consultants are sandburs

Thursday, November 08, 2012

It seems the author of Reflections in Ramsey is small-minded and too willing to overlook history and its questions. In using the term "hypocrite" the author should look in a mirror, given his latest harangue.

In cogent part, without gratuitous name-calling, the anonymous critic opines:

At a recent council meeting, Council member Tossey decided to try and end TIF (Tax Increment Financing) where the city plays shell games with “projected” future tax revenues to pay for current infrastructure improvments.

So first inexactitude - is the claim Tossey wants to end all TIF in Ramsey, or only in Town Center? If only in Town Center, this barker never said "woof" when the TIF district for Town Center was put in place by voted out incumbents, with Landform probably liking it, and without this woofer saying why it was okay then, and a problem now. And what about the entire use of TIF, city wide?

One problem, all staff with experience and understanding of TIF got fired. It is hard to assess reprecussions of a change when the council sacked those who might be able to analyze and explain things.

And, Jim Deal as Baal, again, Moloch, whatever. That's name calling and not cogent rational commentary.

BIG QUESTION: Why was a Town Center TIF district created in the first place? Whose idea was it, and how, one day after the election has it changed from an okay idea to a super disasterous one?

I want a cogent understandable explanation and this airhead has no care to go there, only to call names and say stupid conclusory stuff. Anyway, the screed continues:

It’s bogus and rife with possible abuse. [Explain] This is the type of financial funny business the PAC [this is unhelpful crying over spilt milk] has said the current council majority should not do.

Made up conclusory stuff like that is not fact. It is only fact to a mind at the level of Michele Bachmann's. I am very dubious of TIF, principally because I do not understand it, and that to me suggests that there are vested planners and others who want exactly that, citizen ignorance of what TIF is and does. I would like to know. This turkey is wholly useless in terms of shedding light vs shooting nearly blindfolded.

I would like a cogent explanation of why a Town Center TIF district was ever started, and of the pros and cons of possibly ending it now, or later, or what might be best timing, and why. Garbage, I don't need. I put garbage out for ACE to take away every Monday. This Reflections in Ramsey individual either cares little for facts or does not understand how to present any. Anyway, the screed continues:

Council member Tossey made a motion to end the TIF district. Only one council member backed him up. [okay, who? that's basic and any idiot unwilling to take the time to name names, well, discredit the "thinking" is all you can do] Socialist Strommen was dumbfounded and flapped her jaws a few times, [this insults readers, by being crude and pejorative in a fact-free manner] finally blurting out ["stating" probably would be better usage] “We’ll need to study the effects of doing that”.

So this idiot would rather put the cart before the horse, change things, without any cogent analysis of cost/benefit balancing. That's what those who lost the election did far too much of. Let's start a TIF district; motion passes.

It was not Santa or the Easter Bunny who rolled the first number, it was those this author favors, and now that's implicitly to be irrelevant?

I agree with Tossey, that unless we have understandings of what TIF would be for, then, now, and in the future, why was it ever started in Town Center? Would the mayor and/or Wise and/or McGlone explain the rationale for the genesis of TIF in Town Center. They could even bring Matt Look over to explain it as equal to good then, bad now. I truly want to hear a complete cogent story. Don't you? Anyway, the screed continues:

She [Strommen] knows full well what the effects would be. Jim Deal would have to pay for more of the improvements when he gets his flunkeys to sell him the COR for cheap.

Do you, as a reader, also as I do, find yourself saying, "Huh?" What's this guy using? Smoking Santiflush in a glass pipe?

Council person Elvig (I can’t use the word man with Elvig), who is quick to criticize those who have covered for him numerous times, (more on that later) would not agree to end TIF either. So, what does this mean? Strommen is a hypocrite. She and her group of PACers claim they are the ethical majority, but they refuse to end a development funding method they criticize the current council for using.

