One comment came in just as I ended the live blog:
"The part of this hour that will stick with me is my mayor (Coleman) claiming that librarians are part of the public safety structure. Oh please."
We do really need to look at the restructuring of government and education. If you have on police chief, one fire chief etc. for the two cities you would end up putting more people on the line where they are needed and spend less on administration.
It would also give you more local control. Each police precinct would have control over the area they cover because the big guys upstairs would need to administer and spend less time directing the guy on the street.
The guy on the street knows what is going on there and can better structure the office for the needs of that area. Same with schools and principals.
I bet virtually every state in the union has a different way to renew your tabs or license online. Why do we need 50 different ways to do that.
If the government were a business or non-profit organization that has to fight for its life everyday it would lose the fight in the first round because it is not ready to move and the world changes.
It would have been fun for the Mayors to listen to their comments from prior years and respond to them. Chris Coleman had some interesting comments on property taxes on Midday, November 7, 2005. (emphasis mine)
Eichten: Ballpark figure, assuming no major catastrophes in the city, [I notice that Coleman specifically used the term "catastrophic" to describe Pawlenty's LGA cuts] how much total increase in fees and property taxes would you tell St. Paul residents and businesses to expect over the next four years if you’re elected?
Coleman: Gary, first of all, we have been very clear from the beginning on this, despite the Mayor’s argument to the contrary. We have been clear that we are looking at approximately $8 million in additional resources that we need to put more police and firefighters on the streets of St. Paul...The issue of how much that is going to cost on local property taxes or fees and assessments really is dependent on a lot of different factors, one of which is the ability or the willingness of the state legislature to readjust some of the local government aid cuts that have been made under the Pawlenty administration...
Eichten: Let’s assume for a moment, though, that the legislature doesn’t come up with any additional money. What would that – $8 million would be the total extra amount you’d want to raise?
Coleman: Well, that’s right.
On Randy Kelly's accusation that property taxes would go up 20% under Coleman:
Coleman: The Mayor is – quite frankly, I call these “Karl Rove tactics.” You take numbers and you make them up, and then you attach – you say your opponent’s going to do this. [Property taxes have gone up 35.7% under Coleman so far.]
Coleman on his work on the city council:
Coleman: We worked with department heads, we worked with all the things to try to deliver services in the city of St. Paul without resorting to increases in the property taxes. It’s challenging, it’s difficult to do, I’ve done it. So, to suggest that I don’t have the leadership skills to do it is disingenuous. I think there’s no question I’m prepared to lead.
Any of those clips would have been good to play and hear Coleman respond to.
I could get into Rybak as well, but this post is already taking up too much space. Suffice it to say, you'll find a lot of clips from 2001 of Rybak attacking SSB for raising property taxes and pledging better relations with the state.