Category archives
Annexation & Land Use

We thought this bill was dead last session, but now the townships are pushing it once again and we need to stop this effort before it gains momentum.

SF 1749 prohibits a city from pursuing an annexation if the potential annexation area is covered by an orderly annexation agreement with another city. On paper this may sound reasonable, but what happens in practice is that a township will often pit two cities against each other to get the best deal for the township, rather than what is best for the region’s development.

Take action now!

Contact Sen. Dan Hall, chair of Senate Local Government Committee, and tell him that your city opposes SF 1749. In addition, contact your legislators and ask them to reach out to Sen. Hall to let him know that their local cities oppose this harmful legislation.

Tell them that SF 1749 is harmful because:

  • It stifles economic development, particularly in Greater Minnesota.
  • It prevents cities from having a say in how they develop, and instead gives townships disproportionate leverage in negotiating orderly annexation agreements.
  • It drives up the cost of local infrastructure and public services.
  • It would be a stunning restriction of property owner rights:
  • A landowner could be denied the right to connect with city services when building a home.
  • A business owner could be denied the right to build or expand a business.
  • A city may not be able to include property purchased for public purposes—such as for wastewater treatment, water supply or an industrial park—in its own boundaries.

Contact info

Questions?

If you have any questions, please contact CGMC annexation lobbyist Elizabeth Wefel at eawefel@flaherty-hood.com or 651-259-1924.

Thank you to everyone who attended the CGMC Fall Conference last week at Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center. More than 100 city leaders representing 50 cities attended the conference — a record attendance!

The conference kicked off Thursday afternoon with a presentation by Marnie Werner, acting director of the Center for Rural Policy, on their study titled “A Quiet Crisis: Minnesota’s Child Care Shortage.” You can watch video of her presentation here and read her Power Point presentation here.

After Werner’s presentation, we delved further into the issues surrounding Greater Minnesota’s child care shortage with a panel discussion featuring Nancy Jost, early childhood coordinator for West Central Initiative; Tim Penny, president and CEO of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation; Jessica Beyer, business development specialist for First Children’s Finance; and Amanda Benda, director of Little Huskies Daycare Center & Preschool in Jackson, Minn. The discussion was moderated by Dan Dorman, executive director of the Greater Minnesota Partnership. Each panelist provided a unique perspective on the issue and offered suggestions on ways city leaders can be more involved in developing solutions. You can watch the panel discussion here.

Broadband was also an important topic at the conference. Bill Coleman, president of Community Technology Advisors and a consultant for the Blandin Foundation, informed attendees about where broadband access stands in Greater Minnesota and outlined the economic impact of world-class broadband infrastructure. You can watch Coleman’s presentation here and read his Power Point Presentation here.
After Coleman’s presentation, CGMC Executive Director Bradley Peterson moderated a legislative panel discussion featuring Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria), Rep. Ben Lien (DFL-Moorhead) and Rep. Jeff Howe (R-Rockville). The panelists discussed the impact of the 2017 legislative session and plans for 2018. The conversation touched on issues such as transportation, bonding and the ongoing lawsuit between the Legislature and Gov. Dayton.

The afternoon was capped by another panel discussion, this one on the role of elected officials in labor and employee relations. Brandon Fitzsimmons, an attorney with Flaherty & Hood, moderated a discussion featuring Waite Park City Administrator Shaunna Johnson, Alexandria City Administrator Marty Schultz and Moorhead City Manager Chris Volkers in which they talked about the “productive” and “unproductive” involvement of elected officials in dealing with unions and personnel issues.

In the evening, attendees enjoyed a cocktail reception and dinner followed by an entertaining and informative quiz show led by the award-winning Theater of Public Policy. During the show, three teams squared off against each other in a battle to see who knew the most about random Greater Minnesota trivia, the history of LGA and other various topics. To the audience’s surprise, Team Lobbyist (Flaherty & Hood lobbyists Tim Flaherty and Marty Seifert) ultimately bested Team Mayor (Granite Falls Mayor Dave Smiglewski and Alexandria Mayor Sara Carlson) and Team Administrator (Slayton City Administrator Josh Malchow and Virginia City Administration Britt See-Benes) to take the quiz show crown.

In addition to speakers and presentations, the conference also included a membership meeting on Friday morning during which members discussed and adopted the CGMC’s 2018 legislative policy positions. To review the adopted positions, click on the following subject areas: Annexation & Land Use, Economic Development, Environment & Energy, LGA & Property Taxes and Transportation. You can also read more about the top priorities for the upcoming legislative in this CGMC Press Release that was sent to the media at the conclusion of the conference.

