2008 Archive

2008

November 11, 2008: Then Mayor Ron Jabs thought JUG sounded too divisive, so he chose to not respond to my questions. This is about the oldest JUG front page I can find. It was modified slightly on November 18th, 2008. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Talking to Mayor Ron Jabs

Mayor Ron Jabs lost a hard-fought election, in which he faced two challengers. We asked the Mayor for his thoughts about the election, the future of Jordan, and his personal plans. Here’s what he had to say.

JUG: Mr. Mayor, do you have a favorite thought or memory about your years as mayor?

RJ:

JUG: What about regrets, is there any one thing that stands out as a low point?

RJ:

JUG: What do you see in the future for Jordan?

RJ:

JUG: Last question, what are your plans for the future?

RJ:

JUG: Not exactly a question, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

 

November 17, 2008 I’m embarrassed to say the date is a guess on this one. I know it was one of my earliest JUG posts.
Talking to Council Member Dave Hanson

Council Member Dave Hanson is very internet-savvy, which makes him a logical choice for our second on-line interview.   We asked for his thoughts about the election, the future of Jordan, and his goals. Here’s what he had to say.

JUG: Mr. Councilman, may we call you Dave?

DH: Yes Dave is fine.

JUG: Do you have any thoughts about the recent election, and what effect it will have on the City Council?

DH: While change brings new ideas and exchange, the loss of experience could provide to be a deep cut for Jordan. Our seniority position on some boards may take more than a decade to recover.

JUG: What do you see in the future for Jordan?

DH: The future is incredibly uncertain. I take comfort in knowing that Jordan is a vibrant and passionate community with safe streets and excellent schools. But like many small cities, we have to make tough budget decisions until we and the rest of the country are back on a growth track.

JUG: Do you have a personal goal for your participation in the City Council this year?

DH: I am making a personal goal to help maintain a building fund that will keep the tax levy stable when we build a new library, police station and city hall.

JUG: Not exactly a question, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

DH: Jordan needs some commercial or residential development to offset the continually rising costs to operate. Our staff is doing a fantastic job of seeking grants and other financial opportunities, but these are not enough. Shop local if you can. Tell your friends and family about our schools. If you know “someone who knows someone” please invite them to sit down with a staff or councilmember. We can fan the flames of opportunity, we just need a little spark.

This Week in Jordan

Planning Commission – Tuesday, November 11, 2008, 6:00 PM in the City Council Chamber

 

November 29, 2008
Talking to Council Member Sally Schultz

Council Member Sally Schultz just completed a successful run for re-election to the Jordan City Council. We asked for her thoughts about the election, the future of Jordan, and her goals. Here’s what she had to say.

JUG: Ms. Councilwoman, thanks for sharing your time with us, and congratulations on your re-election. Do you have any thoughts about the election, and what effect it will have on the City Council?

SS: Thank you City of Jordan for electing me for another four years. I look forward to applying the best of my abilities.   To be honest I was shocked at the results of the mayor’s race. Having a new mayor will be really different. It will be an adjustment for all involved. There will be a learning curve for him while he wields the responsibility of the highest office of the city of Jordan.

JUG: What do you see in the future for Jordan?

SS: I want to see Jordan remain one of the top best places to live. Currently we enjoy great schools, low crime rate, (because of our pro-active police department.) We can nod our head in agreement that our 155 year old town has charm, a quaint downtown with antiques shops and other small businesses. Not to mention the serene pastoral scenery all around us.   Hopefully we as a city can meet the needs and desires of newcomers, first-time homebuyers, young professionals, growing families, and empty nesters like me.

JUG: Do you have a personal goal for your participation in the City Council this year?

SS: I want to have supernatural wisdom to be able to handle all of the issues facing us in the next years. Plus I’d like to see our new library, police station and city hall completed. It’s important to have our city services housed appropriately so they can function efficiently.

JUG: What do you think is the toughest thing about being on the Jordan City Council?

SS: All the reading that is required in addition to owning and working 12 hours a day for my child care business.

