Edina Transparency and Trust: Lid Project

Lid_over_Hwy100_Concept_Image.jpgI didn’t believe it when I read it. Did you?  The Edina Mayor and City Council voted to suspend spending on the “LID”. 

The good news is that the city recognizes that many citizens do not agree with their rush to develop the city and increase density without looking at the consequences.  The bad news is there was no time limit to the suspension.  If they had voted to suspend spending for 3 to 5 years I might have believed their claims that the “LID” is a long term project.

It sounds like politics as usual to make the incumbents look good just before the election.  Here are some things to consider:

  • The city has already spent $368,000 on the “LID” and Metro Transit has spent $100,000. The city has authorized spending $100,000 on lobbying efforts at the legislature on this project. 
  • Before the motion to suspend spending, the city authorized spending an additional $200,000 on the “LID” and to begin acquiring rights to property for the project.
  • The city just approved a development of a 45 unit building and restaurant at the location of Edina Cleaners at 44th and France. Neighbors were concerned with traffic and parking, especially with the restaurant.  Cary Teague, Community Development Director, said a traffic study determined the existing roadways could handle the apartments and restaurant.
  • Many projects have an impact beyond their immediate area. The “LID” (1150 units), 50th and France (110 units) and 44th and France (45 units w/ restaurant) will all contribute traffic to the already busy 50th Street and France areas, but the city only looks at a narrow area to conclude there are no additional problems, instead of looking at how projects interact.
  • The “LID” is still part of the 2018 Comprehensive Development plan of Edina.
  • All other projects are still in development or under consideration.

Without a definite length of time for the spending freeze to last, the mayor and city council could vote to continue spending the day after the election. 

Mike Fischer characterized the “LID” as a “Far Term Plan”.  It is not credible to believe the city would authorize spending of $768,000 for a project that is off in the far distant future.  Either they are being fiscally irresponsible or not being transparent on the timing of the project.

The question is do you trust the mayor and city council?  Are they being transparent?  Are they listening to the citizens of Edina or someone else?

The best way to send a message is to vote on or before November 6 for two of the 4 challengers and not vote for the two incumbents Kevin Staunton and Bob Stewart.