Timeout. Who criticized who, when, in what context, saying what? Oh, wait, that's a fact, and facts are verboten anywhere near Reflections in Ramsey. They get in the way of a venting screed, and are anathema. Anyway, the screed continues:

They want Jim Deal, who is a millionaire many times over and SHOULD take the risk, to keep PUTTING RAMSEY TAXPAYERS “ON THE HOOK” for COR development infrastructure costs. The PACers aren’t against fiscal funding shell games, they are only against someone else using fiscal funding shell games. This is the group of hypocrites Ramsey residents voted into office. I sure you all don’t complain when this group dramatically increases your taxes and city fees. TOO LATE, SUCKERS.

Do you, as a reader, also as I do, find yourself saying, "Huh?" What's this guy using? Smoking Santiflush in a glass pipe?

I think the drift of things is that TIF was okay if it helped Landform suck cash, but if it benefits anyone else it is an assault and abuse of taxpayers. That, and Jim Deal is Baal, Moloch, whatever.

That is rampant fact free paranoia. Yes, I would want the entire TIF situation explained to where I could trust it, and understand its applications in magical way okay when pre-election, bad, post-election, when we are supposed to be a government of laws and principles, which do not change depending on who wins or loses an election.

I think the germ of a valid criticism may be found in these nascent rumblings, but I am hard pressed to trust anything there because of stylistic amateurism.


Other bottom line: All heat and no light is a waste of time and if this anonymous barker wants to be taken seriously by anybody, shifting into a forward gear and staying there might make sense. More sense than driving in circles in reverse. Blindfolded while saying "I am prophet, I know, I condemn; but why explain."

The guy probably had somebody's help setting up the Wordpress soapbox. Now if only he could get help on learning how to think and write cogently so as to avoid looking like a town dunce declining to keep taking medication on schedule.

BUT --


I realize I wrote a screed too. It is hard not to, for this stuff. It was a blast through, and no proof-reading, so cut some slack.

I most surely do not want to minimize or discredit the idea we should be skeptical of TIF and demanding explanations of what it has and might be used for, and with an understanding the devil is in the details (though not in Jim Deal's office).

And again, I am totally serious that one who majored in one of the hard sciences at a first rate university and then gained a law degree and practiced law in another state, who comes to Minnesota and sees a giant smokescreen all around TIF is one who is skeptical of what's going on and in whose interest is it to foster and promulgate misunderstanding and mystery, when any government program should be explainable and cordial after the explaining, to the citizens who pay for it one way or the other.

If it's obscured, it is like the priests of ancient Egypt, having a few simple rules of thumb for guessing when the periodic Nile floodings would happen, but keeping the mystique going by keeping it gobbledegook for all but each other. To me, an educated person, TIF is gobbledegook, and I find that troubling in that my suspicion is it was engineered to be just that. I distrust TIF immensely and encourage every citizen-voter to be as skeptical. To demand to be educated to what it is all about and whose money goes where to benefit whom, when, and where is the decision making authority - that is, the buck stops where?

Ball is in the court of those who want to practice it. Explain it. Please.

__________FURTHER UPDATE___________
There are variants of the aphorism attributed to Lord Rutherford, but the one applicable here is, " if you can't explain to a barmaid in five minutes what you are doing, you don't really know what you are doing."

All I ask for as a start is a barmaid's understanding of TIF, to be a first step to then asking, okay, now what's all this about Jim Deal and TIF ... and some conspiracy allegation that is, presently Reflections in Gobbledegook, and little to nothing beyond that of substance as a framework to hang the allegations on.

Put some spine into the assertions. Facts too.

And, sir, what about giving us your name? Some spine is needed there also.

___________FURTHER UPDATE___________
I have used this image before, but it just seems to fit the Reflections screed:

The swift kicker, well, Jim Deal does have a moustache; and I have always viewed Darren as something of a Bumstead.


Randy Backous said...

I was the one who seconded Tossey’s motion. I thought it would be good to have the discussion. Most people, including councilmembers, don’t fully understand TIF. I would absolutely love to explore the benefits and ramifications of decertifying the TIF or at least parts of it. But the opportunity for this council to move on that action came and went when the mayor called it an “amusing discussion.”

