consultants are sandburs

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

RAMSEY - Some things are vexing. Some things result from inadequate attention to detail. Some things are both. THE LATEST NEWS ON THE FRANCHISE FEE FRONT, sort of.

Today, in the mail, a flyer, an October 2013 special front/back Ramsey Resident page.

Subject = you guessed it, the Franchise Fee Saga, variations on a theme, info on a special meeting, but again - sort of.

First, going to the city website, clicking the left sidebar, Ramsey Resident, and guess what?

Zippo on this special item. Not important enough one guesses, for attentiveness and coordination of message. Oh well, it's Ramsey ...

However, this life saver, the flyer said, "Visit the city website at

Don't bother. Or make that not yet - sort of.

Here's a screen capture that says enough, if not saying it all:

Please note how carefully the screenshot was done to show the URL address line.

Our Town. Right or wrong. On top of things. Or trailing edge.

Same old, same old. Go figure.

At some point the right hand learns what the left hand is doing --- sort of.

PETTIFOGGERY OVER DETAIL ASIDE - The hummer in the mail did say:

Attend the upcoming Open House any time from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 1st

Contact your city councilmember via the city's web site at of ramsey/ramsey-city-council [sic] [perhaps of just might work better if it works at all]

Contact city engineer Bruce Westby at or 763-433-9825

Perhaps that info may make the city webpage, access allowed, on or before Wednesday, October 2nd. Perhaps not.

In any event, Oct. 1 is the magic get-together date, so be there or be square.

One more item of note, the City website has a search function, if you'd not known that before; this screen capture:

I am --- At a loss for words - sort of.

Doing a search in past council records [using the DOCUMENTS left sidebar menu tab from the City of Ramsey web homepage] there was franchise fee mischief afoot back in 2003, besides starting anew last year, (before the change in council makeup per the election), so that it seems there is a 10-year Ramsey franchise fee cycle, much as with sunspots. Residents who were around then can go back and check utility bills, or their Quicken records for the 2003-2004 time period. There were review and sunset provisions for that hummer back then, more of the same, nothing new under the sun ... except my understanding is that then it was six bucks total per household per month, $3 gas, $3 electric, but money buys less these days and now it's to be $8 a pop, per month, each utility. And road mileage grows as number of households grow. At least the shared-wall folks get each unit hit, as with each of the town's single family detached homes. There is some justice. Also, last "sunspot cycle" if memory serves correctly, the franchise fee was to pay half the road re-tarring cost with the other half assessed per property unit. Reader help on historical detail, via comments, would be appreciated.

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