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Continued: Tevlin: New council members take Minneapolis on quite a ‘joy ride’

  • Article by: JON TEVLIN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: April 28, 2014 - 8:30 PM

“But what’s next,” Winton asked, “requiring patio restaurants to provide sunscreen?”

Paul Ostrow used to sit on the council, another no-frills, pick-up-the-garbage kind of guy. I asked for his take.

“Because we are the largest city in the state and elected officials tend to be expansive in their views as to the role of government, the council often becomes the chosen ‘target’ for usually very well intended causes,” Ostrow said. “Sometimes it is a good thing — when we lead on issues of social justice for example. But it can be a bad thing as it distracts the council from more critical issues and costs the council credibility.”

“Also, there is a troubling trend not to publicly discuss the issues of greatest importance and potential controversy (the stadium, streetcars and the Ryan Development),” said Ostrow. “That same reticence to publicly debate critical issues is now transpiring as to the Southwest LRT. Openly debating these big issues is frowned upon and there is pressure to present a united front.”

Solid points.

But there was one potential issue I’d forgotten to mention to Winton: goats.

The council voted against hoofed animals inside city limits in 2011, but new members seem open to allowing goats to graze in the city, perhaps on natural grass roof tops, like in some cities.

Winton sounded excited.

“One of the main reasons I ran for mayor last year was to try to get more goats on our roofs,” he deadpanned.

 

jtevlin@startribune.com • 612-673-1702 Twitter: @jontevlin

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