Thanks again to everyone who attended our 2017 Fall Conference! Please check out the photo gallery on our Facebook page to see pictures from the conference.

Each fall, CGMC members work together to shape the Coalition’s policy positions for the upcoming legislative session. Policy committees will be convening by conference call in October and early November to draft recommendations which will be discussed and voted on by the full membership at the Fall Conference Nov. 16-17. Serving on a policy committee is a great way to contribute to the work of the CGMC. Please contact the appropriate staff member listed below if you are interested in serving on one or more of the committees. The exact meeting dates and times will be determined soon.

Contact members of the Senate Local Government Committee and urge them to oppose SF 1749!

SF 1749 prohibits a city from pursuing an annexation if the potential annexation area is covered by an orderly annexation agreement with another city

On paper this may sound reasonable, but what happens in practice is that a township will often put two cities against each other to get the best deal for the township, rather than what is best for the region’s development.

Take action now!

SF 1749 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Local Government Committee at 7 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday, March 9). Please contact members of the Senate Local Government Committee as soon as possible and urge them to oppose SF 1749.

Let them know that SF 1749 is harmful because:

  • It stifles economic development, particularly in Greater Minnesota.
  • It will prevent cities from having a say in how they develop, and instead gives townships disproportionate leverage in negotiating orderly annexation agreements.
  • It would be a stunning restriction of property owner rights:
    • A landowner could be denied the right to connect with city services when building a home.
    • A business owner could be denied the right to build or expand a business.
    • A city may not be able to include property purchased for public purposes—such as for wastewater treatment, water supply or an industrial park—in its own boundaries.

Contact info

  • To send an email to all the members of the Senate Local Government Committee at once, click here.
  • If you prefer to call or send an email to each committee member separately, their contact info can be found here.

Questions?

If you have any questions, please contact CGMC annexation lobbyist Elizabeth Wefel at eawefel@flaherty-hood.com or 651-259-1924.

Thank you to everyone who attended the CGMC Fall Conference last week at Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center! Due to the forecast predicting a blizzard for much of the state, the CGMC Board made a last-minute decision to condense the two-day conference into one action-packed day on Thursday, Nov. 17. Despite the threatening weather, more than 85 city leaders representing 44 cities attended the conference. We appreciate everyone’s flexibility and patience as we juggled agenda items around to fit almost everything into less than eight hours!

Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Charles Zelle kicked off the conference Thursday afternoon with a presentation on the transportation needs facing our state and the ways city leaders can work together to help convince the Legislature to invest more money into transportation. You can watch video of his speech here and read his Power Point presentation here.

After Zelle’s presentation, CGMC lobbyist Bradley Peterson provided an in-depth analysis of the 2016 election and what it could mean for Greater Minnesota issues this legislative session. Peterson then moderated a panel discussion on the topic of legislative reform featuring legislators Sen. Torrey Westrom (R-Elbow Lake), Sen. Kent Eken (DFL-Twin Valley), Rep. Tim O’Driscoll (R-Sartell) and Rep. Mike Nelson (DFL-Brooklyn Park). Later that afternoon, University of Minnesota educator Ryan Pesch gave a presentation on “Rewriting the Rural Narrative” and led small-group discussions on ways communities can welcome and attract newcomers.

In the evening, attendees were treated to an entertaining and informative presentation by Washington Post reporter Chris Ingraham. Ingraham is the reporter who got Minnesotans riled up last year when he wrote an article that named Red Lake County “America’s Worst Place to Live” (based on data from the “national amenities index”) and then further raised eyebrows when he decided to move to Red Lake Falls in May of this year. Ingraham talked about his transition from living in an urban area near Washington D.C. to small-town Minnesota and the challenges and opportunities it has afforded him and his family. He also shared ideas about how communities can attract more residents by promoting benefits such as short commutes, job openings, telecommuting options and low home prices. You can read more about Ingraham’s presentation in this article from the Alexandria Echo Press.

In addition to speakers and presentations, the conference also included a membership meeting in which members discussed and voted on the 2017 legislative policy positions. To review the adopted positions, click on the following subject areas: Annexation & Land Use, Economic Development, Environment & Energy, LGA & Property Taxes and Transportation. You can also read more about the top priorities for the upcoming legislative in this CGMC press release that was sent to the media at the conclusion of the conference.

Thanks again to everyone who attended the conference – it was a great event despite the shortened time! Please check out the photo gallery on our Facebook page to see pictures from the conference.

