Ward 8 Update Newsletters October 31, 2014

8th Ward News from Minneapolis Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden
Visit us at www.minneapolismn.gov/ward8

October 31, 2014


Elizabeth Glidden
350 S. 5th St.
City Hall, Room 307
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Phone: 612-673-2208

Meet Elizabeth at Ward 8 Community Office Hours

Elizabeth meets with residents on Monday mornings during her community office hours at Sabathani Community Center. Join us!

Every Monday morning, 9-11:00 am Sabathani Community Center, 310 E 38th Street

Elizabeth’s table is on the first floor hall nearest to the parking lot, outside of Room 132

Call (612) 673-2208 for an appointment or just drop by!

Minneapolis, City of Lakes



There is an important election underway now – with candidates for Governor, Secretary of State and other state offices, U.S. Senator, state senators and house members.  We are also electing Minneapolis School Board Directors to at-large and district seats, as well as voting in many contested judicial elections.

You can vote NOW – in person – at City Hall, 350 South 5th Street.  City Hall will be open all weekend as well – Saturday and Sunday.  You can find your polling place, more information about how to vote NOW at City Hall, and other information at vote.minneapolismn.gov or by calling 311.

Able to volunteer on Election Day?  Kids Voting Minneapolis needs your help.  Kids Voting Minneapolis gives Minneapolis K-12 students an authentic voting experience at the polls – a great contribution to our civic education.  You can sign up here or contact the Kids Voting Minneapolis Volunteer Coordinator, Sarah Williams at sarah@kidsvotingminneapolis.org.

Minneapolis City Budget 2015

budget address


The City Council is now well underway in reviewing Mayor Betsy Hodges’ proposed 2015 budget, which was presented in August of 2015.  As part of the budget process, the City Council conducts hearings with departments and finance staff to review the Mayor’s proposals.  The Council will vote on the 2015 budget on December 10, 2014.

The Mayor has proposed a 2.5% property tax increase.  The property tax increase will cover inflation, a park board levy of 4.85%, accumulated debt obligations, and also includes some new spending.

One particularly significant proposal in the budget is implementation of an organics composting program.  This new program will be paid for through the solid waste enterprise fund; residents will see an increase of $4.00 per month on their bill, or an annual increase of $48.00.  The City is moving forward with the organics program in part because we have been required by Hennepin County to implement composting in 2015.  The program will be implemented gradually in 2015 – and has been designed as an “opt in” program available to all, though all residents will pay for the program in order to spread costs properly. 

The Mayor’s new spending, some of which is paid for through prior year’s cost savings, primarily supports public safety functions, with approximately $4.4 million in ongoing and one time funds dedicated to this priority.  Additions include:

  • City attorney criminal division enhancements, including support to domestic violence prevention ($290,000 total; of this total, $125,000 are one time dollars for 2015)
  • 911 increased by 4 positions ($347,000)
  • Fire Department increase to support critical training and recruitment needs ($850,000; of this total, $450,000 are one time dollars for 2015)
  • Police Department budget increased to cover costs of a cadet class, community service officer class, match required for a federal grant support 10 additional officers ($2.5 million; of this amount, $962,000 are one time dollars for 2015. In addition to these totals, the City’s capital budget also includes $1.14 million for body cameras)
  • Regulatory Services increase to hire 3 new inspectors for multi-family and commercial buildings, and two animal control officers ($435,000)

The Mayor’s budget overall reflects her commitment to racial equity, and includes two positions in the City Coordinator’s office to support the City enterprise in structural and organizational changes to support the best possible racial equity outcomes in every department.  I strongly support the addition of these positions.

Some items that have generated community conversation include:

  • Is there enough funding for affordable housing in the budget? The Mayor’s budget funds our affordable housing trust fund at a level of $6.8 million (the city’s goal for this fund is $10 million per year). I support additional funding for affordable housing (more than what the Mayor has proposed), but we will need to find a source that does not damage existing programs.
  • Should we defund public art for 2015? The Mayor’s budget does not include what has been an annual capital program for public art, which supports conserving (maintaining) existing public art in the city and creating new public art projects. I strongly support investing in public art, and will look for how to return this program to the 2015 budget.
  • Protected bikeways are in the Mayor’s 2015 budget. This is a new item in the budget, which has been recommended as part of the city’s Climate Action Plan, and is a way to redesign some streets to better serve pedestrians, bicyclists, and add green space to the city. It is funded through the capital budget, so does not compete with funding for hiring police, fire, 911, and other public safety professionals. I support the protected bikeways program as part of the 2015 budget.

The City of Minneapolis has scheduled two public comment hearings on the proposed 2015 property tax levy and budget: