In most ofd the the United States, a “Public Hearing” is something that some variety of official body has to get, y’know, opinion from the public.
In Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and any place under the jurisdiction of the Met Council, “Public Meetings” are the equivalent of “DMV Eye Tests”; they are a ticket-punching formality that some government bureaucracy’s form says you have to do before you get the goodies you want from the taxpayer.
In the Metro Area, it’s included a vast swathe of “public hearings” on a wide range of issues where the public may or may not have been bitterly opposed, for mildly in favor for whatever reason – but are utterly irrelevant, because the various levels of government have already made up their minds; subjects like:
- The Blue Line
- The Green Line
- Target Center
- Target Field
- TCF Stadium
- USBank Stadium (AKA “Darth Vader’s Lake Cabin”)
- The “Minnesota United” soccer stadium
- The bike lanes down Jefferson and Charles in Saint Paul, and 42nd Street in Minneapolis.
- Best Buy’s corporate headquarters
And, latest but far from least, Saint Paul’s proposed sick time ordinance:
At a mayoral breakfast on Jan. 26, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman announced that efforts to craft a paid sick leave mandate in Minnesota’s capital city would roll out with input from the business community.
Dozens of pages of internal emails from the mayor’s office and other City Hall officials dating back to a year ago suggest just the opposite.
By the time Coleman made his first public statements on earned sick time, his office had already completed a 12-page draft ordinance three weeks beforehand.
On Jan. 7, the mayor’s policy director Nancy Homans circulated the draft proposal in an email to City Council President Russ Stark and other likely sponsors of the controversial mandate that drew stiff opposition from business leaders.
Libby Kantner, legislative aide to St. Paul City Council Member Chris Tolbert, shared an earlier version of the draft ordinance with Stark and other City Hall contacts on Dec. 23.
They’ll do your thinking for you, peasant.