Posted in the Prior Lake American: Thursday, April 14, 2016 3:45 pm
By Wes Mader
The Prior Lake City Council met in special session (no TV coverage) recently to respond to the latest Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community application, which will strip more land from our tax base. According to the Prior Lake American, the full SMSC Tribal Council attended the recent council meeting and handed out a list of SMSC donations and charitable contributions. One might assume it was a reminder that donations could dry up if the city didn’t bend to tribal demands.
It apparently worked. On a 3 to 2 vote, our council gave the tribe what they wanted, an agreement that the city will not oppose the tribe’s application and the tribe can continue to buy more land within the city, with plans to make it tax-free. Our two lady council members voted no.
What’s the cost to taxpayers? An earlier report by City Manager Frank Boyles estimated future tax loss to the city as $334,000 per year. Add to that a similar-sized loss to the county, more than $500,000 per year to the school district and much more in lost state income tax. Council Member Mike McGuire said he had “real concerns with the agreement” but voted yes anyway. One wonders how bad it would have to be for him to vote no.
According to the American’s article, the tribal council vice chairman said he was “appalled by comments by Council Members Monique Morton and Annette Thompson.” Why appalled? These two ladies had the courage to question why a wealthy sovereign nation should be permitted to dictate terms to our city council, strip land from our tax base and expect taxpayers to make up the difference. Taxpayers are the ones who should be “appalled” by the lack of respect they receive from elected government.
Thank you, council members Morton and Thompson, for representing us.