You’d better have your historical and metaphorical wits about you if you’re going to decipher Lavern Rippley’s guest column in this weekend’s Northfield News titled The rental situation calls for drastic measures (membership not required to read it online). Rippley is a professor of German at St. Olaf and owns numerous properties in Northfield, both rental housing and commercial.
Northfield’s rental ordinance-in-the-making is turning into Marxist-Cromwellian, Postvillian class warfare. No open street brawls, no physical injury yet but plenty of hurt. Mass legislation is proposed to blanket our whole region to skirt a local scene of class warfare – guillotining members of all three estates, lords, clergy and peasants. Badly needed in the proposal though absent from the approach thus far is a dash of ordinary common sense.
Hence my proposal: Acknowledge that Northfield’s class warfare can be confined to a local region – the East Side Neighborhood. Unlike the class warfare of medieval Europe, this one is different. Here the first estate is comprised not of kings but of the monied elite of the east side neighborhood. The second estate is best labeled not as scholarly monks but as members of the fifth finest college in the nation, perhaps in the world. The third estate more accurately delineated this time is comprised of the intellectually gifted students at that highly endowed and richly acclaimed fifth best. Thus for the first time in history we have elites of whom the first is striving to cannibalize the other two. Let’s not waste our time legislating for all of Northfield. Let’s cut to the chase with a solution.
I got Cs in history but I’m pretty sure Rippley opposes the proposed change in the rental ordinance. What else is he saying exactly? East side homeowners and some Carleton students are snobs for wanting more controls on the rentals?