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Recent posts:

Anders Christensen Receives Preservation Alliance of Minnesota Executive Director’s Award Anders Christensen’s Remarks on Receiving Preservation Alliance of Minnesota Award Healy Project Fundraiser at the Lowbrow, May 7th Winter Party Fundraiser December 2017 Talk: Preservation Advocacy, August 17th Open House at 1300 Mount Curve Avenue East Lake of the Isles Walking Tour May 21st New Research on the “Lost” Healy Block: Tour May 7th A Presentation on Master Builders Ingham and Parsons, Saturday, March 18th. Healy Project Winter Party Henry Ingham’s Yorkshire Healy Project Fundraiser at the Lowbrow, May 9th Healy Block Historic District Tour: April 17th Healy Project Holiday Old House Reception CANCELED–Healy Block Historic District Walking Tour–November 8 More Hauntings: Houses Built by Henry Ingham Healy House Hauntings Tour Intro to the History of the North Wedge North Wedge Architectural Walking Tour, October 3rd Healy Phoenix #2 Healy Phoenix #1 Report on the Event: A Great Dinner for a Good Cause A Child’s View of T.P. Healy’s Family Big Win for Healy Block Residents: Revised I-35W Expansion Plan T.P. Healy: Farmer, Commission Merchant & Wholesale Grocer in Nova Scotia Open April 25th: Restored 1885 House in Wedge Learn from the Past, Learn from the Present Grandstanding and Stonewalling at City Hall: Trashing the Public Trust Orth House Demolition An Open Letter to Minneapolis City Council Regarding the Orth House Demolition The Truth Will Out II: More Lies That Brought Down 2320 Colfax Avenue South The Truth Will Out: Lies that Brought Down 2320 Colfax Avenue South Judge Denies Injunction against Wrecking 2320 Colfax Avenue South Poisoning the Well: Testimony about 2320 Colfax Avenue South “City Ghosts” Visit Victorian House Historic North Wedge Walking Tour: Sunday, September 7th Combining New and Old: A New Vision for the Orth House A Place That Matters Healy Project Files Suit to Stop Demolition of the Orth House Happy Earth Day, Zero-Credibility City of Minneapolis Stop Demolition: Allow a designation study for the Orth House Perverting New Urbanism II: Greenwashing Demolition Perverting New Urbanism for Fun and Profit Size Matters: Development at Franklin-Lyndale DEN$ITY: Building Utopia in Gopher City Hypocrisy at City Hall: Planning Department Scorns Sustainable Development Déjà Vu All Over Again: Threats to Healy Houses Renewed Healy Project Special Kickoff Tour Saving Private Houses In Landmark Decision, City Council Stops Demolition of 2320 Colfax Avenue South What’s the Greenest Building? Who Lives in Lowry Hill East? Revoltin’ Developments VI: What You Can Do Revoltin’ Developments V: Sappy Citizens and Maudlin Attachments Revoltin’ Developments IV: Density and City Planning Revoltin’ Developments III: Density and Livability Revoltin’ Developments II: Healy Houses in the Wedge Revoltin’ Developments, Part I Healy Descendant Acquires the Bennett-McBride House On Memorial Day Lost Healys on the Healy Block More Lost Healys The Broom House: 3111 Second Avenue South More on Round Hill Happy Birthday, T.P. The Edmund G. Babbidge House: 3120 Third Avenue South Brightening the Corner: 3101 Second Avenue South 2936 Portland Avenue The Andrew H. Adams House: 3107 Second Avenue South Clones: 2932 Park and 1425 Dupont North The J.B. Hudson House: 3127 Second Avenue South Second Healy Family Home: 3131 Second Avenue South Schlocked: ‎2639-41 Bryant Avenue South 1976 Sheridan Avenue South: Preserved Exterior The William L. Summer House, 3145 Second Avenue South Two More in the Wedge Weapon of Mass Healy Destruction: I-35W Construction The Third: Healy Builds in the Wedge The Second: 3139 Second Avenue South Healy’s First House: 3137 Second Avenue South Anders Christensen, T.P.Healy, and the Healy Project

Grandstanding and Stonewalling at City Hall: Trashing the Public Trust

city hall

Minneapolis City Hall

Last Friday Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges went on her political Facebook page to take Nicole Curtis to task for her criticism of City Council members. Curtis, the “Rehab Addict” had criticized City officials on her Facebook page for their failure to answer to the corrupted process that led to the demolition of the Orth House on February 25th. Since then, an all-out slugfest has ensued on social media, distracting people from the issue of the lying that went on in public hearings and in District Court about the condition of the Orth House. (See previous posts on this blog.)