Each election season, the CGMC provides background information to help candidates become familiar with issues affecting Greater Minnesota communities. The CGMC does not endorse candidates running for political office, but we think candidates should be well-informed about issues are important to Greater Minnesota cities.

Therefore, we have prepared “Elections 2016: Greater Minnesota’s Top Issues” to provide information about several key issues: property taxes & LGA, state budget, transportation, annexation & land use, economic development, and environment & energy. This informational packet was mailed to all of the registered candidates who are running to represent Greater Minnesota districts in the Minnesota House or Senate.

If you have any questions about the information provided in the packet, or if you would like us to mail a hard copy to you, please contact Bradley Peterson at bmpeterson@flaherty-hood.com.

Every fall, CGMC members work together to shape the Coalition’s policy positions for the upcoming legislative session. Policy committees will be convening by conference call this month to draft recommendations which will be discussed and voted on by the full membership at the Fall Conference. It’s a great way to contribute to work of CGMC. The dates and times of the committee conference calls are listed below. Please contact the appropriate staff member if you are interested in serving on one or more of the committees.

  • Annexation and Land Use Committee will hold its conference call 9:30-10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27. Contact Elizabeth Wefel at eawefel@flaherty-hood.com.
  • Economic Development Committee will hold its conference call 10:30-11:30 Wednesday, Oct. 28. Contact Tim Flaherty at tpflaherty@flaherty-hood.com.
  • Transportation Committee will hold its conference call 9-10 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29. Contact Carolyn Jackson at ccjackson@flaherty-hood.com.
  • LGA/Property Taxes Committee will hold its conference call 10-11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 29. Contact Bradley Peterson at bmpeterson@flaherty-hood.com.
  • Environment and Energy Committee will hold its conference call 3-4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29. Contact Tim Flaherty at tpflaherty@flaherty-hood.com.

The townships introduced a bill this week that limits a city’s ability to annex property. SF 680 (Sen. Lyle Koenen, DFL-Clara City) would forbid a city from seeking to annex any property that is subject to an orderly annexation agreement with another city. Although it may seem innocuous on its face, in practice this would create expensive and burdensome situations for many cities. A township could create a bidding war between two cities. It could sign an orderly annexation agreement with one city that has no intention of ever using it to block a much closer city from exercising annexation.

The CGMC will actively work against this bill in order to protect a city’s ability to do common-sense annexation. The bill currently does not have a companion in the House. If you have any questions regarding annexation legislation, please contact Elizabeth Wefel at eawefel@flaherty-hood.com.

The CGMC adopted its 2014 legislative policy positions at its membership meeting on Nov. 14. The positions had been determined by committees prior to the meeting and the full membership voted to adopt each committee’s recommendations. To read the adopted positions, click on the following subject areas: annexation and land use, economic development, environment and energy, property tax relief and LGA, and transportation.

On July 26, as part of the Summer Conference in Owatonna, the CGMC held its annual Legislative Awards Dinner.  The following legislators, city officials, and organizations were recognized for their contributions to Greater Minnesota:

Legislator of Distinction- Tax Policy

Sen. Rod Skoe

Legislator of Distinction- Annexation and Land Use

Sen. John Carlson

Legislator of Distinction- Environment

Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen

Rep. Tim O’Driscoll

Sen. John Pederson

Legislator of Distinction- Economic Development

Rep. King Banaian

Rep. Greg Davids

Rep. Rod Hamilton

Rep. Deb Kiel

Sen. James Metzen

Sen. Jeremy Miller

Rep. Rich Murray

Sen. Carla Nelson

Sen. Julie Rosen

Rural Leadership Award (Retiring Legislators)

Rep. Larry Hosch

Rep. Kory Kath

Sen. Gary Kubly

Sen. Keith Langseth

Rep. Morrie Lanning

Rep. Tom Rukavina

Excellence in Service (Elected)

Mayor Bruce Ahlgren, Cloquet

Mayor Hal Leland, Fergus Falls

Mayor Mark Novak, Janesville

Excellence in Service (Appointed)

Mark Sievert, City Administrator, Fergus Falls

Jack Murray Award (Retiring Elected)

Mayor Jerry Miller, Winona

Mayor Dan Ness, Alexandria

Bob Filson Award for Distinguished Rural Leadership (Retiring Appointed)

Aaron Parrish, former City Administrator, Crookston

Wendell Sande, former City Administrator, North Mankato

Dan Vogt, former City Administrator, Brainerd

President’s Award

Mayor Alan Oberloh, Worthington

Friend of the CGMC

AFSCME Council 5

Minnesota State University Student Association