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John Nephew

Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics


Election Day 2009

Today is Election Day. Have you voted yet?

If you don't know where to vote, visit the Ramsey County Precinct Finder to identify your polling location. The same page will show you your precinct's sample ballot.

Are you not registered to vote? In order to vote, you must be:
  • 18 years of age or older;
  • A United States citizen; and
  • Have lived in Minnesota for at least 20 days by Election Day.
If you are eligible to vote, you can register today at your polling location. The Secretary of State's website has information on how to do this, including a list of documents that you may use to verify your residence.

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I've made no secret of my own choices on this ballot — Rossbach for Mayor, Juenemann and Llanas for City Council. All three represent common sense and a strong commitment to the common good. In my time on the council, I've had policy disagreements and voting differences with both Rossbach and Juenemann, but I know that we disagree in good faith while sharing a commitment to the good of our city. The same will be true of Jim Llanas.

Maplewood needs to move past the failed leadership of Diana Longrie, whose position as mayor has given her a platform to perpetuate divisiveness and dysfunction in our city even while the election of 2007 removed a lot of her ability to do damage. While she and her partisans try to distract you with lies about Will wanting to take away your fire pit and other silliness, remember how much she has cost our city — the hiring of her utterly unqualified crony, Greg Copeland, as city manager; the unnecessarily large (10.2%) tax increase of 2007; the excessive and avoidable lawsuits that nearly left us uninsurable; the use of the city newsletter for electioneering; her sabotage of our legislators' bill to fund conservation in Fish Creek; her promotion of the conservation easements gimmick while eliminating the Parks & Recreation Department; and so much more.

After losing reelection in 2007, Rebecca Cave vanished from sight. Now she's on the ballot again. While she seems to have put some distance between herself and Longrie, she can't escape the legacy of the 2006-2007 period and all the city problems created by her being the third vote on so many issues with Longrie and Hjelle — appointing Greg Copeland, passing the 2007 budget with its 10.2% tax increase and its staff reorganization with illegal retaliatory firings, land use decisions that led to costly lawsuits, etc. She may have the political sense not to link herself publicly to Longrie during this campaign, but is there any reason to think she would govern differently than she did in the past?

Dave Hafner tries to portray himself as being apart from Maplewood's political divisions, but his record shows a rabid partisan for Erik Hjelle, Rebecca Cave, and Diana Longrie, as seen in his letters to the editor, visitor presentations, and other public statements from before he was a candidate. He even had public praise for the 10.2% levy increase of 2007. Given how he overrreacts to issues on the campaign trail, voters might question if he has the temperament to handle the criticism and even personal attacks that we routinely receive on the city council. I think of Hafner as being like Erik Hjelle, but without the refined diplomatic skills.

The 2007 election was a major step in returning Maplewood to normalcy, but there's much more to be done. Today we need to continue the changes of 2007 by electing Will Rossbach as our new mayor, returning Kathy Juenemann to the council, and bringing Jim Llanas on board. Do your part by voting, and remind your friends and neighbors to vote. Help rebuild a Maplewood we can all be proud of.

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