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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Neighborhood Councils Not Representative of the Citizens of Saint Paul

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48 Comments:

Blogger Bob said...

St. Paul / Report: Councils 'need some help'
Citizen group makes recommendations
BY TIM NELSON
Pioneer Press
TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press
Article Last Updated:09/11/2007 12:18:11 AM CDT

St. Paul's 32-year-old neighborhood council system is broken and the city needs to fix it.

So says a report on the city's district councils, published Monday by the St. Paul chapter of the League of Women Voters.

The city's 17 district councils are "not very representative, not communicating well and need some help," said Roberta Megard, a former community organizer and City Council member, who helped study the system for the report. "Since 1994, they've been more and more on their own, and it's not serving the councils well or the city well."

The independent councils share about $1.2 million a year from the city, as well as grants, donations and revenue from various activities.

The 18-page report comes in the wake of damaging developments among the district councils, set up in 1975 to encourage grass-roots citizen involvement in the city:

The community organizer for the downtown-based CapitolRiver Council was convicted of embezzling more than $70,000 from the organization in 2003.

The West Side Citizens Organization has been wracked by controversy over the Bridges of St. Paul real estate development.

The Highland District Council's finances were found in serious disarray after the community organizer quit.

"There have been over the years a few bumps, as we look at it, but it's not so serious that anybody would recommend that the councils not exist," Megard said. "When you look at the things that they do, the city gets a tremendous amount of work from the councils and volunteers."

The councils aid in some of the most basic work of government, from block-by-block crime-prevention programs to organizing weekly recycling pickups. The Macalester-Groveland Council has a drop-in child care program and the Greater East Side Council offers adult English language classes.

But the system has been drifting from its original mission, according to the report, particularly concerning oversight from City Hall, where a citywide coordinator position was eliminated in 1994. Financial standards and governance have suffered as a result, the report said.

In the Highland neighborhood, where controversy has been intense, Highland District Council President Bill Poulos hailed the League of Women Voters report and called its recommendations "much-needed reform." A takeover of the council earlier this year, led by Poulos and local Republicans, found the organization as much as $50,000 in arrears to the IRS.

"It's surprisingly not uncommon that when you have an elected board with a lot of turnover that they're delegating responsibility for things that they shouldn't be," Poulos said.

In addition to more city oversight and annual "independent financial reviews" for each council, the report recommends:

Separating administrative functions from programs, possibly to aid in administrative cooperation.

Better communication with residents, through newsletters and Web sites.

A return to a focus on residents and businesses within the district.

Volunteer and nonprofit training for staff and council officials.

Authors of the report said reforms are critical now, for several reasons.

The Central Corridor light-rail line, scheduled to open on University Avenue starting in 2014, will have an enormous impact on the surrounding neighborhoods, Megard said.

The proposed Bridges of St. Paul project may come back some day and may require more neighborhood input to shepherd it successfully through city zoning and City Council processes.

More important, though, said author Marion Watson, the city has decades of citizen input that can't be allowed to languish: "Neighborhood input is essential no matter what you're going to try to do, and St. Paul has always been known as a city of neighborhoods. The records show these councils have been extremely useful in that regard."

The League of Women Voters plans to make a formal presentation to the district councils Thursday at a meeting in Como Park. Megard and former City Council member and County Commissioner Ruby Hunt are also planning to present their findings to the City Council this fall.

To learn more: www.ci.stpaul.mn.us/ esidents/ districtcouncils.html. The League of Women Voters report is at www.lwvsp.org/publications/ district_councils.pdf.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Hi All,

The future of block clubs and district councils is forums like
"A Democracy Town Hall Meeting".

This is the only way to bring people together who do not have the time or maybe the physical capacity to attend a neighborhood meeting.

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good point Bob. I participated in the study and was interviewed by the Leauge. The District Councils are always looking for ways to be more inclusive but have never invested either the staff time or volunteer time to look at interactive forms of communication like this.

As you know, one of my (part time) jobs is a staff to a district council and I view this kind of communication to the public as valuable. You may not agree with what I have said, but you have to admit that I do a good job of explaining what the City might have been thinking. For most people that is the first step to either understanding or changing things... (some kind of answer to the question, what were they thinking when they...?)

Over the years I have "fought City Hall" on many issues either as a board member of or staff person for a district council. To successfully do this you have to have some idea why the City does what it does in order to show them a better way. That is why I bother to argue that it isn't because they are evil or corrupt, its because they don't see things the way you do. If you want to change policies you have to understand what they are thinking and then show them how what you desire workd better.

