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Attn: Duluth cachers
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dmnrec
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Joined: 17 Mar 2005

Posts: 569

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:52 pm    Post subject: Attn: Duluth cachers Reply with quote

All of the garbage cans were removed from our city parks today as part of the mayor's lay-off plans. So, the garbage is starting to collect on the ground, even before I left work.

I received word tonight that a couple of councilors are putting together a resolution to add to the agenda on Thursday, which will contain financial options the council can take to avert the cuts to the parks and libraries.

Please take some time to call/email councilors to let them know that the city shouldn't be balancing its budget on the backs of the citizens and they have options to avert the cuts. Let them know how these cuts will affect you, your family, and your neighborhood.

Also, please try to attend the City Council meeting on Monday, August 25th at 7pm to tell them again and to show your support for your parks and libraries.


Moderator: if this is inapprpriate to post, then feel free to delete or lock.

Thanks
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5708

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although I'm not a Duluth resident I may try and send something off anyway.

I read the DNT articles - I know where you stand in all of this.
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MNMizzou
Geocacher


Joined: 23 Feb 2005

Posts: 713

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow seriously, letting garbage pile up on the ground in the parks is viewed as the most financially viable option?? How much repeat tourism does the mayor expect when visitors encounter filthy parks? Tourism equals more money, since the mayor might not comprehend that. And then on top of it when you decide OK we've got to do something, chances are the man hours and everything to get it all cleaned up will cost more than if you just left garbage cans there in the first place. I'm guessing if there is that much of a money squeeze you could do something like rank the parks in terms of how popular they are, and the ones that don't generate enough garbage for daily or weekly collection (whatever it was before the cans were removed) could be put on a rotation where they are picked up less often, so they're still there, but if it takes 2 weeks for the can to fill up don't go every week. Less labor costs and you still have clean parks that people will want to come back to. Maybe the mayor's re election slogan should be "I put the DUH in Duluth"
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bflentje
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Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4054

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MNMizzou wrote:
Wow seriously, letting garbage pile up on the ground in the parks is viewed as the most financially viable option?? How much repeat tourism does the mayor expect when visitors encounter filthy parks? Tourism equals more money, since the mayor might not comprehend that. And then on top of it when you decide OK we've got to do something, chances are the man hours and everything to get it all cleaned up will cost more than if you just left garbage cans there in the first place. I'm guessing if there is that much of a money squeeze you could do something like rank the parks in terms of how popular they are, and the ones that don't generate enough garbage for daily or weekly collection (whatever it was before the cans were removed) could be put on a rotation where they are picked up less often, so they're still there, but if it takes 2 weeks for the can to fill up don't go every week. Less labor costs and you still have clean parks that people will want to come back to. Maybe the mayor's re election slogan should be "I put the DUH in Duluth"


Sounds like a B.S. way to extort more money from the tax payers.. kind of like how the schools always pretend to shut down the bussing system when they want more money, forcing your child to walk to school on the dangerous streets.
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dmnrec
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Joined: 17 Mar 2005

Posts: 569

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Their big money saving idea on trash collection is to replace the barrels with all dumpsters. Last Friday, I pulled out from the cardboard recycling dumpster at Portman an artificial tree, a headboard, and a large piece of carpeting. I've had to deal with 3 large console TVs at the Duluth Heights dumpster in the past month. With the TV switch coming, this is only the beginning. The people who do that kind of dumping justify it because they think their tax dollars already paid for that dumpster (I've asked them)....imagine if all Duluthians did that, what the garbage costs would be! Myself and the other 4 rec specs, out of 6 that were laid off, were the ones that dealt with those types of issues, quickly and efficiently.

The mayor is rating all of the rec centers by usage, condition, and community support....basically, pitting neighborhood against neighborhood. His plan is 5 of the 20 buildings will not meet the wrecking ball....yet.

Volunteers are great! I couldn't get done near enough what I do without them. What scares me is the 1-2% that might be the type of person who cannot pass a background check (and with his plan, he wants to run everything with all volunteers....the city wouldn't be able to afford b/g checks on all of them). Those types of people go to where the children are....the playgrounds.

I could go on and on with all the problems with his plan...so I'll stop here.
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dornole
Geocacher


Joined: 03 Apr 2006

Posts: 464

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:53 pm    Post subject: Pay Attention!! Reply with quote

This is just an object lesson for everyone -- PAY ATTENTION to your local elections. OK I never did until I had the job of taking the minutes for the Eden Prairie City Council -- but man they have a lot of power to screw up your town and most people barely know their names and vote based on maybe a lawn sign or a statement in the paper which tells you nothing about someone's true colors. I imagine most cities post their minutes and/or broadcast their proceedings and it is well worth a little time to check those out and see who agrees with you, and who's smart and who, well, puts the DUH in Duluth. (Who puts the "pee" in EP just doesn't have the same ring . . . .) Look for anything that has a split vote and you'll see where they come down on various issues.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5708

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd rather this thread not go down a political avenue of what's right and what's wrong, but rather stay on a supportive track.

If we start going down the political road it will turn ugly. We have enough past examples of that.

Thanks.
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dmnrec
MnGCA Board


Joined: 17 Mar 2005

Posts: 569

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Councilor Greg Gilbert’s plan that he believes would save jobs and city services was partially passed by the Duluth City Council on Monday night — after more than 1˝ hours of debate and pleas from city employees and union members packed in the Council Chambers.

It’s unclear, though, if the vote will prevent city employee layoffs and service cuts such as the closure of branch libraries — all part of Mayor Don Ness’ plan to cover a $6.5 million budget deficit for 2008.

