St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Wadena Mayor Wayne Wolden, spokesperson for the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, released the following statement in response to Governor Pawlenty’s decision to spare LGA from December unallotment:
We applaud and thank Governor Pawlenty for recognizing that Minnesota cities have hit the financial edge and additional cuts would jeopardize public safety and do further harm to our fledgling economy.
Over the past year we have done everything we can to speak out for cities across the state to show how critical services like police, fire, snowplowing, libraries and property taxes have been affected by continued cuts to local government aid.
Over the past seven years Minnesota cities have lost $754 million in LGA and the consequences have been profound-a 64% increase in property taxes and significant cuts to core services like police, fire, snow plowing and libraries.
As a major winter storm is bearing down on us, the critical role our cities play in the lives of our citizens is no more apparent than today. Across the state, cities are battling the storm by plowing streets, dropping salt and doing everything we can to protect the safety of Minnesota families. All of us know that this comes at a cost.
We look forward to working with the governor and the legislature in the upcoming session to ensure our cities will continue to be protected.