LETTER: Feedback? Arden Hills officials don’t want to hear it

To the Editor:

 

I attended the recent TCAAP Public Forum hosted by the City of Arden Hills. I came to offer and to hear feedback regarding the very bad idea of designating significant TCAAP real-estate towards a civic center. The parcel was originally zoned as retail, but the city has now zoned it for civic use, i.e., no tax generation.

My hopes for dialogue with the project’s leaders were quickly dashed when Mayor David Grant indicated that nobody would be allowed to “monopolize the microphone” (except for him), and that feedback could be given by adhering Post-It Notes to the posters on display. Interestingly, the posters had pretty pictures, but there were no cost-estimates provided. Nobody in the room, including project leaders, had even a remote idea of potential costs. It’s hard for us to assess the project’s merits without such information!

Also of note was that all options under consideration assume the civic center will go forward; the idea of re-zoning the parcel back to the private sector is not under consideration. This attitude of fait accompli only added to the arrogance of the evening.

If going for a swim and a spa is desired, we are surrounded by choices. If not the various health clubs, then we can go to the community centers in Shoreview, New Brighton or Roseville. Our leaders assume residents are a “wannabe” crowd. It’s too bad the evening’s leaders weren’t really interested in our feedback. I now understand Ramsey County’s concerns about the city’s trustworthiness.

 

Mark Kelliher

Arden Hills

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