Anyway, that is what the District Councils are for and we need to look at better ways to use the net.

JMONTOMEPPOF

Chuck Repke

10:40 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Chuck, I value your input here GREATLY. I don't always agree with you but, how can we seek the truth if we all agree with each other?

11:05 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

I agree with the article.

Overall, the members of the DCs are not that representative of the district. I have encouraged people on A-Democracy to get involved,as I do in my own DC (which is not mentioned). Our council is not a reflective as I'd like but, its moving in the right direction.

We haven't had the money some of these other council have had to even come close to being able to produce that kind of mismanagement this article points out.
We are one of the poorer, if not the cash poorest DC yet, we have the biggest population and geography with the most diverse problem. Gotta love that old funding formula.

By the way, Chuck fought hard and won for equity in funding for the councils last year. Before that, it appeared that the more affluent neighborhoods received more dollars. It absolutely had to do with who was at the table in 1975.

What's the beef with the District Councils Bob?
Eric M.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Eric, it is my position these district councils have purposely not been inclusive of all walks of life in the city. (Kind of like what they do over at Saint Paul Issues and Forums, hand pic who they are willing to hear from).

The councils have become tools of the democrat party to fulfill an agenda and secure votes for democrats.

If more citizens were involved, elderly people would NOT have been condemned from their homes over housing code violations.

We wouldn't be blaming landlords and businessmen for crime! The blame would be put on the doorsteps of the people responsible for these social ills. The police dept., mayor and city council, the OFFENDERS!

Presently at these neighborhood meetings the city comes in and sets the stage of laying the blame of our social ills on landlords and businesses before they have a question and answer session.

I KNOW if we could educate and hear from the masses and not a chosen few, politicians in this city would be voted out left and right. We would have a "REAL" crime strategy and our leadership wouldn't be using back door violations to civil rights to fight crime.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

Bob,
I'm going to challenge you paragraph by paragraph:
-----------------------------
Bob:
Eric, it is my position these district councils have purposely not been inclusive of all walks of life in the city. (Kind of like what they do over at Saint Paul Issues and Forums, hand pic who they are willing to hear from).
Eric:
I don't know about others but mine, you just walk in and vote or run if you live or work in the district. About 200 people show up. The election meeting is held in the evening AND, you don't have to be present to be nominated and voted one.
What's your deal with that?
---------------------------------
Bob:
The councils have become tools of the democrat party to fulfill an agenda and secure votes for democrats.
Eric:
How is that Bob? (Its fucking DEMOCRATIC not democrat). Please back up with you say with a sample of this agenda. I'm the Party Secretary and I have yet to see the DFL work through the District Councils for anything. Hell, we only meet three or four times a year. So, who is deciding and who's executing.
Saint Paul, like most big cities, is a Democratic town. Most voters vote Democrat straight down the ticket. So if most voters and residents are Democrats, then most activists- for whatever you're active about- will be Democrats. That's how the numbers work. No conspiracy- town full of democrats- so most active people are going to be democrats.
Because of what I wrote above, securing votes is not necessary for the party as it is for individuals. As far as the party is concerned, they're all DFLers anyway. So, some savvy individual politicos can certainly use the councils for their own election purposes, but there is no need for the party to do it.
----------------------------------
Bob,
If more citizens were involved, elderly people would NOT have been condemned from their homes over housing code violations.

Eric:
Housing code doesn't get its power from the District Councils, it comes from the mayor office with oversight from the city council. As a District Council, we can complain to them about unfair enforcement and lack of enforcement in some areas- and we do. I have told you before, I have seniors and families come to us asking for help with landlords more than their property rights. That's the truth. You don't have to be on the council to be on a committee or come to the council for action.
-----------------------------

Bob:
We wouldn't be blaming landlords and businessmen for crime! The blame would be put on the doorsteps of the people responsible for these social ills. The police dept., mayor and city council, the OFFENDERS!

Eric:
It is and we strongly supported and do support more cops on the streets, more after school programs, longer library hours, longer rec centers hours with staff that provide homework help, and neighborhood buses to freely take young people from rec center to library to school- after school.
---------------------------------

Bob:
Presently at these neighborhood meetings the city comes in and sets the stage of laying the blame of our social ills on landlords and businesses before they have a question and answer session.

