25 St. Paul rec centers to be left after cuts

Depending on how you look at it, St. Paul's rec centers are either evolving or simply declining. Full Story
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JDM

Saint Paul, MN

#22 Dec 16, 2009
Increase taxes 38%... and still cut programs for kids, lay off firemen, fire cops, lay off nurses . But hey, we really need to replace a high quality, self-sufficient bus way with LITE-RAIL and on-going rail subsidies.

Is anyone getting the picture of the stupidity and greed of the project??... coleman, politicians looking to become consultants, the pioneer press, all the banks, real estate companies, & money men. Lite rail is about greed, not transportation for people. Tell the U of M to keep fighting. Encourage businesses along Univ. Ave to sue. Encourage minority communities to sue. Encourage the churches that stand to be destroyed to sue.
StPaul IsCorrupt

Saint Paul, MN

#23 Dec 16, 2009
So St. Paul is knocking down rec centers because they need some minor maintaince and utilities??? What idiots!

Those buildings looked fine on TV. You know in a few years they are going to ask the state for money to build brand new ones! What a crock of s@# Mayor Coleman is doing!
tiger s mom

Minneapolis, MN

#24 Dec 17, 2009
Joe Merlot wrote:
<quoted text>
No Cheryl, you need policies that will bring more responsible families that parent their children effectively. The ongoing anti-buiness, tax the wealthy policies are serving to run the jobs and responsible families from your city leaving just those who have no option to, but to stay in St Paul and try to survive. Unfortunately, these people tend to be under educated and ill prepared for the job market and are forced to spend a disporpotionate amount of their time working to provide for their family leaving the family to raise itself. As the policies that are cheered and reveered in St Paul continue, this will accelerate and get worse. The remaining residents need to get serious about reviving St Paul and that will require a broadening of perspectives and a softening of the tax the wealthy policies. Regardless, it will be a long and painfull path back to prosperity in St Paul that will require some short term consessions as St Paul has fallen quite a way from their hey day of your time. I do recall that time as well. I have two generations of families that grew up in the Battle Creek area and none live there anymore because of the cost of living their and the general decline of the populis.
You moved from battle creek to chicago, because of the high cost of living?

Since: Nov 08

St. Paul, MN

#25 Dec 17, 2009
Just think, with these centers closing, parents will actually have to do something they don't currently do and expect the rec center staff to do: And that's babysitting their own children.

Shame these parents have to go back to parenting.
Timmy Peelenty

Minneapolis, MN

#26 Dec 18, 2009
If I close all playgrounds (not just the ones in the poor hoods), the union bankrupted schools and the union metro transit system, I can free up some budget for the Vikes stadium. Then the national media will know I am the big ticket in 2012!
Unfortunatejudge ment

Saint Paul, MN

#27 Dec 18, 2009
carolroberts wrote:
<quoted text>Who Cares, a bunch of over weight raceist cry babies. Plus I have homeowners insurance.
Kind of a blanket statement Ms. Carol considering I'm not overweight, I don't have a racist bone in my body and absolutely love the City of St. Paul and its' residents whom I do my best to protect and make a difference in the quality of their lives. We have our "bad apples" but I can't think of any organization or company that doesn't. Just know that if I am on a call when you need help you will be like family and I'm not alone. Respectfully and grateful, a member of SPFD.
ricestreet

Minneapolis, MN

#28 Dec 23, 2009
Here we go tearin down rec centers where kids can go and stay out of trouble. Maybe if they wouldnt of dumped millions in to North Dale palyground a few years ago they could of spread it out. Thats right Sint Paul take care of the spoon fed kids and lets keep the poor kids out on the street robbing and stealing.
ricestreet

Minneapolis, MN

#29 Dec 23, 2009
jack0451 wrote:
Just think, with these centers closing, parents will actually have to do something they don't currently do and expect the rec center staff to do: And that's babysitting their own children.
Shame these parents have to go back to parenting.
You have got to be kidding. I grew up at Sylvan, and it wasn't because my parents or my friends parents to go up there. It was because there was always something to do, fro baseball to tag. Babysit, obviously you havent been to a rec center, staff are usualy lazy overweight phone jockeys, not payin attention to much.
LGA Larry