Let’s turn our attention away from the demolished Orth House. Let’s cut through the smokescreen issuing from City Hall and focus upon the corrupted process of testimony that brought down the house. Mayor Hodges and CM Bender need to stop pitying themselves and do some explaining about the lack of integrity in the process of testimony before the City Council. Their attack on Curtis, a resident of CM Bender’s ward, is nothing short of self-serving meanness.

Curtis is not just a media star; she is a Minneapolis taxpayer. City officials going after a constituent-critic on social media is unethical, to say the least. Hodges and Bender have gone so far as to kick constituent-critics off their Facebook pages. Democracy in action? If city officials attacked a developer the way they are attacking their own constituents, they’d be slapped with a lawsuit so fast their heads would spin. Apparently, they think it’s OK for those in power to go after private citizens. There oughta be a law. Well, in fact, there is. It’s called the City’s Code of Ethics.

If the goal of these elected officials is to silence their critics, they are not doing a very good job of it. People don’t like feeling shut out of expressing their views to those who represent them. People like even less being fed a load of blather generated from lies as answer to their concerns.  Abraham-Lincoln-quote-on-trust

For the record:

1. The owner of the Orth House filed an appeal to demolish an historic resource. Hodges voted to make it an historic resource in 2013. It became no less historic after CM Bender took office.

To reiterate from a previous post: “At the appeal hearing chaired by CM Bender, both Michael Crow (owner) and John Smoley (Planning staffer) were allowed presentations in favor of demolition. The HPC’s position was reported but not presented; reporting is not a substitute for a persuasive presentation earnestly defending the HPC’s position. It seems appropriate that some provision be made in cases which staff’s professional opinion differs from the decision-making making body.

Something is amiss when the recommendations of both presentations are in agreement with one another. By definition, an appeal is a scenario where one opinion is not in agreement with another.”

In their own defense, City officials trot out the judge’s findings on the Healy Project’s MERA lawsuit to stop the demolition of an historic resource. These findings, like the City Council’s 11-2 vote to demolish the Orth House, were based on false testimony. The lies continue.

2. Mayor Hodges cites a post from a local blogger to document the vulgar comments being made about CM Bender. It turns out that these comments were cut out of threads of many hundreds of comments on Curtis’s “Rehab Addict” Facebook page. Citing this blogger as a credible source of information is like citing Glenn Beck as proof that Obama wasn’t born in the US.

The Twitter feed from this blogger is a nonstop tirade of name-calling against CM Bender’s detractors, including members of the Healy Project. Last year, the blogger doxed Curtis, a single mother. This is as low as you can go. Doxing is a tactic used to threaten and silence women (primarily), so the Twitterer pretending he’s protecting CM Bender from gendered attacks is total hogwash.

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The Healy Project conceded that the house’s demolition was a determined matter. We hoped that the process issues could be examined separately from one’s feelings or opinions about the house. CM Bender’s response via posting on Facebook a decision based on the corrupted testimony is a distraction from our inquiry for examination of protocol and process. It’s time for City officials to stop grandstanding and start talking to Minneapolis citizens.

Elected City officials should not be fueling vitriol against their own constituents. If they’re so thin-skinned, they should consider new career paths. Let’s take the “discussion,”if it can be dignified with the term, off Facebook and Twitter and turn to addressing the issue of corrupted testimony. To refuse to do so undermines the public trust.

Until city officials get serious about examining this process, Mayor Hodges, CM Bender, and other officials will have no credibility with many of their constituents.

Their attack on Nicole Curtis has become a national story.  Their foolish social media campaign against her has made Minneapolis into a laughingstock.

In January of last year: A political dogfight breaks out in New Jersey after one of the governor’s aides initiated “traffic problems” on a commuter bridge. The issue behind the controversy was lucrative development contracts (what else?). An all-out battle ensued involving the governors of NY, NJ, the Port Authority, and mayors in NJ cities. It was brutal. However, not once did any of them complain that their feelings had been hurt by their political opponents.

No problem was ever solved when those in power refused to sit down and talk. Come on, Mayor Hodges and CM Bender. Get off the low road of social media and get down to fixing problems and moving ahead.

T.B.

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