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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Brighton Votes November 3rd

Endorsement Time!

Two New Brighton city council seats and its mayor's throne are up for election this year. The council seats in question are currently held by Gina Bauman and Sharon Doffing. The throne is occupied by Steve Larson.

After six years of loyal service dedicated to protecting the people's right to keep the property they own and the money they earn, Sharon Doffing has chosen not to seek re-election. Throughout her service, Doffing never forgot that tax revenue came from the taxpayer's family budget and that it is not an endless well for city projects. When others on the council became addicted to taking private property for the benefit of a private developer, Doffing was often the lone voice defending the rightful land owner. Her voice on the city council will be missed. Thank you, Sharon, for putting the people first!

Four years ago, Gina Bauman joined Sharon as a defender of personal freedom -- including the right to keep the income you earn and the land that you own. Bauman brought significant financial management experience to the council and is devoted to bringing fiscal prudence and responsibility to city management. Like Sharon, Gina put people first. She governs as a representative of the people and not a representative of government.

Fortunately, Bauman is seeking a second term. She is the best friend that freedom loving citizens seeking to protect their shrinking budgets could have on the city council. I fully support Gina and encourage New Brighton voters to do the same.

For more info about Gina, check her website at http://www.ginabauman.com/.

To fill Sharon's seat, look at Lt. Colonel Paul Jacobsen. Jacobsen has 29 years of military service including tours in Iraq with the U.S. Air National Guard. His biggest priority is to find a way to salvage the city's economic problems (such as the Northwest Quadrant) while protecting the taxpayer's family budget. In short, he wants the city to get back to the most basic form of city government -- keep the people safe, protect their freedom to enjoy the fruits of their own labor, and protect their right to own property. Are you sensing a theme here?

Next up is the mayor's throne. Steve Larson currently sits in it. Larson has served on the council as a council member and a mayor for a really long, long, time. Too long. His work engineering the Northwest Quadrant project was to represent the former private land developer in their quest to acquire land owned by New Brighton businesses and homeowners. Rather than representing the interests of those who already owned land in New Brighton, he represented the interest of the private developer who was trying to move in. This wasn't simply an effort to force land owners to sell, but to force them to sell at a cut-rate price.

The Northwest Quadrant has become a scandalous affair in New Brighton. Not for direct corruption, but for the excessive abuse of eminent domain to take private land and sell it cheaply to a private developer. Further, city leaders took it upon themselves to risk taxpayers' dollars on a scheme to build a grand residential development north of 694 along Old Highway 8.

There is a reason that such ventures are best left to the private sector. When a private citizen risks his own money on such a plan, then only he stands to lose. Further, he is more motivated to mitigate risk with due diligent research.

When a politician ventures into a risky land development scheme, he (or she) does so with someone else's money. The consequences for failure are less felt by the politician. The motivation to minimize risk is almost nil. New Brighton learned this the hard way.

After forcing tax paying, job producing businesses out of the city, we discovered that the land wasn't environmentally suited for the proposed development. Oh well. The private developer backed out. the city lost jobs, and it lost several years worth of property tax revenue that it once collected from former land owners. Now we face millions in debt all because a few politicians played SIM City with other people's land and and other people's money.

Now, one of these politicians wants another term in the mayor's throne. It's time to use eminent domain on that throne!

Dave Jacobsen (no relation to Paul) is seeking the mayor's office and would be a valuable asset in making the city fiscally responsible. Dave is also a member of the People First Club. Like Gina and Paul, Dave is a neighbor seeking to represent fellow neighbors at city hall.

For more info about Dave, check out his web site at http://www.davejacobsenformayor.com/.

There are a lot of things on which the city can spend money. Some are essential, some not. As an example, citizens can debate whether local parks projects are worthy endeavors. As a parent of young children, we could certainly benefit from projects that might add new equipment to our parks. But, such efforts typically tax every citizen for the benefit of few. In prosperous times, perhaps taxpayers could afford such projects.

These are not prosperous times. Many of our citizens are on a fixed budget and many more are watching the cost of living rise faster than their income. New Brighton needs a city council that is willing to put the needs of its citizens before the wants from city projects. Vote for Gina Bauman and Paul Jacobsen for the city council and vote for Dave Jacobsen for mayor.

Vote Bauman, Jacobsen, and Jacobsen on November 3rd.


Blogger Right Hook said...

"[Gina Bauman] governs as a representative of the people and not a representative of government".

Well stated. This is the most basic characteristic we need to see in all elected officials.

I too thank Sharon for her service on the council. She took the arrows alone for two long years until reinforcements arrived and was the lone holdout for eminent domain reform until Gina joined the battle and, two years later, David Phillips arrived to help finally get it done. Sharon has accomplished the goal of any true public servant by leaving things in a better condition than when she got there. She has my thanks and gratitude, and I wish her well.

Please get out and vote for the candidates that will support limited government and liberty. With so many people running this year city government could become a train wreck if some of the old guard and/or new big-government types end up in the mayor's chair or on the council.

10/14/2009 8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doffing has long separated herself from Bauman. You will note that Bauman called Doffing an "activist" for the police department during a recent city council meeting when Doffing advocated that policing should not be reduced. The rebuke from Bauman to Doffing came after Doffing commented on some police officer vacancies which she wants filled. Doffing entered local New Brighton politics because police cuts were on the table to be cut to balance the budget. Bauman sees this very differently that Doffing.
Bauman has a completly different demeanor than Doffing. Quite honestly I can see why they sit at opposite ends of the council bench; having watch most of the meetings myself.

10/15/2009 4:36 PM  
Blogger Right Hook said...

It is true that Bauman and Doffing have emphasized different causes and concerns over the last couple of years and are not as much in agreement as they had been in the past. This does not, however, take away from the great job they did together to fight the city's abuse of eminent domain, an issue they did pretty much agreed and ran together on.

Their efforts, along with help from David Phillips, eventually culminated in probably the toughest anti-eminent domain abuse policy in the state, or even the country.

Bottom line is that they accomplished a major win on what they had campaigned together on and have now parted ways to champion different priorities. Neither could have accomplished this alone or without Phillips. I salute them both, along with Mr. Phillips, for a job well done.

Gina's main concern lately has been budgets and spending, while Sharon's has focused more on public safety. Gina is not against public safety and Sharon is not against fiscal responsibility. Both are honorable people who have different views of what issue needs priority attention and how to go about it. The paths they are taking to pursue their causes have collided a bit lately as funding anything, including essentials like public safety, does impact the budget, but there is nothing wrong with good, honest debate over differences of opinion.

Since Sharon is not running again any difference of opinion she has with Gina is now a moot point. As much as I would like to see Sharon on the next council, it's not going to happen. The top priority, given with who is running and the issues that impact us citizens and taxpayers, is minimally to get Gina re-elected and to replace Mayor Larson with Dave Jacobsen who is in tune with limited and responsible government to get a working majority along with David Phillips. Icing on the cake would be to get a worthy replacement for Sharon, where it appears that Paul Jacobsen is probably that person.

10/15/2009 5:14 PM  

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