Councilor Jon Denison responds to issues raised at Chamber forum

Northfield City Council member Jon Denison Northfield City Council member Jon Denison stopped by my corner office at GBM on Monday to chat. He appeared on the Wayne Eddy Affair last Friday on KYMN radio, speaking at length about the issues that were raised at last week’s Chamber forum with business and property owners (streetlights fee, safety center, taxes, etc.)

See the blog post with the audio Flash player or download the MP3.

6 thoughts on “Councilor Jon Denison responds to issues raised at Chamber forum”

  1. I’d like to respond to some issues raised by Councilor Denison at the Council work session last night….

    Within the discussion of the EDA’s budget, C. Denison raised the question of the value of funding one of the EDA’s partner organizations, the NDDC.  He complained, I could say attacked, the value of funding for that organization, as he didn’t feel they were of recognizable value.

    He complained of walking down Division street and not seeing any effect of their work, as opposed to that of the Chamber. If he had looked up he would have seen that the banners had been changed again, and that we now have several sets, and part of that expanded banner program is because of the NDDC. If he had looked in the windows, he would have seen all the seasonal signs the NDDC provides for merchants, and also looking at stores like Sketchy Artist, he would have to realize the support of the NDDC in helping to obtain grants for that retailer. If it happened to be on a Taste of Northfield Day, he would have to realize that as an NDDC initiative,  in which the Chamber joined.  If he went in to talk to retailers he would hear of the NDDC’s business visits, collecting issues and comments from business people, while encouraging them with words and a basket of ‘goodies’.  This list could go on …

    But let’s move to something even more substantive than just the daily support of the  Downtown. For at least three years , the NDDC has been continually, actively working to try to impact the unfair, disproportionate tax burden on commercial properties.  With the support of local legislators the  NDDC worked for a year with the Chair of the Tax Committee, Paul Marquardt, who had his staff writing legislation to correct some of the problem. That legislation was  almost ready to go, but died because of the economic collapse of last fall.

    C. Denison thinks maybe the City should hire a lobbyist to do this work instead, IF it needs to be done.  He  seemingly gives no value to the accomplishments of the NDDC, says he finds their funding as an EDA partner “baffling” and their  quarterly progress reports to the EDA “confusing”.

    IMO, C. Denison is too easily “baffled” and “confused”… The EDA has identified the partnerships they find supportive by partially funding those partners to do work they cannot themselves do.  IMO also, C. Denison does not understand the value of  the NDDC position in the partners group, and is  making a huge error in sounding like the same broken record oft spinning its wheels with the same complaints as “fair and balanced” on the NFNews  website.

    I look at this as a ‘power play’, pure and simple , and an uniformed  and destructive one  at  that.  There were admonitions from another councilor not to  engage in the “micro-management of the  EDA” … but ‘power’ is addictive…

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