What’s making news in Minneapolis, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to baird.helgeson@startribune.com.

City news roundup for Monday, Sept. 19

Posted by: James Eli Shiffer under Local business, Politics and government Updated: September 19, 2011 - 9:32 AM

Minneapolis news in the Star Tribune:

Now that City Council members have to expense their costs for using their vehicles, instead of collecting a flat $400 each month, car expenses have dropped sharply, Steve Brandt reports. The policy was changed after first-time council member Meg Tuthill said city workers already have to expense their costs, so elected officials should, too.

The Shakopee-based auctioneer who has a contract with the Minneapolis Police Department to sell off unclaimed bicycles and other property has a record of failing to pay customers and the tax collector, Randy Furst reports in this week's Whistleblower column.

A nonprofit group that's trying to foster home ownership in tornado-ravaged north Minneapolis is relying on contracts for deed, a financing tool in which the seller of the home provides the mortgage to the buyer, Jim Buchta reports. The group, Urban Homeworks, says its contracts for deed will be different than those used by real estate speculators, who sometimes rely on unsophisticated buyers to enter into deals with steep interest rates and default terms that can toss them on the street weeks after a missed payment. Earlier this year, I reported on how a former Minneapolis cop and longtime low-rent landlord named Bob Anderson acquired 30 houses in the North Side and sold them on contracts for deed, finding buyers who agreed to interest rates as high as 10 percent and avoiding city licensing rules that apply to landlords. 

The public heckling of Mayor R.T. Rybak by Carol Becker, an elected member of the Minneapolis Board of Estimate and Taxation, continued in a letter-to-the-editor, in which Becker reacted to a Star Tribune editorial that praised the mayor's fiscal leadership.

In other news media:

Visitors to the sometimes wild Warehouse District complaint to columnist Ruben Rosario that the Minneapolis police failed to help them after a mob beat them up on the street (Pioneer Press)

Less shouting in south Minneapolis backyards? Quieter planes are supposedly on the way. (Southwest Minneapolis Patch)

 

 

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