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The JordanUnderGround  

JUG is intended to provide information and opinion about local political and commercial issues.  JUG will also try to provide a place for people to express their opinions.  JUG is not a Blog.  No anonymous comments will be posted here.  If you wish to comment, please feel free to use the e-mail link below. 

04/16/14 

Numbers . . . 

. . . From JUG
In websitese, visits is the number of viewers who actually open a web site.  Total impressions refers to when a viewer opens other pages on the site, beyond the home page.

As of April 12, 2014, Year-To-Date visits to JUG totaled 8719.  During that same period, there were 12,620 total impressions.

Looking at 2013, there were 35,763 viewers, and 65,389 total impressions for the full year. 

Daily visits are usually pretty consistent between 25 and 60, but on June 8th, 2013 JUG had 4,523 visits.  On May 8th, 2013 there were 1,441 total visits.  On May 10th, 2013 total visits jumped to 2,436.

I have an idea about why those spikes happened, but I don’t want to say too much because someone out there would be sure to accuse me of trying to artificially inflate JUG’s numbers.

Of course, there’s also the other side of the coin.  On February 23, 2013 JUG had 0 visits – the only time in JUG’s history when no one stopped in.

. . . From The County
The County Administrator just got a five percent raise.  That’s $6,635.00, which will buy a lot of cheeseburgers.

The vote was four to one – Joe Wagner opposed.

Why the raise?

Because the County Administrator wasn’t being paid as much as other County Administrators in the metro area.  And because the County Attorney was being paid more than his boss – the County Administrator.  Because the County needs to pay well in order to attract good candidates. And because the County Board is worried the County Administrator will sue for more money.

But not because the County Administrator is doing five percent better work than last year.

Let’s take those reasons one at a time.

The County Administrator wasn’t being paid comparably to other County Administrators in comparable counties.  So what?  If he doesn’t like the job or the salary, the County Administrator is free to leave.  Scott county median household income is $84,571,00 in 2008-2012.  The County Administrator appears to be making about $132,000.00 all by himself – before the raise.  In my opinion, the Board should be responding to Scott County taxpayers.  If taxpayers in Dakota, Washington, or Anoka Counties want to overpay their staff, that’s their lookout.

The County Administrator wasn’t being paid as much as the County Attorney.  True.  And I think a lot of taxpayers believe the County Attorney is overpaid.  Now those taxpayers get to be annoyed at the County Administrator too.  I certainly hope taxpayers are paying attention, and that they will show their displeasure in the ballot box.

The idea the County Administrator might sue for more money is probably the only plausible argument for such a large pay increase.  Two other County employees have done so, but both of them are elected, and they are going to have to do some fancy diving to get re-elected. 

This whole equitability business was presented to the Board by the County Personnel Director – who reports to the County Administrator.  Does anyone seriously think the Personnel Director is going to do anything to piss off his boss?  Plus, once the equitability stone is cast into the pond, do you suppose the ripples will not spread out to the rest of the County employees?  At least one County employee spent half an hour watching the pay raise portion of the meeting.  Do you think he went back and told his colleagues what happened.  Do you think they won’t discuss the potential impact on their salaries?

Nah! I suppose not.  The County Administrator and the Personnel Manager have assured the Board the Administrator’s equity raise is a separate issue from other employee raises and union contracts.  They’re so naïve and gullible, they won’t catch on, right?

In an unrelated matter, the Board voted to spend some money on its’ computer system.  Information Technology, as it’s known.  Oddly part of the package was for increasing firewall security, and that was not included in the County’s Capital Improvement Plan budget.

Seriously?

Why would the CIP not include adequate funds for data firewalls? 

Another, unrelated subject is the Metropolitan Council’s THRIVE MSP 2040 Plan.

County Staff presented areas where they agree with the Met Council’s plan, and other areas where they disagree.

The most incredible thing I saw was how the Met Council’s plan protects only a small portion of Scott County’s farmland.  All of the protected farmland is south of Belle Plaine.  The Met Council even wrote about how valuable, and fertile that land is.

Excuse me, but the area around Jordan features some of the most fertile land in the world.  It’s one of the few areas that get consistent rains, and don’t require irrigation.  Scott County could become a grain belt for the metro area.  Or it could become – more yards and malls.

