Rybak Outlines 2013 Priorities—And Forgets Southwest?

What do you think of the mayor's priorities for his last year in office?

Skimming the list of Mayor RT Rybak's 2013 priorities (many thanks to the Star Tribune's Eric Roper for transcribing everything on that white board), I was struck at how little on the list seemed immediately relevant to much of Southwest Minneapolis.

Among the 37-or-so main items on that list, only five seemed to bear specifically on this quarter of the city:

  • Resourcing small businesses and community corridors
  • Building a BRT station at Lake Street & 35-W
  • Moving the streetcar project forward (Nicollet Ave to 48th Street is a prime candidate)
  • Getting the city's voice heard in the MSP airport's expansion plans
  • Revamping the city's regulatory services, to better support businesses

In all fairness, a lot of items on that list, like the Reg Services reorganization, are city-wide projects or have city-wide resonance. But should Rybak be paying more attention to Southwest Minneapolis? What's going wrong around here that needs mayoral attention?

Update 1/17/13 8:45 p.m.: I should clarify—Residents of Southwest Minneapolis, like other privileged parts of the world, have plenty of capacity to advocate for what they need from city government. That said, every part of the garden needs some attention from the gardener or else the useful plants will grow wild and weeds will take root. I'm genuinely curious what people think about the mayor's priorities. Is he striking a good ballance?

Chris David January 17, 2013 at 08:37 PM
Of course, the streetcar program is not a function of city government but of the Met Council, and having the city try to fund their own transit with an already troubled budget situation is a recipe for bankruptcy. It's the same "we can keep spending when there's no money for essential services" mentality that has given us "RiverFirst," where they want even more park land when they're cutting programs at existing parks due to limited funds. When you're in a fiscal hole, stop digging.
James Sanna January 18, 2013 at 02:38 AM
If you take a look at his "to do" list, though, there are a number of things that would technically be decisions by other governmental entities. I think by putting them there, he means "lobby for these." That said, though, I'm a little rusty on the current plans to pay for the streetcars.


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