Monday roundup: A super's first 18 months, special election skirmish, landlord facing heat

  • Blog Post by: $author
  • December 5, 2011 - 10:04 AM
The super, making the rounds (photo by Kyndell Harkness)

The super, making the rounds (photo by Kyndell Harkness)

Bernadeia Johnson's first 18 months as superintendent of Minneapolis schools have raised questions about her leadership, even as the district's enrollment is growing again and test scores show that the dismal achievement gap has narrowed somewhat, Corey Mitchell reports. Johnson retains the support of her board and a wide array of constituencies, who have no appetite to have Johnson join the revolving door in the superintendent's office. What happens in Minneapolis is increasingly relevant to the metro, as suburban districts cope with increased poverty. Kelly Smith puts some numbers on that phenomenon, in the form of free meals for students in suburban schools

The city's crackdown on negligent landlords continues with its effort to revoke 17 rental licenses belonging to North Side landlord Ronald Folger, Randy Furst reports in the Whistleblower column. If approved by the council, the action would be the third largest revocation since 1999. The second largest, reported by me in a Whistleblower column in May, raised similar questions about tenants caught in the middle. I was intrigued to see that Folger has already taken action to get around the revocations by selling a half dozen of the homes on a "contract for deed," a way for property owners to get a stream of income from properties without facing city inspections. In June, I wrote about how one longtime landlord used contracts for deed  to earn money from two dozen North Side properties he had bought for a song out of foreclosure.

Tuesday is election day for two swaths of Minneapolis: primaries will be held for the Senate seat being vacated by Larry Pogemiller, and a House seat opened up by Jeff Hayden's ascension to the Senate. Both are DFL strongholds. It's the Senate race that's the real skirmish, thanks to a number of viable DFL candidates who seem to reflect old and new trends in the party, Eric Roper reports.



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