Residents Give Mixed Reaction To Referendum Denial

ARDEN HILLS, Minn. (WCCO) — There was mixed reaction Wednesday after the Ramsey County Charter Commission denied voters a referendum on a half-cent sales tax increase to pay for new Minnesota Vikings stadium.

Some in Arden Hills want the stadium built at the abandoned Army Ammunitions plant, but do not like being denied a vote on paying for it with sales tax.

“I definitely think raising taxes should be up to voters,” said Ramsey County resident Tina Kivi. “Truthfully, I live in this area, so I’m all for the stadium.”

“I don’t think that’s fair,” said Darlene Wiley. “I think we definitely need to vote on it.”

In 2006, Hennepin County officials came under fire when they used sales tax to help build Target Field without a referendum.

“I think it was a very good idea to not put it to a vote,” said Ramsey County resident Steven Bursaw. “They should keep it much like the Twins Stadium.”

The Associated Press reports the Vikings wanted the referendum denied.

Team vice president Lester Bagley blasted the referendum proposal on Tuesday in a letter to the Charter Commission chairman. He said a countywide vote for November 2012 would push stadium construction to 2013 and inflate current costs by at least $110 million.

On Tuesday night, those against the referendum and those for it let the commission know exactly how they felt.

“Please put this to a vote. It’s the law,” said a woman for the referendum on Tuesday night.

“This is a godsend, if you ever want to get that site cleaned up. This is the best thing that’s ever come to Ramsey County,” said a man against the referendum on Tuesday night.

“I think it’s a smart thing to build the Vikings stadium at that location,” said Mike McReynolds. “It’s the perfect use for an area that needs to be redeveloped.”

In the end, six Ramsey County Charter commissioners supported the referendum, but 10 did not.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports

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  • Move to LA

    New Statium for billionaire Zigi. NO WAY

    • jackactionhero

      That isn’t what is proposed, sir.

      Reading. Try it.

  • Sue J

    Edgar, were you even there? Mixed comment? It was 2 to 1 to have it voted on by the PEOPLE!

    • Real Talk

      Hello Sue….YOU ALREADY VOTED. Either for the county commisioners or the officals that appointed the commisioners (however it works)

      Sounds to me like you are crying over not getting your way. Well….then maybe you goobers will elected better commissioners and officials next time…if you are not too stupid to accomplish that.

      • okiedokie

        Hit it on the head Real Talk. All of these referendums are cop outs by elected officials that don’t want to do their job. We have a representitive government in which we elect people to represent their constituants.

        The referendums are held each election. Kudos to the Mike Opat and the Hennepin County Commisioners that had the guts to do their job and propose what they felt was in the best interest of their constituants when it came to Target Field……..Not hide behind some unconstitutional referendum.

  • Zing

    If schools have to be subject to a tax payer vote for funding increases then why don’t the Vikings? I will not spend a dime in Ramsey county if they hit the tax payers for the bill on this suburban nightmare development for the sake of a sports team. There are much more important things to focus on.

    • okiedokie

      Correct, Schools should not be funded this way either.

    • Real Talk

      LOL….glad i could make your day Zing.

      And as an added bonus I’ll give you a little hint: Its so funny because it’s all so true!!!!

    • Justthinkaboutit

      So, if I want to move to your neighborhood and want an expensive home built for me, but decided that the neighborhood should contribute to the cost of building my home and you get absolutely no say about it…you’re ok with that? And if the cost ends up being more that what I’d originally planned…you’d be ok with that? Then find out I have millions in the bank and off shore because I’m the CEO of a global company…again, you’d be ok with that? Can you say SUCKER? Of course everyone should have a vote on this.

      • jackactionhero

        That analogy is not relevant. Nobody is getting a home, sir.

      • Real Talk

        Your example is assinine and pointless. Maybe if it was Zygi’s stadium….i could bite a little. But the STATE would own it there goober boy. JUST THINK ABOUT IT,

        Now, if someone came to my neighbor hood and said they wanted to build an ampatheater down the street (just an example)…but that they didnt have enough money and asked me to contribute. But before i contribute they inform me the ampatheater will belong to the community, not a private individual, and that its exsistance can richen the lives of those surrounding it by providing some entertainment value. In addition, they state the new ampatheater will bring in other residences from surrounding communities, and there is a good chance business at my local resturant will pick up because of it……is it THAT absurd for them to ask me to contribute.

        Again…its the “what’s in it for me?” mentality that you and other small minds have.

        JUST THINK ABOUT IT there boy genius.

        • Guy

          The state doesn’t need a new stadium EITHER.

          Just think about THAT.

