Accountability Alerts

  • Gaylord Overlooks “Substantial Risks” to City in Approving Taxpayer-Backed Telecom Bonds

    FFM Follow Up: City Council votes to publicly release previously withheld analysis of financial risks-- Despite a memo from the city’s bond counsel warning of “substantial risks”, the Gaylord City Council has voted to guarantee to pay up to 16.5 percent of the debt service on $77 million of revenue bonds should the proposed RS Fiber telecom network fail to pay for itself. The bond risk analysis prepared for the city at a cost of $1,500 to taxpayers was initially withheld from the public under a ...

  • Northstar Rail Fare Cut Flops in First Month

    --A month into Metro Transit’s marketing experiment that cut fares with the hope they would add passengers to the flailing Northstar Commuter Rail line is not working. Initial monthly passenger counts indicate that the experiment may be heading full speed in the wrong direction. Metro Transit figures obtained by the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota (FFM) for the first month of the experimental fares indicate that monthly Northstar ridership plunged by more than eight percent , some...

  • Gaylord Officials Keep Report Secret on Risk to Taxpayers with $70 Million Telecom Network

      --Officials in the city of Gaylord have informed the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota (FFM) they will not make public a key analysis of the potential financial risks posed by a plan to invest $70 million in bonding for the RS Fiber telecom network.  Proponents of the municipal broadband project expect RS Fiber to start paying for itself after three or four years. If not, a $4.5 million reserve fund replenished by local taxpayers in eleven cities and two counties partici...

  • Is 36 Page EPA Haze Rule for Northern Minnesota Regulatory Overkill?

    30,000 word rule adds to 169,000 pages of federal regulations on the books --The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed new regulations on six state taconite facilities have not only provoked concern among northern Minnesotans who depend on the mining industry for their jobs and way of life. The controversy has also brought home to Iron Range residents the real life consequences of federal government regulations in the form of a 36 page proposed rule buried deep in ...

  • Six-figure Salaries Abound at State Teachers’ Union

    ST. PAUL, MN--It may be a challenging time to be a teacher, but it’s apparently a great time to work for the Minnesota teachers’ union. According to a report filed with the U.S.

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