Editor James Sanna firstname.lastname@example.org
3:19 pm on Monday, December 12, 2011
Please check info on NOW urgent care center. It was closed when we arrived at 4:10 on Sat afternoon. I'm not certain that it is still functioning at all. Where is nearest functioning urgent care?
1:56 pm on Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Al. We'll be doing more city budget stories. I will clarify, yes, to meet your point.
1:50 pm on Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Thanks for the response. Are you following up with article(s) to update the incorrect Sept 15th article regarding City taxes?
If you won't -- I will certainly start my own "campaign"
4:31 pm on Monday, November 28, 2011
Al. I received your e-mails. Your input is noted. Thanks.
4:30 pm on Monday, November 28, 2011
Hello. Wanted to see if you had an update to the emails I sent last Monday
12:07 pm on Monday, November 21, 2011
- Re - the school referendum - The Patch dutifully regurgigated every link, article, or piece of information the school district and the school boards lackey - IinE committee released. When I asked for detailed budget information to also be linked up showing what makes up the costs of the district - you went silent. When I began my own efforts to provide that information through the Patch (and some information that SHOULD be available on the district website but isnt) - you tried to shut me down.
Again, since it doesn't seem to be sinking in - I believe in transparency of the goings-on of tax supported public institutions.
Do I have an agenda -- you darn right I do.
I believe public sector reform (in many areas) is overripe for happening. The private sector has gotten ravaged over the past 3 years - the public sector continues to grow above the rate of inflation (in most cases).
I do believe that Patch (now that Ive known of its existence since late October) does have the ability to provide tremendous benefits to the community. The updates re: the bank robber, community events are all great examples of that. But the Patch is not being objective or practicing good journalism regarding public institutional budget concerns.
( I really dislike the Patchs 1500 character restrictions)
So based on this inaccurate article - you don't think an information update is warranted for the Patch's reader? Mike even the Pioneer Press and the RedStar provided update articles regarding the "hyperlocal" allocations of property taxes by classification. What are you afraid of ...or what agenda do you have to not do so?
- Regarding County Taxes - the overall average increase is indeed 1.6% - but again, properties above 175K are getting much higher percentages - and lower valued properties might be getting small decreases (especially prevalent in Western Wright County).
When asked whether the Wright County budget is available online - Mr Hiivaala stated that it's not available at this time. Transparency of government anyone?
12:05 pm on Monday, November 21, 2011
I finally had time to reply to your comment below.
I believe in FULL unbiased transparency of government policy/budgets/taxes/compensation packages/actions. In this day and age of easy access by 99% of the population to a computer - the public (and the "press") should expect nothing less.
I honestly don't know why you appear to be fighting against that so much.
From your comments that you sent me -
- Please re-read your coverage from Sept 15th regarding City property taxes
Copying the headline through the first couple of paragraphs
"St. Michael Holds Steady on General Levy in 2012
The general fund levy will nearly match the $5.5 million spent in 2011, which means local taxpayers won't see increases from the city.
St. Michael residents will again be spared any tax hikes on the property tax rolls by their local government, as the city council approved a preliminary levy 2012 that actually sees the city collect less in local revenue.
With the Market Value Homestead Credit gone, the city could afford to budget about $45,000 less in property tax receipts for the 2012 budget, meaning local taxes should remain flat."
This is patently false - the increase is on average 2.48% - with some properties getting a reduction (those under 120K value - and everyone else getting much larger increases).
1:23 pm on Thursday, November 17, 2011
I've explained our Bachmann coverage a hundred times. I'm not going there again.
As for local taxes I've covered (Or we've covered)
- The repeal of the homestead tax credit
- the levies for both St. Michael and Albertville
- I've linked out to a Monticello Times story on the county levy
- The school levy (general fund)
-The operations levy debate, election and results
Yes, I realize statements came out and about 1/2 went up and 1/2 went down. We covered some of that in all of the above stories, not knowing where the line would be drawn (turns out it's about $225K).
I'm wondering what the angle is. It's NOT NEWS that someone's pissed about a double-digit tax increase. The story would be is if someone's getting a bunch of new things from their gov't for that tax increase. They're not.
The story is the "shell game," and we've covered that already.
So I'm asking again ... what are you looking for?
12:32 pm on Thursday, November 17, 2011
I havent responded yet because I wanted to discuss with Bob Hiivala (Wright County Auditor/Treasurer) first. Have you looked at your 2012 Proposed Property Tax Statement? My property taxes are up over 7% YOY without the impact of the increases in school taxes being factored in. I don't think that's a "personal agenda" item as you describe. It's a fact. It's a personal agenda item on the part of the Patch to not discuss relevant "hyperlocal" issues. But go ahead..keep focusing on Bachman's campaign discussing global/national issues.
I understand why the increases are there - beyond the stated increases from the county/city -- its to cover the loss of credits being provided by the state. The financial shell game is over for providing credits to both. Regardless - it is a significant concern for taxpayers to have near double digit property tax increases.
Are you going to cover?
12:10 pm on Wednesday, November 16, 2011
When's the lovely article coming about the ridiculous increases in property taxes at County, City and (now) school levels for 2012?
2:50 pm on Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Hi MIke! I am wondering if the Patch would ever consider doing some type of weekly column about businesses in Saint Michael that have gone above and beyond to provide exceptional customer service. It would be nice if customers who have received such service could share their experiences with the rest of us so we could patronize those businessess also. We recently had two very good experiences with B&D Plumbing and would love to "get the word out" that they far exceeded our expectations both times we've used them!
11:05 pm on Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Hey Mike--we have our Grand Opening next week on Thursday, November 10th--anyway to get an event posting or article about it?
Leah Colby--EyeWest Vision Clinic
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