Eric:
Bull effin crap.
Where or when has this happened. The District Council is not a tool or department of the city- its the voice of the neighborhood and at odds with the city quite often. Any council that's running as another level of bureaucracy for the city needs to be disbanded and we'll take their funding over here on the East side. Of course we have to work with the city to get things done but, we should and are not beholden to them.
-----------------------------------

Bob:
I KNOW if we could educate and hear from the masses and not a chosen few, politicians in this city would be voted out left and right. We would have a "REAL" crime strategy and our leadership wouldn't be using back door violations to civil rights to fight crime.

Eric:
The only way to do this is to organize. You can't do it all from a keyboard.

Eric M.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you are being a little disengenuous Eric. I have been to several neighborhood meetings and when the subject of crime, etc. comes up I have never heard the conversation go more than 2 minutes before they are at the doorstep of the landlord talking about what they can do to him with city powers. When you blame third parties for the acts of others, it doesn't take much inteligence to figure out that the problem is just going to keep growing and it has.

12:52 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Eric; on district councils-

I don't know about others but mine, you just walk in and vote or run if you live or work in the district. About 200 people show up. The election meeting is held in the evening AND, you don't have to be present to be nominated and voted one.
What's your deal with that?

Bob:

What is wrong with this is just like you said, 200 people showed up to vote. Even less show up for meetings. Are you OK with this? I'm not. Has there ever, in the history of your district council notices sent door to door to "ALL" the citizens in your district to inform them of a meeting or what the agenda is for an up coming meeting, or for a vote? Shouldn't giving notices to the citizens of meetings and the agenda be the priority of the district councils?
I think this should be where the bulk of the moneys allocated to them should be spent.

Reminds me of when I lived in Saint Louis Park. The notices were always sent out AFTER the meeting. And only to a select few. There was actually 3 people on the neighborhood council were I lived in Saint Louis Park. They were not happy I started sitting in on the meetings.
---------------------------------
Bob:

The councils have become tools of the democrat party to fulfill an agenda and secure votes for democrats.
Eric:
How is that Bob?

Bob: Eric, you know I am not the only one who feels this way. We have heard Mitch Bergs story saying as much. We have heard from the republicans who have taken over Highland District council. I am sure it is not a conspiracy, but democrats have joined hands in controling these councils. Controling the voice of the citizens input into city affairs.
----------------------------------
Bob,
If more citizens were involved, elderly people would NOT have been condemned from their homes over housing code violations.

Eric:
Housing code doesn't get its power from the District Councils, it comes from the mayor office with oversight from the city council. As a District Council, we can complain to them about unfair enforcement and lack of enforcement in some areas- and we do. I have told you before, I have seniors and families come to us asking for help with landlords more than their property rights. That's the truth. You don't have to be on the council to be on a committee or come to the council for action.

Bob: The current crime startegy is support by the district councils. I know if citizens were educated on the real issues of crime in this city they wouldn't be looking to blame innocent people like landlords and businessmen. These citzens come to you with that BS Eric because they have been programmed by democrats in power to believe innocent people like landlords and businessmen are responsible for crime. It has been pounded into their heads by city officials and a complicit local news media for years.
-----------------------------------
Bob:
Presently at these neighborhood meetings the city comes in and sets the stage of laying the blame of our social ills on landlords and businesses before they have a question and answer session.

Eric:
Bull effin crap.
Where or when has this happened. The District Council is not a tool or department of the city- its the voice of the neighborhood and at odds with the city quite often. Any council that's running as another level of bureaucracy for the city needs to be disbanded and we'll take their funding over here on the East side. Of course we have to work with the city to get things done but, we should and are not beholden to them.

Bob:

Eric this happens all the time with meetings (not nessarily district council meetings) set up like the one by Helgen at the Bruce Vento Elementry school. You know the meeting Helgen attempted to kick me out of when he didn't like what I had to say to the citizens.

And as far as organizing. IT CAN BE DONE from a keyboard Eric. I proved that with the success of this forum. When the A Democracy News Letter comes out this forum will be the center stage of political input and civic affairs in Saint Paul. Count on it!

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

eric knows all to well how to silence a voice of opposition, ask martin owings.

1:47 PM  
Blogger Nancy Lazaryan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nancy, fuck you! get a clue. i don't need to get to know my neighbors to expect honest and responsible governing from my city.

I have lived in my neighborhood for 20 years. I know my neighbors they know me. We aren't the kind of people who get into everyones business. We say Hi and goodbye and that is about as far as it goes. You start your lecturing and I am out of here.

