KARE 11 has a couple quotes from Don Samuels in a piece on the state of Vikings stadium financing by the city (something they are not authorized to do without a referendum if they plan to spend more than $10 million of the public’s money on a pro sports stadium).
KARE 11’s quotes from Samuels:
Council Member Don Samuels sees it differently and does not feel the debate is happening in secrecy.
He does not know if he signed Thursday’s letter, but has signed a similar letter in support of a Vikings stadium.
“It’s a great opportunity to get jobs both short term with construction and long term with participation of the stadium business activities,” said Samuels.
How Don Samuels feels and how Minneapolis residents feel may not be entirely aligned on this issue. While he doesn’t consider the current stadium financing negotiations to be secret, they have not involved any public hearings, open city council meetings, or a city wide referendum as required by the city charter.
If the opportunity is as great as Samuels suggests, let’s find out by holding some public hearings on the topic so we can better understand why it’s in the best interest of people living in Samuels’ ward who still have blue tarps on their roofs from last May’s tornado . . .
. . . why destroying the Metrodome so we can spend more than half a billion dollars building a replacement Vikings stadium is a city priority.
It’s a messy process, but it’s our process.
As we’ve seen many times in the past, speed and quality don’t necessarily align laws are crafted. The more time we have, the more we learn, and the better bills become.
Financing a Vikings stadium is a 30 year financial commitment with no way or reversing course. Samuels is promoting it without a single public city hearing.
We need to slow things down, answer questions, and do what’s best for the public over the long term rather than doing what Samuels “feels” is right after hearing from lobbyists while ignoring the public.