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February 28, 2006

The first hurdle has been passed

Hennepin County is ready to play ball with the Twins. The vote went down 5-2 with Steele and Koblick voting against the measure. While Dorfman voted in favor, she is probably only voting in favor of the process, not the resulting plan. At least she isn't wasting everyone's time like some other commissioners. The text:

WHEREAS, the Minnesota Legislature convenes on March 1, 2006 for the second year of the biennium and will conduct its business in a short session with compressed deadlines for committee action; and

WHEREAS, Governor Tim Pawlenty has convened several meetings with Minnesota Twins officials, Hennepin County Commissioners, state legislative leaders from both political parties in the House of Representatives and Senate to consider a new initiative to build a ballpark in Hennepin County; and

WHEREAS, the adopted 2006 Hennepin County Board calendar has no scheduled meetings of the County Board in the month of March; and

WHEREAS, Governor Tim Pawlenty or legislative leadership may request that Hennepin County and Minnesota Twins officials renew negotiations on a new ballpark agreement in the near term and may request that a revised agreement be presented to the Governor’s office and the Minnesota Legislature
during the 2006 session;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that in the event Governor Pawlenty or legislative leadership request that Hennepin County and the Minnesota Twins conduct negotiations on a new ballpark agreement to be considered during the 2006 session, that County Administrator Vargas and County staff are authorized to work with the Board Chair and staff to comply with this request; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in the event a revised ballpark agreement is acceptable to both County negotiators and the Minnesota Twins officials, that the Chair shall schedule a special meeting of the Board to consider the proposal for Board approval as soon as practical.

What I find interesting about this text is that the onus is clearly on T-Paw, or the legislative leadership, to get the ball rolling. It will be by their request that the Twins and Hennepin County start negotiating again. This looks like a shrewd move by the county. In essence they are forcing Pawlenty or Sviggum to play a stronger role ... they are actually forcing them to lead on this issue. Well, you can bring a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

We'll see what T-Paw does. I for one am excited to see what happens in the next couple of weeks.

Posted by snackeru at February 28, 2006 5:35 PM | Stadiums


You're right, Dorfman only voted for process, not that she's in favor of the ballpark. Here's her response on the Minneapolis Issues List to a posting that she now suppports the Hennepin County Plan:

"I have long been an opponent of public funding for stadiums. I have voted consistently against the Hennepin County ballpark proposal, because I
thought it was a bad deal for taxpayers. I still do, and I said that very clearly yesterday at the County Board meeting.

Yesterday the County Board considered a procedural motion that said we'd be willing to talk with the Legislature and Governor about a stadium if they wanted to during session. I'm not opposed to talking. For me, talking is an opportunity to go back to the table and try to get it right.

If and when (and I'm not holding by breath) a new ballpark proposal is considered by the County Board, it won't get my support if it's funded on the backs of Hennepin County taxpayers."

Clearly we have a long way to go before we can count on Commissioner Dorfman for any ballpark support.

Posted by: freealonzo at March 1, 2006 3:25 PM

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