Geesh, I thought you learned a lesson last time you started your mommy shit.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Well 12:52
I'm not being disingenuous about anything I said. Being one who has headed a council, I can draw on very real incidents. You're making claims but you don't say which council or even what was the complaint. That could clarify a lot. Allegedly selling drugs is different than having loud parties with bottles and cans spread down the street on Thursday through Saturday nights four weeks in a row.

Sometimes if there are renters who are being a constant nuisances, instead of the council kicking the halls of justice down and calling code enforcement or the cops- we inform the landlord of the complaints. Many times, the landlord has no clue that his tenants are being a nuisance in some form. They are sometimes thankful and promise to handle the situation. Others tell us to go to hell.

The council doesn't go out and seek these issues, they are brought to the council because people want some solution.

I'm sure you can appreciate some due diligence on the councils part by checking with the property owner and other neighbors in the area before starting the problem property process and having the owners property being noted by the police and code enforcement.

Please don't confuse the District Council actions with those of say, ACORN.

Keep going to meetings but, tell us which council and what was the complaint. You don't have to leave your name.

Eric M.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

As far as notification goes Bob, for a specific crime meeting (like a rape, murder or violent break-in) that we would have jointly with the police department, we mail the immediate area.

For the annual meeting where elections are held, we flyer every household, do phone calls to the list and have a half page ad in the East Side review at least two weeks out.

When there is a licensing request (liquor, auto sales and repair, new construction), as required by city code we flyer and inform every household within the required area and go beyond that double.

So, yes. We do enough. Let me know how we can do more.

The complaints from regular citizens Bob is not BS. You seem to think you are smarter than all of us here and you, and only you know the truth that the DFL has 'programmed' people to believe lies. That's some conspiracy Bob.
Good luck with it.

Eric M.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Eric said- The complaints from regular citizens Bob is not BS. You seem to think you are smarter than all of us here and you, and only you know the truth that the DFL has 'programmed' people to believe lies. That's some conspiracy Bob.
Good luck with it.

Bob- Eric,it is bull shit when a citizen claims it is the landlord or corner store businessman's fault for our social ills.

Of coarse this is what politicians want to hear because it alleviates the pressure from them to do something effective about crime. It takes the heat off the polling booths.

The city's answer to crime concerning housing is; We will chase them out of their home to commit crime someplace else. At least it won't be on your block.

Never made the claim to be smarter than anyone Eric. In fact I have said I am just an average Joe who happens to see the big picture like so many others who have educated themselves on this subject.

I have lived in the same home for 12 years and NOT ONCE have I ever gotten an invitation to any kind of meeting concerning public affairs in the city from my district council. Which had been run by democrats until lately. I probably will get notices now since republicans are in positions on the council. I highly doubt everyone in your district has recieved a notice to a meeting Eric.

If you would really like me to prove this point I can go door to door in your district with my video camera and post it on utube for all to see.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Nancy Lazaryan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many lanlords have you notified about those meeting Eric? NONE! After owning rentaql property for many yreas in the city I have NEVER EVER been notifies of any block club meetings, district council meetings, etc. I do however get unsigned threatening letters all the time from people who claim to be neighbors. Am I supposed to act on those anonymous letters? Would you? Would anyone?

5:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NANCY- Oh, but you need the government to be
"Big Brother" and fix the problems in YOUR neighborhood.

ME- Nancy, I am not looking for big brother either. I just want the police to arrest criminals. it is that simple.

NANCY- You need to have the government create and fund "block clubs" because the people in the neighborhood don't take the time to "be neighbors" on their own...they need the government to handle that aspect of your life.

ME- I never said this either. We don't have a block club and don't need one.

NANCY-If you "say hi" to your neighbors and just go about your life, then fine..that is YOUR choice.

But if YOUR neighborhood is "falling apart"...don't look to government to fix it.

ME- If my neighbor committed a crime ARREST him I am not a freckin social worker.

NANCY- The abuses YOUR government are doing upon ME and the "others" is because YOU, the people of St. Paul ASKED THEM TO DO IT.

ME- Now you are contridicitng yourself. I thought this was your government too. I know it is mine and I expect them to act like leaders not thugs.

NANCY- And so I am suing YOUR government
...for doing what YOU wanted
...the neighborhood fixed
...without you having to do anything, personally, about fixing it.

ME- this is a silly statement. we should give you a hammer, nails and badge and you can use your money to repair peoples homes.

