Gary Schiff’s Recent Newsletter

March 28, 2013
Hearing set to legalize flea markets
A public hearing to lift the sixty-year ban on flea markets will be held at City Hall on Thursday, April 4, at 1:30 p.m. “The struggling economy, the popularity of shopping local, and the desire to create a sustainable community through the reuse of consumer products is leading to increased popularity of flea marketsacross the country,” said Council Member Gary Schiff, author of the proposed legislation.
Flea markets will be regulated similarly to farmers’ markets, said Schiff. A license will be required for each market, with spaces for individual vendors. The legislation would allow flea markets to sell arts, crafts, antiques, and secondhand goods but would prohibit items such as guns, ammunition, drug paraphernalia, and counterfeit goods. For more information, check out the Minneapolis flea markets Facebook page.
Energy options on the ballot in 2013
Voters in Minneapolis may see a question on their ballot this November asking if the city can form a municipal utility. Clean energy advocateMinneapolis Energy Options is working to get a question on the ballot that would allow the city to explore the possibility of municipal ownership of utilities rather than depending on Xcel Energy or CenterPoint Energy. In 2014 the City of Minneapolis will be renegotiating its contract with Xcel and CenterPoint. Currently, these two utility companies pay Minneapolis about $24 million annually for use of the public right-of-way to distribute electricity and natural gas to Minneapolis energy users. Council Member Gary Schiff has endorsed the effort, saying  it will educate people about the need for more renewable energy.
To learn more about Minneapolis Energy Options and efforts to reduce citywide greenhouse gas emissions, visit the organization’s website orFacebook page.
Plant a tree for $25 this spring
The City of Minneapolis is partnering withTree Trust to make a thousand trees available to Minneapolis residents. City residents, businesses, and nonprofits can purchase a tree for $25. Planting a tree is the easiest way to improve property value, reduce energy needs, and improve air and water quality. Residents can order one tree per household, and all trees will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis.
There are nine varieties to choose from: blue beech, Evans Bali cherry, Kentucky coffeetree, northern hackberry, Princeton elm, river birch, Royal Raindrops crabapple, serviceberry (single-stem), and Techny arborvitae. Trees may be ordered online or by calling (952) 767-3886. In the past seven years, the City Trees program has increased the city’s canopy by providing 9,000 trees for planting on private property.
Call for artists: Minneapolis art wraps
Artists of all backgrounds and in all media are encouraged to submit proposed designs for utility box wraps in the city. Twelve artists will be chosen and given an honorarium of $1,000. Their designs will be available to participating neighborhoods to use on local utility boxes. The competition is open to artists living or working in Minneapolis. These art wraps will serve to beautify the city as well as deter graffiti. Neighborhood and nonprofit organizations that are interested in developing their own artistic utility box projects can apply for permission to place their designs on city-owned utility boxes.

Details for the application process are available online. The deadline for applications is Wednesday, April 17, at 4 p.m. Questions about the process may be directed to Mary Altman More information about the project is at

Join Council Member Gary Schiff and Chief Janeé Harteau on Friday, March 29, to hear the chief’s perspective on gun trafficking, crime prevention, and the future of the police department.
Breakfast with Gary is a monthly meeting held from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. the final Friday of the month at the Mercado Central, 1515 East Lake Street. There is no charge to attend. $5 buys breakfast.
Since becoming Chief, Harteau has smet with President Obama, and has put all 840 officers through a training focused on accountability and job performance.

Chief Harteau joined the Minneapolis Police Department as an officer in 1987, at age 22. She has worked on the street in north, south, and downtown Minneapolis, and has served in the narcotics, organized crime, and license investigation units, among others.

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