public Channel, Public Comment offered by the Public at the Regular Monthly Meeting. This ill advised policy was, the School Board Members and Staff declared done to: “treat members of the Public more Equitably” and “reconnect with the Public”; really? I think the policy is absurd, and unfortunately is emblematic of the School Board’s numerous public policy failings, such as the 44 point GAP in the 2015 MCA’s in Math and Reading proficiency between white and black students in Saint Paul Public Schools .
I am here to tell you as a Candidate for the Saint Paul School Board, New Leadership is on the way, and a New Superintendent is needed to hire a staff that has the common sense to know that Government does the People it is supposed to serve, no favor by turning off their television cameras, so Citizens who used to watch the school board meetings at home, now can not see or hear what the People are saying at Public Comment
Amazingly the Board Members attempt to defend this because Public Comment has been taken off the official School Board’s Regular Meeting Agenda; really, I can’t make this stuff up, and they passed it on a 6 to 1 vote with only John Brodrick opposed, as he was to giving Superintendent Silva a three year contract extension in March 2015 with only minimal public comment. On November 3, 2015 Voters can return common sense and transparency so we can begin to reform the Public Policy work of the Saint Paul School Board!
ALL MINDS MATTER!
Saint Paul School Board Candidate