NANCY- Anonymous, say "hi" to your neighbor for me...keep playing the idiot, that YOU have nothing to do with how YOUR employees are conducting business...

ME- I never said this you said it and it is stupid. I am concerned about my city and how it is operated that is why I vote and will be paying more attention to this forum.

You are so full of yourself.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Do whatever you want and time allows Bob. Be sure to stop by the District Council office so you can interview the young people we pay to distribute to the grids in the district. And, when you are impressed with our community notification, realize that we have the most people and geography of any district council, go back and find what the other councils are doing.

This tears your theory apart. See, if I'm telling the truth, then people are choosing not to be involved in the District council, if I'm lying them we're involved in your Grand Conspiracy that only you and people you like can see.

Stop being a dope and using your own subjective viewpoint (I never got a flyer from my council) to support your objective statement (District Councils don't inform people about meetings). Its very transparent.

Pick your whine, is it against your Highland Park District Council, the District Council system or my Payne Phalen District Council.

Just at the last meeting three open seats were filled by the board- after two months of advertising. Five people showed up.

Bob, Democrats have controlled Saint Paul since the 60's. Using them as a straw man in your arguments as an excuse why people support policies you disagree with is making you sound like a bitter ol' sourpuss. I know you're better than that.

Corner stores to sell 40 oz and cigarette papers plus drug paraphernalia (very small baggies, Philly Blunt Cigars individually, all kinds of 'pipes' etc) is a huge problem in neighborhoods with the social ills we have. Couple that with underage persons buying and its illegal. Do it enough times, you lose your privilege to operate a business in Saint Paul. Or, you should.

Talk to any of your neighbors who may live down the street from one of these hood stores and come back to us with their answers.

Eric M.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

You asked for it Eric.

I am going to do a man on the street in your district. My guess is MOST people have never even heard of a district council. I bet MOST do not even know the Mayor or city council members names.

You say you had kids delivering notices. Now that's funny Eric. I have had years of experience with delivery. And unless you are babysitting folks they do not do the job.

We need another party's representation to keep a checks and balances on current affairs in the city. A one party system has lead to corruption.

I'm looking forward to showing you and others how ignorant the masses are to what is going on around them. Your district is no more informed than any other and like I said I have lived here in Highland for 12 years and not once have I received a notice of any kind of meeting for the community. I hear the same thing from other citizens across the city.

Many of us are wondering what you folks do with our tax dollars once you get them.

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric, you ignored my statement. Tell us how and why you run martin off.

you ride shotgun over our meetings. we don't have a voice unless we agree with you.

east sider--- who no longer attends bogus neighborhood meetings.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Well, as Nancy has been trying to tell you, get off your fat asses and find out what happens with it. Its what I did. Nobody said anything about the council system to me, I read about it and went to the office to find out when the next election was, printed off flyers, went door to door to a few of my neighbors homes to ask them to come out and support and VIOLA! i was on the Board without one of those current members ever even meeting me. It ain't some secret society.

Not sure how your camera will prove one misstatement you made but its still a free country.

Your problem Bob, aside from being oppose to facts that don't line up with your wild accusations, is that your Republicans are not even trying in Saint Paul. You guys are too chicken shit and such losers on urban politics that they have no recourse but to try and pin every problem on the Democratic party.

Republicans have been abysmal failures in reaching out with their policies and priorities to minorities and city people that they gave up about 40 years ago. Its not just saint paul but more than 85% of the top 200 major cities in America are Democratically ran. I'm sure that's because we are collectively stupid according to you.

So now you got your camera to go with your blog and your paper. When are you going to get out of the cheap seats and get into the game with a candidate or some organizing? Naw, then you'd actually have to bring your asses out of your homes and get involved and motivate people on your issue or cause, and we know that won't happen.

Come on over here with your camera. But, wouldn't it be easier to go to the office and ask for the proof you seek? I know you won't have the salacious video of people saying 'huh?'.

See you soon BJ.

Eric M.

7:33 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Go to the office and do what Eric? So I can hear a fabrication of the truth. I think a man on the street door to door will prove you are not being honest.

Citizens in your district will be saying what, huh, who...I didn't know that.

I won't defend republicans. I will forward your statement to someone who may care, because I don't.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Nancy Lazaryan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:43 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

7:21
Your about five months late with that. I have never shut anyone down who disagrees with me- never. Name the month, or shove that lie back up your ass.

When presiding over a meeting, you'll rarely hear my viewpoint anyway. The Chair's job is to maintain order.

