1. How do you explain and justify sending the 9/1/2021 ENS notice of the Ford Hearing on Open Space
Amendments, with this agenda item at the top of the page, and then several items down on the same notice, you announce a change of date to one week earlier? Failing to place the change of date at the top of the page or at least pair it with the original hearing date is misdirected and deceptive.
2. How do you explain the confusion demonstrated during the October 6th City Council meeting? Council President Brendmoen didn’t remember that the staff report had already been presented at the first reading. Councilmember Tolbert moved to close the public hearing and lay over to October 20th. Then Council President Brendmoen moved to layover to October 13th because it is “non-controversial”. How do you explain this confusion?
3. How do you explain the remark that this vote is non-controversial. We remind you that there was litigation on this matter and your file of meeting materials contains 65 letters of opposition. Please explain your remark.
4. On every previously discussed item from the October 6th agenda, you state that the publichearing was held virtually, but you fail to refer to a virtual public hearing for items 47 and 54. In fact, no acknowledgement or invitation for public comment was made. Please explain.
5. If you did indeed hold a public hearing virtually for item #47, where can we view this public hearing?
6. Why was the procedure for amending ordinances changed from 4 readings to 3? Why was this done and why was this not codified and made public? This action appears intended to fast track the open space vote and shut down public comment.
7. Numerous citizen letters were sent prior to the Planning Commission Hearing. Those letters are not included in the materials on the city Council agenda. Please explain.
8. The 9/1/2021 ENS announced that public comment was limited to voicemail and written submission—NO online participation. Yet, this is inconsistent with the COVID process allowing online public comment. NLSP relied on this directive that reflects COVID protocols. When was this new process implemented? Please see the link to the directive about online testimony below:
At this point, we can only assume that the City Councilmembers have neglected or refused to hear our voices. Consensus-building, good faith, and the rule of law no longer appear to be a part of municipal governance in our beloved city. It appears to us that political expediency to benefit developers over citizens is guiding the decisions of our elected officials. Please let us know if we have made this assumption in error.
Again, we ask for your immediate response to our questions, no later than Thursday, October 14.
Neighbors for a Livable Saint Paul