          • jackactionhero

            It has already been shown that it does, Guy. Don’t let the facts get in the way, right?

        • Justthinkaboutit

          Oh yes…the State will own it. And when the Vikings leave it’ll be the white elephant that never should have been. I don’t live in Ramsey County, so to be honest I won’t have to pay a dime toward the stadium. My problem is the legislators are voted in by the public to do what is best for the public. There are many better ways to spend tax dollars than building a stadium. And if they know that if it goes to a public vote and it won’t pass, why do they want to ram it down our throats? If this was such a good thing to be paying for, more people would see it your way…since they know it won’t pass, I’d say your in the minority. It has nothing to do with a “what’s in it for me” attitude. It’s about a government that is supposed to be by the people for the people that simply does whatever they damn well please and leave us holding the financial bag.

        • jan

          what’s an anpatheater? You said it will bring in new “residences”, did you mean residents? Also restaurant was misspelled. This is from an ignorant Ramsey County resident (not residence)

    • Metal DJ

      I love how you insult a community’s intelligence at the same time you ask them to pay for a new stadium. I live in Ramsey County. I’m pretty sure not all of us “read at an 8th grade level”.

      You’ve got to be a Liberal. “I want it as long as somebody else is paying for it.”

      • weighing in

        @ Real Talk

        Sorry but I agree with Metal DJ. Honestly, I would think most of Hennepin County reads at 8th Grade levels… I mean they do afterall vote democratic.

  • rob carlson

    We the people have been duped by the aristocracy again – what else is new?

  • Stormer

    This clearly shows that the Ramsey County Charter commissioners do NOT have the best interest of its citizens at heart. They care only about the rich.

    • Did you pass 8th grade?

      How would you know Stormer? Did you crunch the projected numbers and find out??

      Nope…i’m betting you are another fithly rat with the “whats in it for me mentality”

  • just sayin

    If I was Ramsey – I’d be PO’d. They are the ones making HUGE profits for a sporting facility, and the players make way more money than they should.
    They should be paying for it entirely.

  • Tom Willard

    You don’t get to VOTE on every tax?? You vote for the people that RAISE the taxes. Geez…

  • RJ


    COMMISSIONERS/MEMBERS of the Ramsey County Charter
    District 1: Richard Sonterre District 1: Bob Weisenburger
    District 2: Bob Benke
    District 2: Richard Moses
    District 3: Bryan Olson District 3: VACANT
    District 4: Peter Hendricks
    District 4: Chris Leifeld (late)
    District 5: Rod Halvorson
    Robert Spaulding
    District 6: Mike Fratto
    Russ Miller
    District 7: Bud Berry District 7: Marv Koppen
    At-Large: Beverly Aplikowski
    A.L. Brown
    Fred Perez

    • Nate

      The commissioners are appointed by judges. You don’t get to vote the commissioners in or out.

  • Sean

    What is the role of government? Apparently professional sports organizations have been able to convince people that gov’t is to impose new taxes on the people in order to fund the construction of their facilities.
    I strongly disagree with that view. This is not what we need from government. If the Vikings need additional capital, let them find investors. Why not?
    I don’t buy the argument that the facility will belong to everybody. I don’t doubt that high school sports leagues, for example, might be able to use it, but I doubt it will be cheap.

    • Real Talk

      You act there is no benefit to Ramsey county or the state of Minnesota. Its like you are looking at this thing with one eye shut. And THAT is what makes an intelligent discussion on the matter very tricky. People are so chalk full of their rhetoric, the facts and merits get lost.

      I think the role of MN government is to promote the state and general publics interest. If you think about it…there is definetly some merit in general public benefit to keeping a billion dollar professional sports team in the state. And i HOPE Zygi developes the surronding land (with HIS money mind you). Can you think of the jobs it would create and the revenue it would bring it? Nothing is governement is perfect…if that is what you are looking for….dont hold your breath. But based on the interest of MN as a state….this is not a bad proprosal. Its just that when you ask people for $20bucks a year…their ears shut along with their minds. Its always the “whats in it for me” mentality. Thats my beef with you people.

