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Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics


Elizabeth Sletten and the Plague of Woodchips

City council candidate Elizabeth Sletten is a regular at city council meetings, offering her opinions on a variety of subjects. One of her issues is her belief that composting is a major health threat. She brought her concerns to the city council at our meeting of March 10, 2008, when the city was considering a conditional use permit for Xcel Energy.

Every year, the power company trims tree branches that are too near their power lines. Among other things, the permit allows them to store the trimmed branches and brush by their County Road D substation. Several times a year the brush is chipped on site, and then hauled away. Ms. Sletten believes that this collecting of branches and brush, and its chipping, presents a major health risk for the community.

Sletten provided the council with a large packet of information prior to the meeting. It seemed to be an impressive assembly of scientific research to buttress her claims, unless you actually read the documents, and saw that their key conclusions were essentially the opposite of what she claimed they were.

This video includes two excerpts from the long discussion:

In spite of Ms. Sletten's dire warnings about the public health consequences of allowing wood chipping in Maplewood, the council voted unanimously to approve Xcel's conditional use permit.

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So apart from Jim Llanas and Kathy Juenemann, are there any other not-crazy candidates?

Actually, yes. Just to pick an example, Mary Mackey seems to be a perfectly normal and decent person, from everything I've seen to date. The council appointed her to the parks commission earlier this year.

You know the stylized wheelchair on license plates and mirror hangers? Maybe we need something like that on lawn signs to distinguish the crazies.

Here is one possibility, but it's a little busy

Thanks for making this information available - it's hard to see what is driving a candidate from the excerpts in the paper. Seeing live video footage is very telling.

Oh THAT's Elizabeth Sletten! I remember seeing her at the meetings on TV... over and over again. Mmm yeah. We received her campaign flyer in the door this afternoon. (Though it took some studying. We had to wade through a lot of pathetically poor typography, spelling, etc., just to find exactly what office she is running for. If you look hard enough, you'll eventually see that she's running for City Council.) It's a perfect example of the dangers of cutting corners. Her cost-slashing platform doesn't bode well the future of the city. But with flyers like this, there's probably no threat to be concerned about.

Sometimes unintentional truth in advertising is the best kind. :)

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