Letters to the editor for Jan. 11, 2013

All revenue is a tax

To the Editor:

Your recent article Dec. 6, titled “Lower Taxes, More Spending in Anoka” is very misleading. It begs the question: What is a tax?

One basic answer might be that any revenue taken by a government entity is a tax. Fees are taxes. Such as the storm water fee, WAC and SAC fees and hundreds of others.

Fee increases are tax increases and any new fees are new taxes.

Furthermore the recent capture of projected revenue at the train station and the Health Partners site (two new TIF districts) are tax increases of tens of millions of dollars that are scheduled to be taken from our local economy over the next 27 years but the increases occurred in 2011 under the current city council.

Did I miss the article in your paper about the $50 million tax increase? Not likely.

The taxes that your article is presumably referring to would be the property tax levy. Property tax revenue has indeed fallen as property values have (the two are connected).

Property values have contracted a great deal since 2008 and the levy has barely moved. That indicates that our “tax rate” has increased.

So Mr. Editor, even though the title to your article sounds very euphoric, lower taxes and more spending, most people know that it can’t be true, they just don’t know where the additional money is going to come from.

And thanks to your paper, they will continue to wonder.

Pat Walker

Strong show of support

To the Editor:

It is with sincere appreciation that I give thanks to my fellow Blaine and Spring Lake Park residents who re-elected me to the county board on Nov. 6.

I am humbled by the strong show of support I received in my newly re-drawn commissioner district and consider it an honor and privilege to represent you.

I also appreciate the time and effort of all my volunteers for helping with my campaign; your steadfast support was critical to my success. It could not have been done without your help or without the unwavering support of my husband and family.

I want to acknowledge my opponent, Dan Sanders, for running a clean campaign.

In this next term I’ll continue to work every day to be a voice for the people in my district and for all citizens of Anoka County.

Our strength and greatest assets are the people who live here. I want Anoka County to continue to be a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire!

I am here to represent you, so please feel free to contact me with questions, ideas or concerns about county matters at 612-804-8207 (cell) or [email protected]

In gratitude,

Robyn West
Anoka County Commissioner District 3, Blaine

Drownings are an issue

To the Editor;

I am addressing an issue that has been brought up numerous times during the past 10 years. As reported in the Star Tribune from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the state of Minnesota had an abnormally high number of near drownings this past summer.

This is an important issue to me because, for the past 10 years, I am lifeguard and swim instructor. I worked to prevent and save peoples lives on a daily basis. It’s disturbing that this past summer we had 25 drownings by July 5, according to the DNR.

Nationally, drowning occurs 10 times per day (according to the Center of Disease for Control and Prevention). One in five are children under the age of five. Many of these drowning’s could be prevented.

This is why I would like to propose to have the Anoka-Hennepin School District implement swimming lessons for all students.

With this would be a requirement to pass basic swimming lessons to graduate.

Additionally, re-opening the pools that were closed in 2002 would provide swim support for all the district students.

Our community could benefit with the implementation of swimming lessons for all of our students.

Some of the benefits of this would be to promote healthy exercise that transfers to adulthood, which in turn can reduce health care cost in our community.

Another way this could help is to provide a safe and healthy activity to keep students out of trouble.

This would also support increased enrollments of extracurricular activities such as the swim team, diving team, including other sports like football and other activities.

These activities, in turn, give students essential life skills such as self-confidence, teamwork, winning and losing, relationship building, working hard, goal setting, etc.

I know this self-improvement happens since I was on the swim team from 1998-2003. Our boys’ and girls’ swim teams got the highest academics and produced a number of state qualifiers.

We need to act now and provide the essential life skills and save lives. Let’s come together as a community to provide swim lessons and re-open the pools for our future students.

Thank you for your time.

Zabrina Stellburg
Brooklyn Center, formerly of Coon Rapids

The word is ‘blovating’

To the Editor

Blovated. Adj. bloated, self-important, self-inflated, egotistic, verbose. Also used as a verb.

In a recent online screed, the self-proclaimed “Anoka County Watchdog” described the writer of a recent letter to the editor critical of his actions during the past election cycle as “blovating.”

The “Anoka County Watchdog” has for years been blovating in his weekly screeds, promoting his political positions and the importance of his actions in promoting his self-serving positions and those politicians who support those positions. Maybe it makes him feel important.

However, before we start using big words of accusations such as blovation and buffoonery around, maybe we need to remember the old adage that the man who points a finger at another had best remember that there are four fingers pointing back at himself.

The “Watchdog” has provided a number of years of entertaining online reading, but quite frankly he’s not provided much in the order of constructive, critical thinking, but merely a rehash of the ALEC, Koch brothers view of the world that led us into 2008 and the economic and social morass that has continued over last four years and the inability to make sound, reasoned decisions to deal with critical political and economic issues at local, state and federal levels.

Mike Nelson
Coon Rapids

Opportunity to serve

To the Editor:

Thank you, Coon Rapids. I hope everyone had a great Christmas and best wishes for 2013. I want to thank the people of Coon Rapids for giving me the opportunity to serve you as your council member at large.

It is a responsibility I do not take lightly. My first experience running for an elected office was certainly eye opening.

Many of you, like myself, are longtime residents and very happy living in Coon Rapids. That does not mean there are not challenges ahead and concerns about the future.

I am fortunate to be joining a great council that is committed to the citizens of Coon Rapids.

I can assure you I will be available and do my best to represent all of Coon Rapids!

Steve Wells
Coon Rapids

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