It’s amazing what a difference an exclamation point can make! I went to the January 30th open house at city hall on the changes to the 75th/76th Street street scape plan, with the sidewalk now going from Nicollet Avenue to 11th Avenue on the south side of 76th Street and with bike lanes and limited parking on 75th Street!

A resident on 75th Street showed me a flyer he found on his door, it was a 4″x6″ card evidently sent out by the city and Howard R Green Company (Confirmed later) advertising the Open House! Normally I would say good going, transparency and getting the citizens out to the community meeting would be good. It was actually done in a style different than what the city usually does so no one this time could confuse it with a park and rec flyer as so often happens in the past! The font usage and graphics made it look more like the designs that have been submitted by Howard R. Green Company, the consultants on this project!

However the one thing that bothered me on this was the spin that was put on it! Up in the left hand corner was a “note” in yellow saying:


Earlier requests for parking along 75th Street may be in jeopardy! If it is your desire to have parking along the corridor, please join us and let city officials know what is important to you!

Now if this was sent by a private organization like the Tax Payers League or individual I would have no problem with them sending it! I would even think them geniuses for this strategy. However, since spin this was city sponsored I really have to cry foul. When the note says “please join us and let city officials know what is important to you!” who are the “us” they exactly talking about?! Is Howard R. Green Co. the “us”?! Maybe is it the city protesting themselves! Another problem is, with the exception of Crime Watch Bulletins, I can’t recall when the city used exclamation points in their meeting notices! It gives it that crisis effect! A dishonest affect when the city should be playing neutral!

The other issue was the note was customized so that the residents along 76th Street between Nicollet Avenue and 11th Avenue got there very own note, alerting them of the new sidewalks! Now I did not get to see the note, so I cannot tell you just exactly want it said but the residents there did say that they did get it! The reason I can not tell you is because I did not get a note because only houses two houses in from 75th/75th Street were flyered so a lot of people interested in and affected by the the project were not privy to the notice!

I am not sure what version of the note was flyered in my area!


So ultimately if the intent was to stir up the rabble I it certainly didn’t, especially the sidewalk folks! They were pissed! However, it backfired, because once they heard the other side and arguments many were either swayed to the sidewalk idea or became indifferent to it!

Again, I think it was very important to have the open house again and I applaud the efforts to get the people effect out to the meeting because in the end I think it was a very good thing and everyone got to hear the arguments and ideas! However, it is the spin on the those efforts to get people to come that I disagree with!

I also wish Howard R. Green would fix their in accurate graphics which they presented to another meeting again!!!!!!