May 14, 2012
Voted "No" on Stadium
On Tuesday, April 24, 2012 the city’s Intergovernmental
Relations Committee (IGR) held a special meeting to “Consider an amendment to
the City's 2012 Legislative Agenda to include a City position regarding a
proposed Minneapolis Vikings stadium financing package and associated economic
development” and to allow the public to weigh in on the stadium issue. The vote
is technical in nature; yes or no on whether to add the stadium to our list of
legislative priorities, but it was the first official vote
the council has
taken on this stadium proposal and was viewed by many, including the Governor
and State Legislators, as an important statement of support, or opposition, to
the state’s stadium bill.
This resolution passed the city’s IGR committee, which is
made up of all 13 city council members, by a vote of seven in favor and six
against. I voted against adding the stadium to our legislative priorities and I
continue to oppose the state’s proposal. Here are my reasons:
In 1997 the City Charter was amended by referendum of the
voters of Minneapolis to include a provision that requires referendum – a
citywide vote – if the City is considering spending more than $10 million on a
pro-sports facility. This is a very clear statement with very clear direction
for those of us in elected office in Minneapolis. At the very least, the
violates the spirit of that Charter provision.
2) I represent an area with a lot of unmet needs. If we as a
state and city are willing to tax ourselves to this level, I believe other
issues take priorities for these funds. A subsidy for an enormous subsidy (the
largest in the history of our state) for what is essentially a privately owned
business is not one of them. Though the public sector is the largest
contributor to the stadium the revenues from the facility benefit the private
partners the most. This is a bad deal for those whose tax dollars are paying
the lion’s share for the stadium.
3) I do not like that Minneapolis taxpayers absorb the
financial risks on this project. Since this benefits private business I believe
it is they who should carry the risk. The public contribution of the City of
Minneapolis, which will reach around $675 million over the life of the project,
comes from a combination of sales taxes that currently support the Minneapolis
Convention Center. These same taxes will now be expected to support the
building and operations of the new stadium, improvements to the Target Center
and ongoing support for the Convention Center. Redirecting these revenues
limits future city councils’ flexibility in making spending choices, incurs
risks that could raise property taxes in the future and does not acknowledge these
types of public facilities’ aging costs (which require greater ongoing
In a wonderfully reasoned letter
, State Senator John Marty
argues against the public subsidy for the stadium. The facts in this letter
note that each Vikings ticket sold for the next 30 years (provided all games
sell out) will carry a public subsidy of $77. Also noted is the real cost of
the full time construction jobs that will be created by the stadium – a projected
public subsidy of $1 million per job.
Likely at the City Council’s Committee of the Whole
we will vote on whether or not the city “accepts” the Special Legislation in
the stadium bill with the full council
voting to confirm the next day.
Mondays with Robert
Council Member Lilligren
has always believed that it's important for people like you and me to have
access to government. Robert remains committed to that value today. For that
reason, Council Member Lilligren makes himself available to community member visits on a walk-in
and appointment basis.
You can meet with Robert on
the first four Mondays of the month at each of the neighborhoods he represents.
Call or email Alondra at 673-2206 or firstname.lastname@example.org to
schedule an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome, however - you will be asked to
wait if there is a scheduled appointment.
NOTE: On City holidays office hours will be cancelled. There will be no community office hours on Monday May 28th due to the Memorial Day holiday.
First Monday of the
Whittier Alliance, 10 E. 25th Street
9:30am - 11:30am
Second Monday of the
Phillips West, 2400 Park Ave.
Center for Changing
9:30am - 11:30am
Third Monday of the
Stevens Square, 1925 Nicollet Ave.
9:30am - 11:30am
Fourth Monday of the
Ventura Village, 2323 11th Ave. S.
2nd Floor of Phillips
9:30am - 11:30am
May is American Indian Month
On the morning of May 1, Council Member Lilligren joined hundreds of Native American families, leaders, and allies to kick-off this year's American Indian Month.
Wearing regalia, ribbon shirts, and shawls march participants assembled at Cedar Field and coalesced at the Minneapolis American Indian Center where Council Member Lilligren served as master of ceremony. This year's kick-off parade joined efforts with the American Indian Wellness Fair and the organizing committee prepared to receive 1,000 people at the Center. Among these attendees included State Representative Susan Allen, State Representative Karen Clark, Mayor R.T. Rybak, Council Member Gary Schiff, Council Member Meg Tuthill, and Minneapolis School Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson.
Events and presentations highlighting the contributions and rich cultural traditions of Minnesota's Indigenous communities will be taking place throughout May, please visit the City of Minneapolis' Neighborhood & Community Relations American Indian Month Community Events Calendar
to get involved!
New Biking Videos
Environmental Coordinating Team - Join us!
The Minneapolis Environmental Coordinating Team engages the expertise of various City departments
that are associated with Minneapolis' environmental issues. Coordination among
City departments is critical to achieving sustainability. The Mayor, City Council Members and the public is welcome. The next quarterly meetings are scheduled for July 25 from
10:30-12:00 and October 25 from 9:30-11:00 in Room 333 of City Hall. For more
information please visit the Sustainability website
or contact Gayle Prest at