It would be extremely disrespectful to the three new councilmembers to move on a topic as far-reaching as this just 6 weeks before they are sworn in. I’m sure it won’t go anywhere until January. Wise can’t jeopardize his position by participating and I won't be a party to it at this time. However, I am absolutely willing to revisit it in January when the new councilmembers have the opportunity to voice their positions.

Why the Mayor’s sudden change of heart after the election? I can read these people like reading a children’s book. First, I can almost hear Mc Loan and Ramsey saying, “If Darren can’t have it, nobody can.” Second - and here’s where they think they’re being so very clever - they think they will be exposing hypocrisy since they still have delusions of a secret pact to “hand over land” to the boogieman Jim Deal. They are absolutely convinced that “we” won’t want to move on this because it will hurt the boogieman. Tune in and watch it happen. You heard it here first.

As usual with the “darrenamic duo,” the only thing they will be exposing is their own hypocrisy. Apparently, the election results weren’t enough to convince them that the residents of Ramsey are a little smarter than they are.

Randy Backous said...

PS...I should have mentioned though that if the councilmembers-elect are allowed to participate in the work sessions, which I assume they will be, and they are ok with moving on this now, I will support efforts to explore decertify part of the TIF before January if that's even possible. (Decertifying all wouldn't be possible because of F&C).

eric zaetsch said...

Randy - Like in the old black-and-white westerns, at a pow-wow, "I think white man speak truth."

Next, "read them like a children's book" or "read them like petulant children"?

Finally, yes, the examination can wait until January because it appears the devastation during the lame duck months can be held in check if you, Strommen, Tossey, and Elvig are each intent on protecting the latitude of the new membership, come January.

Now a few ponderables:

Any idea who this Reflections in Ramsey turkey is?

Any idea whether the McGlone job with Flaherty will last past construction, i.e., employment in the rental management or rental PR activity? Or would lack of continued Flaherty expectations of maximum usefulness be a factor?

(For what it is worth: I cannot see Flaherty/Cronk stepping into the politics of dumping the arrangement, and I expect the job shall continue as long as the McGlones care to maintain that relationship. I think Flaherty/Cronk is to cagy a pair to shift to dump mode. It would look indelicate.)

eric zaetsch said...

Randy - Separate thing - With that lake idea via using site material for fill elsewhere at Town Center; if you don't want a lake you and the new guys could fill the hole being left with dollar bills.

Maintain a long standing Town Center tradition.

Not being too much of a gambling man, I still would bet a proposal like that, dollar bills as fill, would not in the near future pass by unanimous vote, not with there being a history and a learning curve.

Randy Backous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wes Volkenant said...

Reflections in Ramsey = Jim Bendtsen, an ally of Republicans such as Branden Petersen and Matt Look. His November 23 Letter to the Editor in the Anoka County Union was virtually a rewrite of his late-October blog protesting not being able to respond to my pro-Peter Perovich letter, because he missed the pre-election deadline.

eric zaetsch said...

Wes V - Bendtsen, to the best of my knowledge, has a day job as an IT professional at -----sound trumpets----- UnitedHealthcare; the sworn enemy of sane single payer reform. One of Hemsley's minions. Go figure the rest. Which came first, the chicken or the egg.

eric zaetsch said...

Jim and Nancy Bendtsen; not mere foot soldiers; but executives, among the usual suspects:

Wes Volkenant said...

Eric - Have you noticed that Jim Bendtsen has seemingly shut down his blog, post-election? I admire what you do locally, realizing the time and attention that this site commands. Moreso, I admire the breadth of topics you take on. That said, I appreciate your follow through here. I see that Bendtsen was also a contributor to the Branden Petersen for State Senate Facebook page. I was tempted to "Like" it, to keep in touch, but I think it's pretty accessible without committing to a "Like."