JUG: And the wrap-up is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

SS: I’ve enjoyed serving the city of Jordan as Councilwoman. I hope I can contribute a positive influence for the greater good. For those of you that pray, please pray for us, me. We want to do well, have foresight, wisdom in decision-making and diplomacy.

We have a lot of unpleasant issues facing us in the near future. We will need due diligence.

Thank you sincerely Sally Schultz

Coming up in Jordan
Budget Hearing, December 1, 2008, 6:30 PM in the City Council Chamber

 

December 10, 2008: This is one of my all-time favorites. It was posted on a Wednesday, a couple of days after I presented the information to the Council. I was interrupted by the then-Mayor, who said he didn’t subscribe to the Pioneer Press. I was interrupted by a then-Council Member who questioned the veracity of the Minnesota Citizens League. Then I was interrupted by another Council Member who said he didn’t trust any newspapers. At which point the then-Mayor gaveled me and the Council Member, saying this was exactly the kind of back and forth exchange we didn’t want to have.

I’ve been gaveled since, but the first time is always the most memorable.
We’re Number Three

The Minnesota Citizens League released the results of their 2008 tax rate survey. They assembled tax rate information from 117 metropolitan area cities. The information was not published locally, but the St. Paul Pioneer Press ran it as front page news on December 9th.

The MCL survey showed Jordan as having the 3rd highest city tax rate among those 117 cities and townships.

The high five for highest city tax rates are:

  1. Minneapolis
    2. Belle Plaine
    3. Jordan
    4. Savage
    5. Hastings

In the 2007 survey, Jordan was ranked 7th highest – so it looks like we’re moving up. Not a good thing when one is talking about high tax rate rankings.

The survey also showed which school districts had the lowest tax rates. District 717 – Jordan had the 4th lowest rate.

The low five for lowest school district rate are:

  1. District 277 – Westonka
    2. District 108 – Norwood/Young America
    3. District 278 – Orono
    4. District 717 – Jordan
    5. District 271 – Bloomington

Now, Jordan is a wonderful town and all, but wouldn’t you expect it to be closer to the median in tax rates?

And while our city is fully equipped and staffed, our school district is sharing teachers.

Maybe it’s time for the city to cut back, and the school district to move forward.

 

December 2, 2008 A surprise here, Look at what Council Member Shaw had to say about staff salaries.

Talking to Council Member Mike Shaw:

Council Member Mike Shaw was just re-elected to the Jordan City Council, drawing more votes than any other candidate.  We asked for his thoughts about the election, the future of Jordan, and his goals.  Here’s what he had to say.

JUG: Mr. Councilman, thanks for sharing your time with us, and congratulations on your re-election.  Do you have any thoughts about the election, and what effect it will have on the City Council?
MS: I’m very pleased with the number of votes that I received and it is very encouraging to see the interest in Jordan’s City government w/ several persons seeking office.  There are many individuals that share ideas and suggestions during the year but I congratulate those that had the courage to file for an office.

JUG: What do you see in the future for Jordan?
MS: I see the future for Jordan as a small city that will continue to grow because of its closeness to the Metro cities and everything they have to offer.  We no longer see 60+ new homes being built each year but I believe that the growth will return in another couple years.  We must do our part to manage the growth– the best that we can.

JUG: Do you have a personal goal for your participation in the City Council this year?
MS: My personal goal for the city will be to see that we are spending the tax dollars wisely and making sure that new residential developments are paying their fair share.  We must look for ways to increase our economic development in Jordan to help with the tax burden.

JUG: What do you think is the toughest thing about being on the Jordan City Council?
MS: The toughest thing about being on the Jordan City Council is working with the year-end budget.  It is my belief that the staff salaries have reached a level that may be more than a city of 5,000 should be paying.  

JUG: Is there anything you’d like to change or do different in the coming year, compared to last year?

MS: A change that I would welcome would be fewer items for the workshop setting with those items being part of the council agenda.  Most workshops lack an organized structure with a time restraint and we end up bringing the topic back to a council meeting for action and it gets discussed a second time!

JUG: And a free-form question, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
MS: I am looking forward to working with the newly elected persons this next year and I’m sure that they will bring new ideas to the table.

Sincerely,
Mike Shaw