Gilbert’s plan sought to take about $1 million bound for the Housing Investment Fund, the Greater Downtown Council and Visit Duluth and redirect it into the city’s general fund.

The council voted to divert about $600,000 from the Housing Investment Fund, which had been appropriated toward helping low-to-moderate-income homeowners with sewer line repairs.

The move required approval from seven of nine councilors, which it received; councilors Todd Fedora and Jim Stauber opposed it.

After the measure passed, Gilbert withdrew requests to transfer money allocated to tourism and to the downtown council, which were opposed by many who represented those industries and who spoke to the council.

Chief Administrative Officer Lisa Potswald had no comment when asked if the money would prevent layoffs or service cuts.

During the meeting, Ness spoke against Gilbert’s proposal, but most of his argument centered on the tourism and business funding. He said the council would “make our lives easier” if it diverted the housing money, but added that he was against using money from that fund to solve the city’s budget woes. The mayor could not be reached for comment after the vote.

In supporting the resolution, Council President Roger Reinert said the money for the housing investment fund was already going to be spent, but it would be better to spend it on “core services,” such as libraries and parks.

“We have the ability tonight to spend it on something that people are telling us they’d really, really want,” he said.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5708

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dmnrec wrote:
It’s unclear, though, if the vote will prevent city employee layoffs and service cuts such as the closure of branch libraries — all part of Mayor Don Ness’ plan to cover a $6.5 million budget deficit for 2008.


IIRC, the old layoff date was Aug 31. Has that changed then, or is it still unclear? Aug 31 is only a few days away now...
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dmnrec
MnGCA Board


Joined: 17 Mar 2005

Posts: 569

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pear Head wrote:
dmnrec wrote:
It’s unclear, though, if the vote will prevent city employee layoffs and service cuts such as the closure of branch libraries — all part of Mayor Don Ness’ plan to cover a $6.5 million budget deficit for 2008.


IIRC, the old layoff date was Aug 31. Has that changed then, or is it still unclear? Aug 31 is only a few days away now...


The new lay off date is Sept. 2nd. Their original savings was built on the Aug. 29th date...so with 26 of us now getting health insurance through Sept. 30, I'm guessing the savings is not as high....
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dmnrec
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Joined: 17 Mar 2005

Posts: 569

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you read the paper this morning or watched the city council meeting last night, the city council did pass 7-2 to re-allocate $600,000 to the City's general fund to restore the city services in parks and libraries that will be cut should the lay offs happen a week from today. That vote happened beacuse of all of the emails/calls the city councilors received from the residents. One councilor said he got 89 phone calls just on the weekend alone!

The resolution that was passed specifically stated that is the purpose of the money. That's the good news.

The bad news: The mayor does not have to follow the council's intent and can spend the money any way he sees fit. Word received from people who attended the Department Directors meeting this morning is that there will be no restoration of the cuts to services and this money is going to some "new found shortfall" of $800,000.

If you are so inclined to do, please email/call the mayor with the message:

Honor the City Council Resolution and Recommendation

Rescind the Layoffs

Keep the Libraries and Parks Open

Here is his contact info:

218-310-9041/218-730-5230 or dness@duluthmn.gov
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NeoAddict
Geocacher


Joined: 29 Feb 2008

Posts: 189

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hear the Depo is trying to sell off its Tiffany window to help the city. They were trying to sell it locally, but if they sent it to New York to be sold, it could easily get 3.5 million for it.

Wonder if the Depo will foot the bill to ship it out there, and I wonder if it will sell for that much. Either way it would be a handy lump of change for the city.
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dmnrec
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Joined: 17 Mar 2005

Posts: 569

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeoAddict wrote:
I hear the Depo is trying to sell off its Tiffany window to help the city. They were trying to sell it locally, but if they sent it to New York to be sold, it could easily get 3.5 million for it.

Wonder if the Depo will foot the bill to ship it out there, and I wonder if it will sell for that much. Either way it would be a handy lump of change for the city.


Sounds like the auction house will pay for the transport....about $6,000 and they will add it to the price they fetch. It would give the city a few million, but Donny wants to apply any quick $ like that to the reserve fund....which increases the city's bond rating, which results in a lower interest rate when they sell bonds to pay for the $40 million hockey arena....he's not going to use it for the current budget problems...same with selling the park land at the end of Park Point.

Heard yesterday, that the last 4 employees after Jan. 1st which will consist of a registered dietitian, a public info coordinator, a golf turned zoo director turned what ever he needs to be this week, and a clerical are going to "rebuild the parks dept". Very disheartening to hear, rebuilding a parks dept with people that have no background in recreation to begin with Crying or Very sad
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NeoAddict
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Joined: 29 Feb 2008

Posts: 189

PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, the system is pretty f'd up in my opinon. It's unfortunate that the parks system has to suffer for it.

Now I hear they aren't going to sell the Tiffany window after all. People are asking for donations to keep it in Duluth.

JUST SELL IT ALREADY.
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dmnrec
MnGCA Board


Joined: 17 Mar 2005

Posts: 569

PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeoAddict wrote:
Yeah, the system is pretty f'd up in my opinon. It's unfortunate that the parks system has to suffer for it.

Now I hear they aren't going to sell the Tiffany window after all. People are asking for donations to keep it in Duluth.

JUST SELL IT ALREADY.


It would have been interesting to do a survery pre-Tiffany window hoopla asking people if they knew what/where it was....maybe I'm just uncultured, I didn't even know it existed.
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