Andrew Rorvig

Politics trumps proper process in St. Paul

St. Paul has a strong mayor system of governance. But in a high-handed fashion the current mayor has decided, perhaps illegally, that his future campaign is more important than (a) what the law says, (b) what his Planning Commission recommended and (c) what the City Council decided. Neighborhood residents are up in arms. Mayor Melvin …

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Saint Paul City Council Shows Leadership with 4-3 Vote to Explore Sales Tax Increase

Leadership requires tough conversations and sometimes taking unpopular votes such as when the City Council voted 4-3 in early February to explore a possible 1% sales tax increase.  The money generated from this increase might be earmarked to pay for roads, housing, and pre-K programs.  This is a tough sell for many, in great part …

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In St. Paul, taxes rise and rise and rise. Can we talk more about this?

Late last month, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter proposed a supplemental budget in addition to the one he proposed in August, and the City Council must finalize the tax levy before Dec. 31. Do the mayor and City Council view the maximum levy of 22% as extra cash with which to pay for additional projects …

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St. Paul City Hall Continues to Hide Behind ‘Quasi-Judicial Authority’

The St. Paul City Council has two main roles. The first is legislative, and involves creating laws and ordinances that seek to benefit the health, safety and viability of citizens. The second is “quasi-judicial,” and requires the council to apply laws to make decide whether to allow a project to be built in the city. …

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Trash, fees, franchises … St. Paul keeps making costly legal mistakes. Why?

Some people think St. Paul’s current organized trash collection system stinks. No matter where you side on that issue, I think we can all agree that the legal missteps the City made in moving forward with that system were particularly foul. Simple analysis in 2017 should have led officials to understand that a referendum could …

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Hearings on St. Paul Land-Use Issues Are So Much Wasted Breath

There appear to be numerous opportunities for citizen engagement on land-use issues in St. Paul.  The process is usually initiated by the Department of Planning and Economic Development (PED). A vetting by the local district council follows. Next is an intermediary review with public hearings before the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) or Planning …

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