Category Archives: Red Wing City Council

2011 City of Red Wing Spending Comparisons

Ever wonder how Red Wing’s municipal spending compares to other cities?

For example, Red Wing spends 41% more per capita than Northfield.  How is that?

Or consider this, Austin, with a population about 50% greater than Red Wing’s, spends less on general government spending than Red Wing.

If Red Wind spent per capita the same as Winona our budget would be nearly $6 million dollars less.  Some serious money.  Why is Red Wing ranked 25th out of 226 cities in per capita spending?

Former City council President Ralph Rauterkus showed no interest in trying to find explanations for our city’s spending.  Hopefully, Lisa Bayley, the current council president, will.  We need answers.

Take a look at the report here.

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Filed under Accountability, Red Wing, Red Wing City Council

Red Wing’s Profile in Courage Award for March 2013

Ralph Rauterkus

Ralph Rauterkus

Last night city council member Ralph Rauterkus took on a local nonprofit that was trying to save the city the $300,000 it will cost to mothball the city’s municipal golf course this season.  Mr. Rauterkus, unshaken by broad public support for the nonprofit, was able to have the issue pulled from the agenda.  Rauterkus, the Director of Information Systems at Polar Semiconductor, was able to keep information about the nonprofit’s new proposal out of the public arena.

Some call this payback as one of the founders of the nonprofit challenged Rauterkus in last Fall’s election, but whatever his motives, I call this courage.

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Filed under Accountability, Mississippi National Golf Links, Red Wing, Red Wing City Council

Red Wing City Council video discussion of sale of MNGL

Watch the Council meeting discussion of the sale of MNGL at about 1 hour 30 minutes. Closed session for about an hour after that, then back on for final discussion and vote. Watch.  The Council voted 7-0 against the sale.

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Filed under Economic Development, Minnesota, Mississippi National Golf Links, Red Wing, Red Wing City Council

Red Wing City Council Rejects Sale of Mississippi National Golf Links

On a 7-0 vote, the Red Wing City Council rejected an offer to sell MNGL to the current Lessee.  This was a sound rebuke of  the dump the golf course crowd.

A $1.2 million bond comes due on November 1st, which is the sole responsibility of the Lessee.

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Filed under Mississippi National Golf Links, Red Wing, Red Wing City Council

Red Wing Municipal Golf Corporation

The Red Wing Municipal Golf Corporation’s blog is now up and running here. Take a peek to learn more about RWMGC’s proposal to keep Mississippi National Golf Links a public course.

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Filed under Mississippi National Golf Links, Red Wing, Red Wing City Council

An Innovative Proposal for Red Wing – a New Public/Private Partnership

Today, the Red Wing Municipal Golf Corporation (a non-profit corp.) released its proposal to the city of Red Wing for the management and operation of Mississippi National Golf Links (MNGL). The city of Red Wing is considering selling MNGL in order to address budgetary pressures.

This substantive proposal is an example of the possibilities available to communities searching for new ways to thrive in these challenging economic times. Beyond the obvious financial issues, the potential intangible benefit to communities of such private/public efforts is enormous. An engaged public is what very well may make the difference between those cities that stagnate, too focused on the bottom line, and those cities that embrace change and prosper.

View the proposal here.

As always, your comments are appreciated.


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Filed under Accountability, Economic Development, Government's Footprint, Minnesota, Mississippi National Golf Links, Red Wing, Red Wing City Council, Sustainability

Red Wing Rental Code | Interview with Dana Berliner – Attorney for Institute for Justice

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
—Fourth Amendment
                        U.S. Constitution

On July 28, 2011,  I interviewed Dana Berliner.  She is the attorney for the Institute for Justice representing the plaintiffs before the Minnesota Supreme Court. The plaintiffs are challenging the constitutionality of Red Wing’s rental code ordinance which allows for the issuance of search warrants to inspect homes, even without showing any reasonable suspicion that there may be code violations.

The issue currently before the Minnesota Supreme Court is whether the plaintiffs have “standing” (the right to sue) to challenge the ordinance before search warrants are actually issued.

One thing seems certain, this case, (which has been in the courts for five years and has cost local taxpayers about $200,000), will be coming back to the district court for further litigation.  Then up on appeal again to the Minnesota Supreme Court for a decision on the merits of the constitutional issues.

Listen to the interview with Ms. Berliner here.  She does a great job explaining what this case is about and why it should matter to you. Individuals would have hardly any ability to challenge government actions were it not for groups like the Institute for Justice.

Visit the Institute for Justice’s analysis and background of the case here. You can look at the categories on the right to view previous posts on this issue.

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Filed under Accountability, Government's Footprint, Minnesota, Red Wing, Red Wing City Council, Rental Code