I know Mayor Carter's supporters probably think he should get six months or a year to demonstrate that his administration is anything more than an extension of the Coleman era when it comes to job creation or innovation, but pretending that the formation of a steering committee as part of "Full Stack Saint Paul" is big news is not very encouraging.
While the goal of 2,000 additional "tech-related" jobs is laudable, the private sector will likely create that many jobs on its own because all companies are going to need more tech people on staff if they don't want to be left behind in the last century.
But significant technological innovation will not happen in St. Paul without a robust broadband network affordable and accessible to everyone, something that is not even on the agenda of the so-called “innovation cabinet.”
Businesses are not going to relocate to St. Paul in any significant numbers or entrepreneurs start high-tech companies here merely because some, like Ward 3 CM Chris Tolbert, believe that there is “an atmosphere of innovation in Saint Paul.”
An atmosphere of innovation first and foremost requires ready access to the most innovative technological tool of our era—the Internet. Yet there is no plan in St. Paul for addressing the digital divide or dealing with the corporate duopoly of Comcast and Century Link.
Nope, we’re going to somehow spur the growth in technology jobs by “telling our story” of the “vibrant innovative culture in St. Paul,” staging events to connect innovators, and “creating an ecosystem of high-quality real estate solutions”? I don’t think so.
Sorry, but this strategy is completely backwards. Build the network and the innovators will follow. Everything else is “happy speak,” and a task force that includes only six women among its thirty-four members is just another recipe for maintaining the status quo. ...
In what could be a major setback for her mayoral campaign, former Supervisor Angela Alioto has been denied public funds for the June special election, leaving her as the only major candidate out of the loop for what could be up to $975,000 in matching money to help sway voters. "I was stunned - we n...
I've known Shirley Erstad for three-plus years and am truly impressed by the great work she does advocating for parks and green space, for people, and for transparent government.
While there are other very appealing candidates also running for City Council in Ward 4, I believe Shirley is the only one who is both willing to fight for good policy but also unafraid to push back against a status quo that for too long has not valued the concerns of neighborhoods or those who are not political insiders. That's why I think she is the best choice to represent Ward 4 at City Hall.
What Shirley Stands For I am running for Ward 4 St. Paul City Council because I am a progressive thinker who believes in a city where everyone is valued and has an opportunity to be heard. As the Executive Director of a local non-profit for the past four years, Friends of the Parks and Trails of St....
Fred Melo takes a long-overdue stab at explaining TIF to St. Paul's readers.
While it's true that TIF has been used for "good" projects like the Dominium senior housing complex or the Hamline Station Apts., the lion's share of recent TIF has gone for the Saints ballpark, the new soccer stadium, the Penfield, the Palace Theater, and other projects where the use of public money is highly questionable. Not sure why Melo didn't talk about the relative sums involved in all of these projects, as it would have helped demonstrate more clearly how one-sided has been the use of TIF to benefit corporate interests.
But kudos for other truths he laid out, such as this:
"In other words, for upward of 20 years, funds generated by a brand-new corporate headquarters’ increased property value don’t go to the city to fix your potholes or pay librarians or firefighters or cops. They don’t go to schools or teachers’ salaries or county social workers or the county jail. Instead of boosting the general fund, those property tax dollars are redirected to pay off TIF debts." ...