Breezy Point resident taxpayers should attend the budget hearing hosted by your city council Monday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. at city hall. It will be a good opportunity to help our elected neighbors reconsider the proposed 24.5 percent Breezy Point property tax increase.
Cities such as Breezy Point have the dubious distinction of proposing this unprecedented property tax increase in place of an income tax increase that legislators last session dared not enact. They instead reduced traditional state aid to cities and eliminated the homestead tax credit formerly paid to a city by the state.
In Breezy Point, a fast-growing city with a whole lot of room to grow, many don't have and don't necessarily want paved streets, curb and gutter, city sewer and water. So we don't need a lot of revenue to support a modest city government.
In Breezy Point we don't have a great deal of infrastructure other than a hefty street department budget, basic police force and firefighting service through agreements with neighboring communities.
The good news: The Pequot Lakes School District portion of our property taxes will go up only slightly despite the cost of a new elementary school. The county portion is virtually unchanged.
The best things we have in Breezy Point are free: a clear night sky with stars you can see, some trees, some quiet roads and even a skiing/hiking trail or two.
Construction of new homes, a new resort restaurant, and golf course timeshare units in Breezy Point should boost tax revenue and offset state aid cuts. Some of us wonder why Breezy Point can't do what similarly fast-growing neighbor, Crosslake, proposes: Decrease property taxes next year.
Violence and women
Gov. Pawlenty, let's pray for Dru Sjodin and her family. Let's not talk about capital punishment. It doesn't look good. If you care about protecting women and children from violent men and sexual predators, why did you recommend a $2 million dollar cut in programs to help victims? Since 2000, the Minnesota Legislature has decimated funding for sexual assault and intimate partner violence programs. If we can't afford to help victims, how can we afford to execute perpetrators?
When you exploit Sjodin's disappearance, you perpetuate the myth that women are most vulnerable to the stranger in the trenchcoat. The reality is harder to stomach. Women and children are most vulnerable when they enter their homes, not when they step outside it. Family members, and not depraved strangers, cause the vast majority of domestic and sexual violence against women and children.
If one in three men in Minnesota contracted testicular cancer, we would be talking about a statewide task force to identify and eradicate the problem. Legislative funding for such a program would be a non-negotiable line item.
In the U.S., one in three women will be the victims of intimate partner violence. In response, our governor floats test balloons about capital punishment and the media reminds women not to park next to sinister vans.
Pierz and 61 others
Olson's TV program
Alderman Bob Olson's TV program "What's Bob About" will be shown on cable Channel 8, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 17.
Bob's guest will be Bert Edquist, Oak Lawn Township, who will describe some concerns he has identified dealing with Brainerd city staff on the Wonderland Park road improvement project and also concerns of why city staff is seldom, if ever, held accountable by the city council when mistakes are made.
What have we gained?
"As the guerrilla war against Iraqi insurgents intensifies, American soldiers have begun wrapping entire villages in barbed wire. ..
"So far, the new approach appears to be succeeding in diminishing the threat to American soldiers. But it appears to be coming at the cost of alienating many of the people the Americans are trying to win over. Abu Hishma is quiet now, but it is angry, too. " -- By Dexter Filkins, New York Times
I saw this article recently. I can't believe that we're using tactics which compare to Israel's response to the Palestinians. Those tactics which are so effective in creating ever-expanding terrorist attacks and reprisals.
If we succeed in alienating the Iraqis, what have we gained?
Patricia W. Scott
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