  • James

    Would you all stop crying? If the Vikings leave whom are you going to watch, the T Wolves, Not the Wild they are rebuilding every year and can’t make the playoffs. The Minnesota GOOpher football team? Are they a team? Their a joke. Here is what Ramsey County people should be concerned with. WHY ISN’T THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CLEANING UP THE SITE IF THEY OWN IT. WHY SHOULD THE PEOPLE UP NORTH OR SOUTH PART OF THE STATE GET OFF SCOTT FREE ON THE STADIUM.WHEN ALL THE GAMES ARE BROODCAST THERE. If you want to go back to watching the Pack on Sundays then thats up to you. ESPN rated this State the worst sports state in the nation. BECAUSE WE DON’T CARE ABOUT WINNING! Actually their right if you look at the teams around here!The Wild are rebuilding every year and you idiots still sell out the games I go down to Florida and they don’t even like hockey and Tampa has a Stanley Cup! How many do the Wild have! They call this the State of Hockey! Thats because the people of Minnesota have ICE ON THE BRAIN! Obviousely the Minnesota Alumi have because thier football team can’t even get to 500. The Vikings are your only hope around here. So just build your stadium which is coming any way and keep still. The state league has to play its football tournment somewhere Right? The State can’t freeload off the Vikings now can they? All I can say its a long winter around here and I’m moving to Florida next year thank god where they at least get to 500 most of the time and have interesting teams.

    • Justthinkaboutit

      If the Vikings leave, watch the Packers…they have a winning team.

    • Wearejustasstupidastheyare

      OMG if we have to depend on the Vikings or any other sport to make this a good state than we are a sad bunch and don’t deserve anything. I am also glad I don’t live in Ramsey County anymore. Let the Vikings go we got rid of the Met stadium because they wanted the Dome they got it and have they won a Super bowl yet noooo. Yet the Twins who did not want the dome won two world series so glad the twins did get their stadium. If you don’t earn it you don’t deserve it, I don’t treat my grandchildren for not doing anything around the house they have to work for their allowance and what have these players worked for? Nothing yet that I can see, earn something and than lets talk.

  • zippy wilt

    No stadium for zippy.

  • j speedbag 64

    build it baby just build it and let them cry

  • Vikes suck

    1 win and were talking about a new stadium, They should move since the whole team SUCKS.

    • jackactionhero

      Winning is not a prerequisite to keep up-to-date facilities.

      Your argument is irrelevant to the topic.

  • j speedbag 64

    go to the guthrie and enjoy the lamest shows in the cities,now theres a complete waste of taxpayers money,the vikes are the number 1 show in town which means they will get their stadium and thats great

    • zippy wilt

      Speedbump, the Guthrie Theater is self sustaining. Zippys toy will never ever be.

      • Real Talk

        Ooooohhhhh…we got a comedian on here folks.

        See the owners of the Vikings real name is Zygi or Zygmund Wilf….but this guy…see what he did. He changed his name from Zygi to Zippy. Wow…that is great stuff man, great stuff. You are changing lives and making a difference with your irreverant…yet SO FREAKING HILARIOUS jokes. Its a shame you put that brilliant mind into joke telling. You could have been a rocket scientist or something with your wit buddy.

        And i mean, after your awesome, oh-so originial and creative jokes…..i just wanted to congradualate you on being all you can be. You are just an amazingly gifted human, whom i have no doubt has and will continue to accomplish great things. You are changing the world brother…one joke at a time. Way to go funny guy!!!

        • Unreal talk

          Check your spelling and grammatical errors.

          • Real Talk

            No. I have spell check and an education which would allow me to use grammatically correct English. But….I just dont give a chit. Especially to satisfy some jurkoff like you.

            Dont like it…dont read it baby.

            • realtalkisgay

              Who are you, Al Davis?

  • zyppi

    Real Talk is yag.

  • s2pid is s2pid does

    Go Vikes please GO! I will hold the door for you.

    Ramsey County panel on Vikings vote: We are not the 99%
    Last night, the Ramsey County Charter Commission held its long-awaited vote on a Minnesota Vikings stadium referendum, and voted 10-6 not to put a referendum on the November 2012 ballot. Their reason? Allowing a public vote would be undemocratic:

    Chair Richard Sonterre said that for him, it wasn’t a decision about taxes or a public-private partnership. It was a decision on the role of representative democracy. An appointed body like the charter commission, he said, shouldn’t be challenging the authority of elected county leaders.
    This, needless to say, clears a huge distraction for the Vikings stadium campaigners: Even if a referendum next fall might have been too late to block funding if it were approved in next spring’s legislative session, the very term “public referendum” gives stadium planners hives, especially in a perennially taxpayer-funded-stadium-skeptical state like Minnesota. There’s still the possibility of a petition drive to force a referendum, but for the charter commission to act would have been a much clearer path to a public vote.