People who disagree with me, set it up for me to take their arguments apart. I love it and most times its the only excitement I get. And, since I'm about 50/50 it shows that the Board doesn't always agree with me either, I would dare say that there is a group who seems their only job is to be for whatever I'm against. Ah Democracy.

Martin shot himself in the foot. I didn't get to vote for him to stay or go. He choose to go.

Eric M.

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bob makes a good point eric. you claim every citizen in your district has been infoprmed of meetings. a video camera will tell the truth we will see who is mis representing who i guess huh.

by the way what is this deal over martin? didn't you get your way or something at a meeting and you threatend to kick his ass. well at least that is what i heard.

sounds fimiliar. didn't you threaten to kick bob's ass too over statements bob made you didn't agree with?

7:55 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Thanks Bob, that's big of you. I'll forward your message to someone who may care as well.

Nancy, I get it.

Eric M.

8:02 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

I threatened to kick Bob's ass when he sent me an email saying that 'Divas should stop playing rap music then that would keep all the niggers away'. He thought I was a white guy and being blunt about some racism. Eventually it worked out without a knuckles to face meeting.

I can't remember everything in the Martin Owing situation but this part is true, I was at my third ever District Council meeting when Martin I got into an exchange. Martin left the meeting early and came back an hour an a half later at the end of the meeting and he was really fired up. We exchanged words.

Now, Martin messed up because he left the meeting for a personal reason never indicating he was coming back. He comes back and the meeting is over, and confronts me. We get into it and it ends. It appeared that martin came back to the meeting for the purpose of confronting me. That's how a majority of people who were right there saw it. And I knew it.

That's why he was not on the board a few years ago.
---------------

Bob, if you are going to prove me to be dishonest, use my words. I said every household is flyered about the annual meeting and its advertised in the free East side Review. That happens in April. Once a month we report to on our half page in the East Side Review our meeting times and updates and invite all to come. That paper covers the entire district.
So be sure to tell them they get election flyer in early April. And we're in the East side review with more than a half page every month.

There are over 33,000 people in our district council area. Even if you found 330 people for your video, that's only .01 of the district (that's me using YOUR own justification in your earlier post).

Eric M.

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nancy- If you are not a "good neighbor" then you have no right to complain about your "bad neighbors".

Me- a good neighbor is someone who works and doesn't break the law, they maintain their property and they have every right to demand the police do something about criminal behavior on ther street. when did social services become part of good neighboring. get a life!

gang bangers have a place. prison!

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now isn't this a crying shame.

Eric said 200 people showed up for district council elections. OUT OF 33,000 people. very sad daay for saint pauls d6

Eric try using a paper someone might of heard of.

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jsxahlSo tell me.....by your challenging Bob to find 300 people like he can't do it and then using that 300 number to dismiss in advance anything Bob my be able to dig up and then trying to jam it down his throat with his own numbers used previously......well what about this Eric:

Your own admisson that only 200 people showed up for your silly "vote", well what that says to me is that the no life no mind people who show up at your atupid meetings to vote f0r corruption is even less that .01%, but you try to make us think theswe idiots have some legitimacy because of their complaints! These people do not and are not representitive of the community at large Eric. They're a bunch of no life losers with an agenda and deep seated racial predjudices. They probably only tolerate you because they are afraid of having their house burned down in the middle of the night.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Yeah, we're a bunch of racists. We have a third of our board made up of minorities.

We're to the point that once again facts don't matter. People who can spend a couple of hours once month after work are now being called corrupt and evil. You are a coward who attack decent people while hiding who you are. You probably never mattered except here. Where you can come anonymously and blast people. Well, you still don't matter. Not even enough for me to respond at length or even worry if you can ever figure out how to accomplish anything.

Congrads. You guys broke me. I give up. I'll continue on in life, with the least bit of concern of what 9:36pm thinks or tries.

10:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what I get from this exchange........

Fact-

32,800 people in d6 are not involved in community affairs.

200 people are calling the shots for 32,800 people because they either didn't know about a neighborhood meeting or just don't care.

Eric, this small group of people is hardly representative of d6. You have to concede this.

Do you have the figures of the percentage of voters from d6 in the mayoral race and city council races?

10:44 PM  
Blogger Nancy Lazaryan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So elaborate Nancy. What do you think the problem is in Saint Paul?

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

D6 is Helgan and Haas(both of who were on the District Council). North End, Como and part of Frogtown.

