• 24Oct

    Here are some evolving DMC Transit plans that were presented to ROCOG On October 23, 2014

    ROCOG DMC Transit Plans Update

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  • 22Oct

    Here is a presentation I recently attended, thought you might be interested.

    October 2014 Briefing

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  • 17Oct

    On behalf of my self and those that I represent, I submitted the following comments to the DMC Board and staff.  These comments cover issues large and small and are offered in addition to the combined council comments made earlier this week:

    Wojcik DMC Comments

    Here are the comments from the entire council:

    Council DMC Comments

    Thank you to the hundreds of people that contributed ideas.  Not every idea is in here, some were a little too specific for this point in time and others are more applicable to the community comprehensive plan.

     

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  • 18Sep

    Here is where 6 billion in investment will take place.  The lines are preliminary.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxMKqsc4J7x0bU43MzVyY3dmVDdIVDhNSVpHeWxlcmZMRVJv/edit?usp=sharing

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  • 01Aug

    DMC behind the scenes. Politics, politics, politics.

    I can’t say this enough. Thank you Rep Kim Norton.

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  • 19May

    We are still waiting for a more detailed analysis of DMC, but here are some points to know.

    1. the City (and no one else) creates the DMCC nonprofit corporation.  (The previous “Authority” no longer exists.
    2. the City must approve the DMCC’s Development Plan.
    3. any approved Development Plan (along with any project that implements the Plan) must comply with all of the City’s ordinances, comprehensive plans, and zoning ordinances.  ( I envision the Development Plan will find its way into the City’s Comprehensive Plan.)
    4. the City issues the bonds.
    5. the City constructs any and all public infrastructure projects.

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  • 28Apr

    DMC is getting better from a local governance perspective.  The state house bill is far better and is the version being supported by the Rochester City Council.

    Comparison Document

    Big thanks to assistant city administrator and former Mouseketeer Gary Nuemann for putting this together.*

    Here is why the house version is far better: Read more…

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  • 21Apr

    A quick look at the numbers below might suggest that the state values the Mayo Clinic far less than professional sports. The DMC project has far better leverage of public dollars, but despite that… Citizens of Rochester get smacked much harder than other tax bases. That said, at least the authority makeup and oversight is respectable in the house bill unlike that of the senate.

    Disclosure: many number from wikipedia, so, um, you know…

    Edit: I’m happy to update numbers or add other projects if you have the figures.

     photo HouseDMCPie_zps03640fb7.jpg

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  • 31Mar

    Here is a position statement from someone that I trust and respect.  What do you think?

    DMC is conceivd as a partnership between Mayo Clinic and the City of Rochester. Mayo Clinic is not responsible for the well-being of the citizens of Rochester. The government of this city is.

    So far, we have left it to Mayo Clinic to do all the heavy lifting. That’s not much of a partnership. The city government needs to step up and speak to DMC concerns that fall within the authority of the city. To the extent that these are questions raised by our citizens, the city has an obligation to provide answers, to make clear what it is the city intends. That’s the kind of strong partner the city should be.

    Being a strong partner does not mean we have to “stand up” to Mayo Clinic. Partners should stand with each other. But, we cannot do either until we stand for something. Partnerships need to be based on clear expectations, honest and open communication, and a mutual respect for what each partner brings. Patients are at the core of Mayo Clinic’s mission. At the core of the city’s mission must be our citizens.

    In this DMC partnership, the city must stand for its people even as it stands with Mayo Clinic. The good of this city, the well-being of our citizens, is not the responsibility of Mayo Clinic; it is the responsibility, the obligation, the duty of city government. It is time the city started doing its duty. We must start answering for ourselves, especially those questions for which only the city has the authority to answer.

    The “medical center” is definitely Mayo Clinic, but the “destination” is Rochester, Minnesota.

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  • 26Mar

    “Group think” is a very dangerous thing.  Here are a couple of well respected citizens raising concerns.

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BxMKqsc4J7x0NGxqOTlFT3Nmckk/edit?usp=sharing

    Also kudos to Shiela Kiscaden for asking some tough questions and not letting other County Commission members bully her!  I appreciate local leaders that are good role models for myself.

