Gary Schiff’s E-news November 21, 2012

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November 21, 2012
MAC votes to delay new flight paths
Neighborhood outcry alters plans

The Minneapolis Airports Commission voted to delay their approval of a portion of the Federal Aviation Administration’s plans to inst
all new navigation technology that will change flight paths for airplanes. The MAC voted to postpone the new flight tracks north of the airport, over Edina and Minneapolis in order to further study the impacts of the proposed changes and also to solicit more public input. They approved the new southern takeoff routes over Eagan and Mendota Heights. If approved, the new flight plans will significantly impact the quality of life of many south Minneapolis residents. The MAC held two open houses earlier this month but did not seek public input or hear public testimony. In a letter to MAC chairman Dan Boivin, the Minneapolis City Council discouraged MAC approval of the new flight paths and also asked for further community review.
“Airport noise is one of the largest quality of life issues for south Minneapolis. The potential for more noise also means the potential for a decrease in property values for residents affected,” Council Member Gary Schiff said. “Our neighbors deserve a more meaningful public outreach effort and a more thorough environmental analysis.” To find out more about the proposed changes, including maps from the MAC website highlighting the changes, information from the open houses and news articles about the proposal, click here. For a list of MAC Commissioners, click here.

2013 budget adds police and firefighters
The 2013 proposed budget adds $2.5 million to the Police Department to convert existing community service officers to sworn officers, hire new non-sworn community service officers and begin a new recruit class in early 2013. By next summer, the Police Department should have ten new officers on the force. The proposal also adds $1.1 million to hire new firefighters and allow the Fire Department to start a recruit class this year.
Before the City Council votes to adopt a final 2013 budget on December 12, 2012 there will be two public hearings for Minneapolis residents to voice their opinions. Public comment will be taken at City Hall, 350 South 5th Street in Room 317 at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 28th and Wednesday, December 12th. Minneapolis residents should be watching the mail for Truth-in-Taxation statements which will reflect the Mayor’s proposed property tax increase of 1.77 percent.
To learn more about the budget before the public hearings, the city will rebroadcast all of the budget hearings back-to-back every weekend through December 9th. For a broadcast schedule of hearings, go to www.minneapolismn.gov/tv/79schedule. To view the hearings online, click here.

City seeks traffic calming
State permission needed for 20mph school zones
After the death of four year old Jose Rodriguez, city officials are considering lowering speed limits in school zones. Rodriguez died from injuries after he was struck by a vehicle as he was crossing 26th Street and 11th Avenue to play soccer in a park next to Andersen School.
The state has a minimum speed limit of 30 miles per hour in any residential area, with no reduced speed limits in school zones. “If the legislature approves the City’s request for lower speed limits in school zones,” said Council Member Gary Schiff, “then the Council will cut speed limits from 30 to 20 miles per hour in school zones where neighborhoods request this change.”
If approval is given, the city will cover the cost of any street signs that need to be changed. Schiff says the cost of this change is far less than putting police on every school corner. And, Schiff says the chances of dying after being hit by a car traveling 30 miles per hour are double than after being hit by a vehicle going 20 miles an hour. He says the changes are needed to make streets safer for school children as well as motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.

Council hearing on homelessness 
Council Member Lisa Goodman is planning to discuss homelessness issues facing the city and region at the November 27th Community Development Committee meeting. The meeting, including a public hearing on homelessness, is at 1:30 p.m. in room 317 of City Hall, 350 South 5th Street.
In Hennepin County, the homelessness rate is at a five-year high. Low vacancy rates for affordable housing and reduced federal funding for programs that prevent homelessness are factors in the rising numbers of homeless people.
Two overflow shelters are being utilized, one at First Covenant Church at 810 South 7th Street, and the other at River of Life Church at 2200 North Fremont Avenue. “We are absolutely full now at the Drake, People Serving People (PSP) and Sharing & Caring Hands,” Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman said. Dorfman also mentioned that there is a strong need for new shelters for unaccompanied youth, and hotels have not reached out to help house families. Monica Nilsson of St. Stephens mentioned that in addition to the population in shelters, even more people who are homeless are sleeping on people’s floors, in vehicles, or outside.

Ninth Ward Award nominations open

January’s Breakfast with Gary will feature the 10th Annual State of the Ward Address and Ninth Ward Awards. Awards will be given for Leader of the Year, Block Club of the Year, Neighborhood Project of the Year, and Youth Leader of the Year. “The Ninth Ward is a community of activists who impressively fight for the betterment of their community. This event is a time to celebrate our successes,” Council Member Gary Schiff said. To make a nomination, write a brief description of the accomplishments that you think deserve recognition.
Please submit your Ninth Ward Award nominations via e-mail, fax (612) 673-3940 or by email to Council Member Gary Schiff, 350 South 5th Street, Room 307, Minneapolis, MN 55415 by Friday, January 11th. Breakfast with Gary will take place Friday, January 25, 2013 from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. at Mercado Central, 1515 East Lake Street. Breakfast is $7 (and optional). There is no cost to attend the event. RSVP to reserve your seat to suzanne.murphy@minneapolismn.gov or call (612) 673-2209.

Policy on Tap
How the Amendments Failed & What's Next?
Tues. Nov. 27   7pm
Enjoy locally-brewed beer and hear how the two constitutional amendments failed in Minnesota, just months after both were projected to pass. 

Join Minnesotans United campaign manager Richard Carlbom, University of Minnesota Political Scientist Kathryn Pearson and others. 

Policy on Tap is hosted by Council Member Gary Schiff at Harriet Brewing, 3036 Minnehaha Avenue in Minneapolis. It will be on Tuesday, November 27, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. There is no cost to attend. Stay for a brewery tour after the talk!

Attendees must be 21 or older unless accompanied by a parent.  

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