Brenda whose phone number graces all our ads was asked by several of us who skipped the big meeting to fill us in. She is a perceptive analyst and I trust her judgment.
“We had a decent showing of LDV members. I got there about 5:50 & ended up sitting in the cheap seats back a bit. Most City Councilors were there except Fedora & Gilbert. Don Ness started things out, then had to leave for another engagement but then came back again. Dixon & Company ran the show for a good full hour filling the Councilors in (or selling them the Red Plan) Between Kerry Leider, Dixon, and Bill Hansen, they talked for an hour going over a packet to the Councilors. The history, the community meetings etc. etc. as if the Council had never heard any of this before. Finally at 7:05, Nancy N started out by telling them they could ask questions about taxes & Finances. The District had a very clear & controlled agenda.
I was extremely pleased with Garry Krause, Char Gardner, and Jim Stauber. They all asked great and pointed questions. , and kept asking them. In a few cases there was silence in the room initially before Dixon jumped in to answer most of the Questions. And what he didn’t answer, in most cases Nancy N did.
I was also very grateful & pleased with Laura Congdon who was clearly emotional when talking about the day the four members voted on not to have a public referendum. She said that if they had a referendum back then it might have passed but she doesn’t think it would now. She made it clear that she believes the public should have been given the chance to vote. This was hugely helpful
Char G asked point blank about the Environmental Impact Statement & Nancy N, after some prodding, said they were not going to have to do one because they were small projects. Char also asked if they would consider doing another public survey and again after hedging, Nancy N said simply, NO.
Garry K asked about the upcoming levy. We were told long ago that they were planning on 1 ½ times increase in the per pupil but even when Garry pushed, the only reply we got was “we haven’t determined that yet” Personally I think they are trying to keep this figure under wraps because they realize that the jump in the levy would alarm folks even more.
Jim Stauber told the District that he has received hundreds of emails wanting to know why they don’t get to vote on this issue. Nancy N went on & on about delays costing 50,000 per day etc. and she had researched the issue so she felt right about it so didn’t think it needed to go to the public..
Since the Council only had about 45 min to ask questions the second half of the meeting went quicker than the first part listening to Dixon as the clock ticked away.
In the end, very few of the City Councilors got their questions asked., or answered fully before time ran out. I believe they talked abut having another meeting some time again soon
I think I jotted about 4 pages of notes down but really nothing incredibly new.
Many of us spoke to the News Tribune Reporter and Barb Olsen from the Reader. I suspect something will be in there in the morning paper.
I think everyone should email, call or write Garry K, Char G & Jim S to thank them for having the courage to confront this School Board who are ignoring our citizens. I think we should continue to write, call & email everyone else again & again so they understand how passionate we are about this issue and that we are not going away.”