Eric is with D5, the Payne Phalen area, the Eastside.

They are huge. They have four council members out of seven in their district.

D6er for Haas.

12:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:11, thank you for the correction. my bad..

12:16 AM  
Blogger Nancy Lazaryan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well nancy you can call it whining, but the first step in solving a problem is to acknowlegde one exsist, And it is a fact the greater population is not represented at the voting booth. The city is guided by the voices of the complainers who feel the need to voice their concern to the city. People that don't have a gripe sit on their butt until something angers them.

12:56 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Eric, I will lay off the DFL bashing. It is counter productive to the forum for me the host to state my opinion concerning issues like this.

All of us who care have a lot of work ahead of us in getting people involved in our communities.

I am catching some grief from long time members who are democrats and I have re-evaluated my position as host.

I want the forum to be inclusive of everyone.

I hope everyone understands.

1:07 AM  
Blogger Nancy Lazaryan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:47 AM  
Blogger Nancy Lazaryan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Nancy for the breath of fresh air.

A couple thoughts.

People need to realize when they point their finger at someone else, they point three fingers back to themselves.

If they want to attract people who make a differance, that person will ask if the city councils or other groups deserve their involvement.

With St. Paul facing a $100 million mudslide, and its following lawsuits, they need all the support they can get, other wise it is the Land of the Lost.

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nancy,

Your comments about building our communities remind me of a world class magazine article by Theodore Roosevelt from 1900. This is EXACTLY the approach used in our country in the past. The entire article can be found in a Google search under "Fellow Feeling as a Political Factor".

I have copied the first few paragraphs below.

Eric, people are important.

Robert Glenn Gausman

* * * * *

Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). The Strenuous Life. 1900.

FELLOW-FEELING AS A POLITICAL FACTOR
PUBLISHED IN THE "CENTURY," JUNE, 1900

FELLOW-FEELING, sympathy in the broadest sense, is the most important factor in producing a healthy political and social life. Neither our national nor our local civic life can be what it should be unless it is marked by the fellow-feeling, the mutual kindness, the mutual respect, the sense of common duties and common interests, which arise when men take the trouble to understand one another, and to associate together for a common object. A very large share of the rancor of political and social strife arises either from sheer misunderstanding by one section, or by one class, of another, or else from the fact that the two sections, or two classes, are so cut off from each other that neither appreciates the other's passions, prejudices, and, indeed, point of view, while they are both entirely ignorant of their community of feeling as regards the essentials of manhood and humanity.
This is one reason why the public school is so admirable an institution. To it more than to any other among the many causes which, in our American life, tell for religious toleration is due the impossibility of persecution of a particular creed. When in their earliest and most impressionable years Protestants, Catholics, and Jews go to the same schools, learn the same lessons, play the same games, and are forced, in the rough-and-ready democracy of boy life, to take each at his true worth, it is impossible later to make the disciples of one creed persecute those of another. From the evils of religious persecution America is safe.
From the evils of sectional hostility we are, at any rate, far safer than we were. The war with Spain was the most absolutely righteous foreign war in which any nation has engaged during the nineteenth century, and not the least of its many good features was the unity it brought about between the sons of the men who wore the blue and of those who wore the gray. This necessarily meant the dying out of the old antipathy. Of course embers smolder here and there; but the country at large is growing more and more to take pride in the valor, the self-devotion, the loyalty to an ideal, displayed alike by the soldiers of both sides in the Civil War. We are all united now. We are all glad that the Union was restored, and are one in our loyalty to it; and hand in hand with this general recognition of the all-importance of preserving the Union has gone the recognition of the fact that at the outbreak of the Civil War men could not cut loose from the ingrained habits and traditions of generations, and that the man from the North and the man from the South each was loyal to his highest ideal of duty when he drew sword or shouldered rifle to fight to the death for what he believed to be right.

8:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With a turnout such as the one St.Paul had yesterday leads me to believe that the people of St.Paul feel that the City Council really is NOT an effective part of the city so they don't care who represents their area, if the citizens felt that the city council was productive in the interest of St.Paul more then 5000 citizens would have been out to cast their vote.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob - Thank you once again for providing a great venue to discuss issues openly.

I'd have to say that Eric's statement about what happened between us while I was a board member of the D5 council contains truth, but leaves out some critical pieces of information.

For instance I confronted Eric, that much is true. I confronted him verbally, he responded with a physical threat that is also the truth.

