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Betsy Hodges profile

Betsy Hodges profile

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Published by Sarah McKenzie
Profile on mayoral candidate Betsy Hodges.
Profile on mayoral candidate Betsy Hodges.

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Published by: Sarah McKenzie on Aug 29, 2013
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10/23/2013

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Serving Downtown & ortheast Minneapolis
june 3–16, 2013
By Dy TMS
Inspired by the city’s mostsuccessful charter schoolsand her own experiences asa principal, SuperintendentBernadeia Johnson says shewants to give teachers and principals more power inexchange for results.The proposal to createa new partnership zone of semi-autonomous schoolswas at the core of a speech Johnson delivered May 13 atMinneapolis Central Libraryin front of an audiencethat included many of her cabinet members, most of 
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Minneapolis superintendent unveils new vision for district 
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It’s often said that Minne-apolis government is setup in a way in which theCity Council holds more power than the mayor does.While the power on theCity Council is dividedamong 13 members, a select few are often theones who pull most of thestrings. As the chair of thecity’s budget committeeand tight ally of Mayor R.T. Rybak, Betsy Hodgesis not running away fromher record over the pasteight years as she looksto succeed Rybak in themayor’s office.“I own every decision Ihave ever made,” Hodgessaid during a recentinterview. “I own each andevery one of them.”The decisions Hodges,a two-term veteran on theCity Council, has madecome with much praise,but also some criticism.Hodges, a 43-year-oldLinden Hills resident, can point to several indicatorsof how the city is on a strong rebound followingthe 2008 recession.For the first time since2007, the city’s tax baseis increasing, according
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Betsy odgesproud of herrecord at City all
 // Mayoral candidate profle //
city election2013
 
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Mayoralcandidate BetsyHodges at acampaign event.
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By ck TD S Mckz
Current city leadership — all 13 CityCouncil members and Mayor R.T.Rybak — has never experienced a state government under completeDFL control.So when the 2013 legislativesession ended on May 20, cityleaders were happy with how manyof the items on the city’s wish listwere given.Council Member ElizabethGlidden (Ward 8) is the Council’s point person on state matters and praised lawmakers for tackling allsorts of major issues, including property tax relief, legalizingsame-sex marriage and allowingthe city to use its own funds for streetcars.“I am really proud, both of our legislators and of our intergovern-mental relations team, that there wasa truly tremendous amount accom- plished in the session,” Glidden said.
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An overview of major issues before the Legislature for the 2013 session 
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June 3–16, 2013
// 
journalmpls.com
Editor’s notE
The Journals have beenproling the self-declaredcandidates for mayor.This is the fourth prolein our series. We haveproled Mar Andrew,Jacie Cherryhomes andDon Samuels, and willbe publishing stories incoming wees on GarySchiff, Jim Thomasand Cam Winton, anIndependent candidatenot seeing the DFLendorsement. To readprevious proles, go tosouthwestjournal.com/elections.
to a recent financial report.Construction is booming inseveral areas, with two largeapartment towers going updowntown, several mixed-use developments springingup in Uptown and housingdevelopments underwaynear Dinkytown.The city budget forecastis looking bright for thefirst time in several years.Minneapolis under spentby $7 million in 2012 andHodges and her colleagueshave socked that moneyaway in an account shecreated to help hold the lineon property taxes.Rybak, Hodges andseveral other councilmembers since 2001 havemade votes to pay downdebt left over from previousadministrations and restoredthe city’s AAA bond rating.Hodges took the lead asthe city fought police andfire pension funds over what the city called over- payments to retirees andinflated management costs.Hodges says rolling thoseretirees into a state fund a  year ago will save the citytaxpayers $20 million, butit came with some politicalconsequences.“I am proud to be part of the team that was cleaningup the financial messesthat were left to us,”Hodges said. “I have madea lot of tough choices as a City Council member, and people know what theyare, because I made themout loud.”Peter Wagenius is Rybak’s policy director and saidHodges was “central andessential to our efforts instabilizing the city budget.”(Rybak has not endorsed a candidate in the race.)“We’ve had a broken pension system for decades,and decades of Minneapolisleaders took a pass on tryingto fix it because they didn’thave the toughness to standup to the special interests or middle men who benefitedfrom the system,” Wageniussaid.While Hodges has wonhigh praise for many of the moves she and Rybakmade in dealing with thecity budget, it hasn’t comewithout critics.Mark Lakosky, presidentof the local firefighter union,has been an outspokencritic of Hodges, calling her budget decisions dangerousto residents and firefighters.“She’s dangerouslyirresponsible in regardsto the cuts they’ve madeto the Fire Department,”Lakosky said.Today there are 289city firefighters in Minne-apolis, down from 406when Hodges took over the budget committee inearly 2010.Last year, city firefightersmade it to the scene of an emergency within fiveminutes 81 percent of thetime. That’s down from86.1 percent in 2009. TheNational Fire Protection Association’s standard is 90 percent.Hodges blames someof the increased responsetime on lagging 911 service,and she budgeted for twoadditional operators in 2013to speed up that end of emergency response.She also points outthat over the past several years response times havesuffered as a result of bridgeclosures that have re-routedfire trucks. Bridges closedinclude Lyndale Avenue atthe Minnehaha Creek, thePlymouth Avenue Bridgeand the Lowry AvenueBridge, among others.“The residents of Minne-apolis are getting the samehigh quality service fromtheir Fire Department thatthey have always gotten,”Hodges said.Hodges has been chair of the budget committeefor the past three years, inwhich property tax levieshave increased by 4.7 percent payable in 2011,0 percent in 2012 and 1.7 percent in 2013.City leadership oftenblames Local Government Aid cuts under the TimPawlenty administration
Hodges 
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 // Mayoral candidate profile //
city election2013
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Mayoral candidate Betsy Hodges at a campaign event.
 
Crossword Puzzle
sPonsored by edina realty downtown minneaPolis offiCe
Downtown com
226 Washington Ave N • 612.347.8000
Consider it...sold.
Jamar Hardy612.347.8054Fritz Kroll612.347.8088Tony Videen612.347.8063Susan Lindstrom612.347.8077Brady Kroll612.347.8050Lynn Morgan612.347.8059
8 Saudi __ 9 Streetlight of old10 Jackson 5 hairdo11 Grunt work12 Flood controlstructure13 Eat dinner21 German’s eight22 Most-draftablestatus27 Wedding cakesection28 Prex with plasm30 Food packaging g.31 “Later, gator”32 Energy35 17th-century yearwhen Henry Hudsonentered his bay36 Baseball’s Hershiser37 Literary language ofIndia39 __ cortex: outermostbrain tissue42 Sufx with sock orswitch43 Went on a rampage45 “Freeze, Fido!”46 Sibling’s sons48 Actress Kazan49 Once every 12months54 Worker, briey55 Book of maps57 Lymph __ 58 __ Bora: Afghanregion59 Part of Q.E.D.60 Reheat quickly61 Perón of Argentina
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Crossword answerson page 16
2 bedroom Corner loft
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2 Hee Gge Spes • Pve Bn
Brady Kroll•$350,000
BK.Enre./4321919
Kevin Sperle612.850.8892Josh Kaplan – Mgr.612.347.8049Jessica Alexander952.240.2596
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tw S, 2Br/2Ba w/Pve Enne, lge P,Hw Fs, Bekfs B.
Fritz Kroll • $275,000
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Karie Curnow612.347.8022
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