By Mike Kaszuba

For much of Gov. Tim Pawlenty's speech Friday, former Richfield Mayor Marty Kirsch laughed at the punch lines, clapped when the crowd rose in applause and nodded approvingly.

As Pawlenty left the stage Friday at the state Republican convention, Kirsch however had one criticism.  "He's cut out too much [local government aid] from cities like Richfield," said Kirsch, who previously served as Richfield's mayor for 16 years and is running again.  ""we're having a terrible time.

Kirsch said cities were typically the first ones to be called when taxpayers needed help -- and that the state aid cuts had made the city's ability to respond difficult.  "If your house is on fire, you're not going to call the state of Minnesota," he said.

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