FFM Bulletin 11/8/10

Northstar Commuter Rail finally gives taxpayers something to celebrate

Taxpayers along the Northstar corridor are finally getting a badly needed break. Local officials voted Thursday to abandon the planned extension of the Northstar Commuter Rail line to St. Cloud. The line currently operates between Big Lake and Minneapolis. Building the extension to St. Cloud would have cost an estimated $150 million, and millions more each year for operations. And, as the Freedom Foundation found earlier this year, there seems to be very little public demand for the project.
Sherburne County commissioner Felix Schmiesing, a leader of the Northstar extension plan, said his group decided “placing the Northstar expansion on hold for now is the responsible action as stewards of taxpayer money.” 

While the decision to put the extension on hold is laudable, it does little to help taxpayers who are already subsidizing current Northstar operations to the tune of $1 million each month.

KSTP 5 Eyewitness News covered the Northstar story on Friday night, including FFM's perspective. For more on Northstar, view the Freedom Foundation’s video: Taxpayers’ Missing Link

Local election round-up

While most of the attention from Tuesday’s election has been focused on state and federal races, it’s important to note some significant outcomes at the local level.
The Minnesota School Boards Association has compiled results from the school referendums in 77 districts around the state. Voters in 43 districts approved at least one ballot question, while 34 districts were rejected outright.
The Association of Minnesota Counties provides an overview of county commissioner races. Preliminary results, prior to any recount, show that 62 new county commissioners were elected around the state. While it’s difficult to generalize the commissioner races across the state, there were a number of conservative challengers elected on Tuesday, notably in Anoka and Washington counties.
And finally, check Minnesota Public Radio’s Campaign 2010 site for a user-friendly way to find local election results from around the state.


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