    October 11 2011On Friday, Yahoo News reported that the NFL isn’t interested in the AEG plan as currently constituted: “During a Sept. 6 meeting at the NFL offices in New York, commissioner Roger Goodell told Los Angeles Councilwoman Jan Perry and political aide Bernard Parks, Jr. that neither the league nor any team interested in moving there would agree to the business proposal set forth by Anschutz Entertainment Group, according to three sources with knowledge of the conversation.” Added one unnamed NFL exec:

    Haha Look at this,
    Chargers: It’s not just a stadium, it’s a convention center!
    With their stadium plans still in a holding pattern, San Diego Chargers execs are trying a new tack, suggesting that they could incorporate convention facilities into their new football stadium, which would presumably allow the team to grab a chunk of the $550 million slated to go toward expansion of the San Diego Convention Center:

    “We’re looking at several options right now, and this is one of them,” [Chargers stadium exec Mark] Fabiani said, noting that convention center elements were also part of pro football stadium projects completed in Atlanta, Indianapolis and St. Louis, among other cities.

    its all here,

  • Jake

    What a joke. Bend over, Ramsey Co. residents, and grab your ankles because Ziggy, the real estate mogul, is about to give you the big stiff one. You will be just like Cincinatti within a few years, after they got stiffed for a new stadium for a LOSER of a team. Read about it, it’s all over the internet. I won’t shop in Ramsey Co. anymore, just like I avoid buying in Henn. Co. I will go to Anoka Co. Don’t worry about your schools, your roads and bridges, watch the Met Council JACK UP your taxes, due to all of the infrastructure costs, and Ziggy laughs all the way to the bank. In two years, the woodpuppies owner will hit up somebody soon to remake the Target Center, just watch and see. dayton, you are NOT off the hook for this, you got teddy mondale involved, and now we see the result. Would be nice to see all of the cash being passed under the tables.

    • jackactionhero

      Would be nice to see you in court, under oath, telling them your interesting allegations of illegal money transactions, Jake.

      Somehow I doubt you’d show.

  • Please, Please, Please

    I want a vote. I want a vote, Please, I want a vote.

  • MN Cop

    I think what is lacking here is a complete understanding of what building a stadium really means for MN. Forget the Vikings win/loss record. Forget that you are a Packers fan, or a Colts fan, or just don’t like football at all. From what I have read on the issue there are of course pros and cons, but lets focus on the pros. Many people are put to work locally just to help the Vikings run. From construction workers (many of which are laid off right now) to cleaning and maintenance personnel to ticket sales and customer service. Those are real jobs that we need to at the very least maintain here in MN. Then there is the added bonus to all of the local business that rely on a high volume of traffic. Restaraunts, convenience stores, hotels, etc. Now lets look at the tax impact. If we let the Vikes go, how much revenue does the state lose in income taxes, property taxes (players homes?), taxes on the sale of Vikings merchandise, local sales tax, state sales tax, etc. I have heard that the numbers are pretty high. So what the stadium is to the state is an investment in future taxes. But just like you and I, in order to make any money off of an investment we have to put something into it. I do not just “get” a retirement, I have to put my hard earned money into it. And to put this issue to a vote is to ask thousands of people to vote based on their like of both the Vikings and the illusion of new taxes. Yes we will pay a tax but the Vikings and the stadium will pay enough in taxes as well to offset some of our burden. And keeping the local sales tax after the stadium is paid for will also benefit your community by providing a constant stream of money for police, parks, roads, etc. So more people will vote no completely uninformed about the issue, that is why they don’t want you to. I don’t live in Ramsey County or even in the metro area. I would gladly see the sales tax be a statewide tax so that all of MN can help pay for the stadium. But that would be a con for Ramsey County since they would then not reap any benefit in the future, the money would go to the state. Always better for money to stay local if possible. So many people can’t see beyond the end of their own nose. So many people simply see this as a handout for Ziggy. So many can only see that taxes will be raised. What will .5% sales tax mean? If you spend $1000 every two weeks on taxable items (and I think that is a very inflated number) it means you will pay an additional sales tax of $5. Whoopi! A whole 5 dollars. I guess that means 1 less pack of cigarettes…..I could go on and on but I have already put on quite a rant. I guess to sum it up, GO VIKES! Just don’t go anywhere else.

    • Guy

      You are focusing on the “pros” … because all of the CONs are at the county & state legislatures getting bribes & handouts from Ziggy & company.

      We should not be spending public money for ANY frivalities when we can’t even afford to fix potholes.

  • Jake

    I think that we either need a RECALL VOTE on the Ramsey Co. board, or an AMENDMENT to the State’s Constitution, because NONE of these lawmakers have ANY PROBLEM with VIOLATING STATE LAW. State law REQUIRES a REFERENDUM for a tax hike like this, how do these corrupt pols continue to get away with it??

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