Ward 6 News ~ May 14, 2012

Minneapolis Ward 6 Council Member Robert Lilligren
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:

1) 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 stadium bill 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 investment).
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 meeting 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.
Robert Lilligren

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 alondra.cano@minneapolismn.gov 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 Month
Whittier Alliance, 10 E. 25th Street
9:30am - 11:30am
Second Monday of the Month
Phillips West, 2400 Park Ave.
Center for Changing Lives
9:30am - 11:30am
Third Monday of the Month
Stevens Square, 1925 Nicollet Ave.
9:30am - 11:30am
Fourth Monday of the Month
Ventura Village, 2323 11th Ave. S.
2nd Floor of Phillips Community Center
9:30am - 11:30am
AmIn month

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!
Biking videos

New Biking Videos

The City of Minneapolis has new biking videos, aimed at helping residents, cars, and bicycle commuters better understand the rules and courtesies of the road. Learn more about bicycling in Minneapolis!

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 673-2931.

From the Office of City Council Vice President Robert Lilligren
350 South 5th Street, City Hall, Room 307, Minneapolis, MN 55415
Robert.Lilligren@minneapolismn.gov · Ward 6 website · (612) 673-2206

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