Author: Matt Lehman, on his own behalf
- Early on, the City knowingly and willingly tried to disenfranchise its voters by seeking to change state law bypassing the petition and voter ballot question required in state law. Citizen participation should be encouraged, not restricted. Does/did the City Council support this action?
- The Utility Manager tried repeatedly to meet with the City Administrator to no avail. He wouldn’t meet to discuss concerns.
- The city has consistently asked for lower utility charges for new development. I believe this can only be achieved if existing ratepayers are charged more to make up the difference.
- The City Council has subsidized many developments. Subsidies place the costs of services and additional infrastructure needs on existing taxpayers. Why should I think the City would not do the same with utility fees/rates or infrastructure?
- I believe the City is not following state statutes:
State Statute 412 391 subd 2: Abolishing a utility commission requires a petition. The City does not have a petition.
State Statute 412.391 subd 3: Transferring authority from Utility Commission to City Council. This state law requires a petition and ballot question also. The city has stated its intention to transfer authority of funds, rates, policy, fees, and infrastructure to themselves which clearly requires a petition process as stated by the city attorney and state law. Why abolish instead of transfer as outlined in state statute?
- The City Council removed Steve Clay – a respected, long-term community member of great standing and of decades of community service – only to replace him with people that publicly have stated their desire and intentions to abolish the Commission prior to appointment. This goes counter to the City’s claim of seeking collaboration.
- I have a moral and ethical responsibility to recognize the utility manager – while going through some life-changing health issues – may not have been 100% focused and might have lacked some oversight. This was not the fault of the commission.
- The City claims of unsafe water and false reporting to the state are both false. The state says our water is high quality and the investigation revealed no findings of false reporting.
- The City blames SPU when a contractor does not follow utility-approved plans. As a matter of fact, the City has demanded SPU pay for contractor errors that were made because the contractors were not following approved SPU plans.
- I agree with the Commission policy that new development should pay for itself. The City’s recent past development actions show their desire to subsidize new growth of all types on the backs of current ratepayers.
- The City’s intention to annex 500 acres from Jackson township in just two years leads me to believe the City wishes to install utility services infrastructure prior to new development which is expensive and an extreme financial risk.
- I do not support water and electricity decisions being subjected to the ever-changing political winds. Keep the politics out.
- I – like most other Shakopee residents – want low rates and reliable service.