    Here are a few points that I strongly agree with:

    The individuals and/or entities working on this legislative initiative for the past two to three (or more) years and who signed confidentiality agreements should be disclosed to the public.

    Do any of those individuals/entities who have been instrumental in constructing this legislation have any ownership interest (corporate or otherwise) in or options on potentially affected development sites, corridors or adjacent properties and, if so, what are those interests?

    This is a legitimate concern and potential conflict of interest should be investigated.

    What is it about the existing zoning laws, land use plans, Downtown Master Plan, Central Development Core and Medical Campus Overlay Zones, City of Rochester Tax Increment Financing, City of Rochester Development Administration, Rochester Area Economic Development Incorporated (RAEDI), sales tax funding and other financial options that create any impediments or measure of hardship for Mayo and private developers necessitating state financial subsidies?

    This is even more important with Sen. Senjem’s move to eliminate local representation on the authority.

    Are the 35,000 jobs promised by the DMC in addition to the 35,000 jobs already forecast for southeastern Minnesota? How do these projections relate to the already predicted additional 32,000 Rochester residents in the next 20 years? Is it the expectation that Rochester and the surrounding Rochester area population will multiply two-fold within the next twenty (20) years? How can sensible and meaningful planning occur without accurate projections?

    My assumption is the answer to this is no.  But a solid answer is needed.

    What are the projected impacts of such growth upon law enforcement, fire safety, public works, community corrections, social services, mental health agencies, the Judicial Branch, downtown residential low density neighborhoods, public parks, heritage preservation, the public and private educational systems (in Rochester and the surrounding communities), affordable housing (in Rochester and the surrounding communities) and the variety of other “infrastructure” elements which transcend and are in addition to traditional “infrastructure” such as streets, bridges, sidewalks, sewer, water and electricity which are already strained?

    This is also a concern of mine.  This became more of a concern upon finding how many new poverty wage jobs might be created.

    How should the makeup of the Authority be determined and should anyone with any employment or other interest in the Mayo Clinic be permitted to serve on the authority?

    This is where I disagreed with the rest of the city council.  I do not think Mayo should oversee Mayo while obtaining governmental authority.  I also think that St. Paul designing Rochester infrastructure is about as appropriate as Canada controlling the US Military.

    Should the Medical Center Economic Development Corporation meetings be subject to the open meeting laws since this entity will undoubtedly frame and drive the Authority’s agenda?

    I was told the answer to this was yes, but now I am not so sure.

    What are the relevant public policy considerations of public subsidies for private businesses like Mayo that promises jobs in exchange for help? This dynamic is often referred to as “economic extortion”, particularly when companies threaten to expand by creating jobs elsewhere. The Mayo Clinic continues to threaten they would do just that.

    Mayo does need to stay and grow in Rochester, but should we subsidize a retail job paying $6.25 an hour and suck up social costs.  The current bill seems to say that is OK.

    Haven’t we already laid enough waste to the land? The Mayo Clinic real estate footprint is enormous. How does increasing that footprint relate to the principles in the Downtown Master Plan which suggests the infill area of vast surface parking lots is a contributing factor to our community being viewed as one with a lack of vibrancy?

    Mayo’s history of land use decisions is a concern for many neighborhoods that have been hurt in the name of progress.  I think we are already addressing that issue with the downtown masterplan, but only a thoughtful comprehensive plan revision will truly address the issue.  This is the fault of the city as much as Mayo.

    Does the community really need this additional layer of governance to achieve the goals of promoting and encouraging a growing yet sustainable community?

    The community definitely does NOT need it.  This is a Mayo want / need.  Everything that the DMC authority seeks to do can be accomplished by the elected city council if the state were to grant the same powers.

    With these and multiple other salient unanswered questions, would any group of critically thinking people accept the current principles of this proposed legislation and then make it the law of our state? We hope and trust not.

    John Kruesel Kevin A. Lund Sons of the Rochester Community Rochester, Minnesota

     

     

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