Unfortunately, I was confronting him over an important issue of respect and consdieration surrounding the role of D5 in the community, something I didn't do a very good job of articulating and was angry and persistent about at the time. Mostly because I felt I was advocating for voices that were not being heard and partly because I saw Eric as a political oportunist.

Eric is right that he didn't get me kicked off the D5 Board, I made a personal choice to resign my position.

I only made this choice after an emergency meeting was called wherein it was decided that I and NOT Eric was to be reprimanded and put on a "verbal probationary period" as a result of the confrontation that took place between he and I.

I thought the decision showed a lack of foresight and justice given the circumstances and felt as a result that I needed to walk away from that group.

One of the real difficult parts in all of it and I've shared this with Eric is that he was never held accountable for his own role in the incident and if it were me...even if only to myself, I would question why that was?

In the final analysis, I don't think I shot myself in the foot as Eric put it, instead I made a decision to leave based on my own desire to disassociate with D5 as I would have with any other group that would act in judgement without a careful and thoughtful measure of the TRUTH.

After all, this body is charged with impacting the community it serves, if it could not carry out its own internal affairs with equity and fairness, how could it be expected to apply due process to issues in the wider community.

When I resigned, I tried to leave the group with one final thought... "In the end every persons true character must come to light and no matter how hard we might try it will eventually be exposed."

I'd like to think that the people in the community and those that I worked with saw me as a passionate advocate for every day people, people without a voice, people largely ignored and in some small measure I was able to help a few of them. That was my only goal as a volunteer.

As for Eric Mitchell, I don't intend to engage him in further debate over the past, he and I both know what happened that night at the Library.

I sincerely wish him every success and have faith that we can all learn from our mistakes to become better people and better advocates for our community.

And while I may not always like his methods, I thank him for his service to the community and his passion around the issues he believes in.

As for me, I've moved on to other, more persoanlly menaningful things like raising my two son's, being a good husband, working at my job and getting involved in some of my hobbies, like ART.

If you want to see some of my paintings (Maybe Eric would like to purchase one) check out my site at:

http://art1064mdo.blogspot.com/

Comments and feedback on the art are always welcome.

Once again, thanks to Bob for providing the venue.

Thank you!!

Martin Owings

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for coming here and posting Martin. I hope to see you back here again. We can always use more pople who have a "realistic" outlook on life and what it should and shouldn't be.

I thought your comments on the operations of D5 were interesting in that your advocating for the small guy was met with "physical threats." That would make you the victim, and what I found so interesting is that true to form, the D5 group wants to blame and punish you while the instigator walks free. You see Martin, most of the bitching here all boils down to the same type of treatment toward landlords concerning the actions of their tenants. The lanldord gets the blame while the perp walks away free with no responsibility or accountability at all, and it is downright unfair, not to mention the fact that these District Councils tactics of blaming the landlords and then getting the coity to act on it has not even started to make the problems better. The problems get worse every year.

To answer your question Martin about how these bodies can be expected to "apply due process to issues in the wider community when they can't even carry out their own affairs with fairness and equity,".....well .....quite simply they do not Martin, and that has been part of the complaints here all along.

Everyone know there are slumlords who don't take care of their property, and no one on this blog thinks that there should ne no code enforcement. They just happen to believe that code enforcement should conduct their operations with the law and without violating people's civil rights, and they have not acted that way.

Yet people like Eric come here and tell us we deserve what we get because we do not participate, and despite all the facts and evidence that has come out, he and others wants to dismiss it and say it is nothing because of some idiotic excuse that no one has investigated it. Then there is the barrage of calling people slumords, etc. You see Martin, these "identifiers" that these government types are always thrown out to give credibility to the things that people like Eric start spouting off about. That is why a lot of people do not go to these meetings. The meetings and the outcomes are not geared toward what the people in the neighborhood really want or think, they are geared toward the "Agenda" that people like Eric aqre trying to advance, and if you don't agree with that philosophy, you are met with hostility and we have seen it here many times with Eric wanting to call people out with his silly "vieled threats" that incinuate some type of physical confrontation.

I hope you keep posting here Martin. You have the knowlege of how these idiots think and operate, and we would very much enjoy your sharing that with us.

You are welcome here anytime as I am sure Bob has already told you.

5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

martin said- And while I may not always like his methods, I thank him for his service to the community and his passion around the issues he believes in.


We sure see erics passion here. gotta give him credit for that, wouldn't want to see him any other way. fits in here with bunch real well.

8:41 PM  

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