From: Stephen Conlin
St. Charles, Minn
Can anyone explain how a city government that is required to conduct open meetings thinks it can operate in secrecy? First, St. Charles refused to tell us who the mystery investor in Minnesota Proppant was. This was odd, because in 2011, I had to fill out a credit application to buy $70.00 worth of electricity monthly, and I have been a utility customer of the city for over thirty years. Yet someone who would be responsible to pay $93,750.00 monthly ($1,125,000.00 per year) can remain anonymous.
More recently, St. Charles as a public entity is involved in secret negotiations, not open meetings, on a publicly funded project. Can this possibly be right? Is it even legal?
Mr. Hilmer’s article in the St. Charles press mentions three companies involved.
They are: The Cobblestone Group, Land and Lease Development, and McDonald’s; not one of them is local. I find it hard to believe that the lawyers at McDonald’s or Cobblestone would flout the open meeting laws when negotiating with a public entity.
If you wanted to rent the cheapest one bedroom apartment in the classifieds, you would have to come up with $1,305.00 (first and last month, plus security deposit). So how can a $500.00 deposit on a $162,000.00 sale be viewed as “strong interest,” from a multinational corporation that rakes in millions every week?
St. Charles already has an A&W, a Subway, and a motel, how will this deal affect those businesses? They are locally owned franchises, and already have enough competition. Why is the city trying to kill what we already have? The city mistakes bringing competition with bringing business. Hint: we already have enough motels, restaurants and hair salons.
Your city government is out of touch with reality. “If you build it, they will come” is a fantasy. Not a good public policy.