Minneapolis, MN

#30 Dec 23, 2009
For many weeks, cities large and small across the state
have been complaining that any reduction in state aid would visit devastating cuts to budgets already pared "to the bone."
It is interesting to note that the 2009 New Brighton budget was adopted by the council in December 2008, a time when the financial crisis was clearly known to every citizen, including elected oficials. That the city would approve non-essential spending or increase arguably essential spending by large percentages gets to the very heart of the debate. While cities undoubtedly have taken steps to cut back spending, much more remains to be done, primarily for two reasons. First, very few citizens bother to closely examine how their city spends money. When these few are up against public employee unions and other special interests, it is usually the special interests that are more successful in pressuring city councils.
http://www.ci.new-brighton.mn.us/vertical/Sit...
Second, Minnesota's generous state aid program, known as "LGA
(Local Government Aid)", decouples spending decisions from taxing decisions. In other words, since cities don't tax for LGA, their decisions to spend LGA often entail far less restraint than would otherwise be present. It's "free" money.
Parks, Recreation, and other funsies:
Of course, the first place to look for money is enterprises that are
non-essential. The primary purpose of city government is to provide police, fire, and infrastructure services (e.g. sewers and streets).
Like some other cities, New Brighton owns and operates a golf course.
Modern human history has amply demonstrated that the private sector can provide golfing opportunities.
On page 52 of the budget, the city declares that Brightwood Hills is an enterprise operation and that "Similar to a private business, the annual profits and losses are the responsibility of the golf course fund and tax dollars are not used to subsidize the service." Yet on page 14 of the budget, there is a transfer out of the general fund in the amount of $390,000 for debt service for the golf course. In fact, the line item is called "Golf - subsidy for debt service."
Cost:$390,000.
Recreation Programs.
Page 19 of the budget notes that recreation programs require a 40%
taxpayer subsidy from the taxpayers. While fingerpainting and yoga classes have value, it must be asked why taxpayers should pay property taxes to subsidize someone else's leisure activities.
Cost of subsidy:$274,640.
Family Service Center (FSC).
The FSC is New Brighton's community center. Like recreation programs, the FSC operating budget requires a 40% taxpayer subsidy, according to the 2009 budget narrative. The FSC annually hosts 1,000 birthday parties, 800 business meetings, 185 receptions and social events and over 200 community meetings. First, the private sector offers these services, thereby putting the government in direct competition with taxpaying enterprises. Second, at the minimum, the folks who have meetings and events at the FSC should be required to pay fees sufficient to cover the benefits received. In other words, the taxpayers of New Brighton shouldn't be forced to subsidize someone's business meeting or birthday bash.
Cost of subsidy:$442,520.
Wages.
Despite the financial crisis, the city adopted the budget that included wage increases, some rather significant. For example, the FSC "regular wages" line item shows a 13.67% increase over 2008. Likewise, the Administration department's "regular wages" line item shows a 6.5% increase over 2008. All told, the city agreed to $254,041 in wage increases for departments that are funded in whole or in part by the general fund.
Cost:$254,041.
LGA Larry

Minneapolis, MN

#31 Dec 23, 2009
Phase out of Local Government Aid!!!

There are at least two good reasons. One is that it expands overall government spending beyond what people would otherwise rationally pay. The other reason, and it's related to the first, is that it reduces the accountability of local officials, who can say to residents "Look at all the good things we're doing for you," while having their decisions subsidized by someone else.

A similar logic applies when the U.S. government transfers money from one state to another for simply local projects. Further, it diminishes the political significance of states as entities with their own, unique powers (Tenth Amendment, anyone?), and puts us further down the road to the day when states are merely administrative units of a national government.

Political decentralization has many benefits, including offering a safety valve.(How high would Minnesota taxes be if legislators didn't have to keep in mind the more favorable tax climates of South Dakota, Texas, Florida and so forth?)

I understand why local officials would seek federal grants. To paraphrase an advertising slogan used by state lotteries everywhere, "Someone's going to win; why not you?" But when we win, we also lose.








With Governor Pawlenty's veto of LGA funds, line item vetos of local pork projects and looming unallotment, local government officials have gone to the media to cry poverty. The Brooklyn Center Police Department no longer staffs it's lobby outside of business hours the Tribune tells us. Some local government officials have made ominous predictions of higher property taxes to close the gap.

This week we learned that local units of government (Cities and Counties, school districts and other public entities) spent $8.5 Million on lobbying at the State capitol in 2008. That's an increase of nearly 10% when compared to the previous year. Local government associations spent another $4.6 million on lobbying. That lobbying is paid for with dues that cities and towns pay from their revenues.

Businesses, families and individuals throughout Minnesota are cutting their expenses and trying to save money. We are in a recession. Growth is negative and unemployment is up.***But not for the business of government ***

No, in these challenging times, it's more important than ever for them to argue for higher taxes to preserve and grow their budgets. And while the threat of higher property taxes is not an empty one, it's important to note that money that comes from the state taxpayer to the local government is money with less accountability. The local taxpayer can see how the money is spent and is better able to voice a complaint or even vote local politicians out of office if they disagree with them.

Government lobbying government can only end up one way, with bigger and bigger government and higher and higher taxes to pay for it all.
Bee

Saint Paul, MN

#32 Sep 24, 2012
The article is no longer available and I couldn't find it in the archive. Does anyone know where I can find the article?
Decent

Saint Paul, MN

#33 Oct 7, 2012
Good, have you ever been to those recs. They are a breeding place for thuggery. I say tear it down faster and plant trees in its place. These centers are the leading contributors to ruining neighborhoods. Don't believe me, see I you can find any rec center in an affluent neighborhood .i.e Summit Hill, Grand area. Rec centers are a plague to any neighborhood. Glad to see them gone :)

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