In my opinion, both the County, and the Met Council are bent on destroying Scott County’s strength – rich soil.  Apparently, by 2040 humanity will have evolved, and will no longer need food and water.

Frankly, I seriously doubt anyone from the Met Council has any idea what’s going on in Scott County outside of Shako, Savage, and Prior Lake.  Meanwhile, County Staff is concerned about transportation issues, water and sewer systems, and commuter roads – all primarily focused around . . . . Shako, Savage, and Prior Lake.  These are the cash crops, as far as County Staff seems to be concerned.

And the Board goes along with Staff.

Again With The Mining
Merriam Junction Sands LLC is back.  And just as Nikki Othoudt predicted, they are shifting gears a bit, to include gravel mining, as well as sandstone mining.

A new Environmental Assessment Worksheet is now in process. A public meeting to discuss the Scoping EAW will be held on April 29, 2014, from 5PM to 7PM at the Scott County Conference Center at 205 Fourth Ave. Shakopee, MN. 55379.

The comment period is open for 30 days after the April 14, 2014 notification in the EQB Monitor.  Comments are due before 4:30 on May 14, 2014. Written comments should be mailed to:  
Kate Sedlacek
Environmental Health Department
200 Fourth Avenue West
Shakopee, MN  55379-1220.  

Comments will also be accepted via e-mail to ksedlacek@co.scott.mn.us.

An interesting thought about the shift toward gravel in Merriam Junction Sands project – gravel travels by truck, kemo sabe.  Many truck.  Heavy.

I have asked for a discussion at the next City Council meeting, regarding whether the City wants to get involved in this mining issue.  I think we should, since it will probably involve many, if not all of the same issues as the Jordan Aggregates project.

The tagged satellite photo is attached to show readers where the proposed sand and gravel mine would be located.

A Reader Says
 I did make you a picture with my crayons.

Councilman Will’s new theme song should be “Drive By” as performed by Train. Rewrote the first verse for him and you are welcome to sing along!

"On the other side of a street I knew,
Stood a can that looked like you
Put there by a guy that’s new.
But I thought this can't be true
Cause
I moved from west L.A or New York or Santa Fe
To pay for something I will never try.

Oh but that one morn,
Was more than just the norm
I didn't leave you cause I had no trash,
Oh I was overwhelmed, when I got your bill,
With these words that made me ill,

Oh I swear to you
I'll be there for you
This is not a drive by
Just a trash guy looking for a two ply
Hefty bag to hold my love
When you move me everything is groovy
You don't like it sue me
Mm the way you do me
Oh I swear to you
I'll be there for you
This is not a drive by"

Courtesy of Rob Mishica

My Response:
Why do I have this terrible crick in my neck? 

Elsewhere in the email Mr. Mishica sent, he coined the term “Jordanary”.  Oh how I wish I’d thought up that one.

One Last Thing
Council Members received an email from the City Attorney yesterday.  The following is a direct quote:
If you are pressed for why the parties mutually agreed that Ed end his employment with the City (basically the words from the separation agreement) I think it is safe to say that there were significant communication issues between the City Council and City Administrator which seemed to lead to uneasiness by Council that they did not have the necessary, accurate information to steer the City.”

It would seem I am not the only Councilor being “pressed” for information.  I was beginning to feel like a pair of dress slacks at the dry cleaner.  I hope this little note satisfies everyone’s curiosity.

The Quote:
Dear Internet: You are very good at spreading rumors. Truth is more valuable and much harder to come by.”
           Mark Frost

The next City Council Meeting is Monday, April 21st, 6:30 PM, at Jordan City Hall. 

Videos are now on the Video page.

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I welcome public comment on this topic. Anyone willing to give his or her name, and willing to limit his or her response to about 150 words is welcome to respond here.
Thom.Boncher@JordanUnderGround.com   No anonymous responses will be posted.  No obscene language will be permitted.  Threats, personal attacks, and spam will not be posted.  My house, my rules.  But if you have something to say, and if you are willing to put your name on it, I won’t refuse to let you be heard. 

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