St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman talks about his plans for a downtown ballpark, the city budget priorities, and other issues facing the city.
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(00:00:10) And good morning. Welcome to midday on Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Gary eichten. Glad you could join us. Well, it didn't seem very realistic earlier this year when he first mentioned it and the odds are still pretty long, but there is now at least a chance that st. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman will pull it off if investors can be found. If st. Paul voters say yes, and if the state is willing to spend the money Minnesota Twins will be moving to st. Paul to play in a new downtown ballpark. The issue of course is dominated the headlines this summer and continues to generate lots of discussion both pro and con next week. Mayor. Coleman will be leading a delegation of St. Paul residents to Denver to look at the new ball park and surrounding development in that city today. The mayor has come by our Studios to talk about the ballpark issue and other issues facing the city as well. And of course is always We invite you to join our conversation. Say Paul Mayor Norm. Coleman is our guest this first hour of midday. And if you'd like to call in our number is six five one two, two seven six thousand 6512276 thousand outside the Twin Cities. You can reach us toll free at 1-888-438-6557 and 6,000 or 1-800 242 to 828 mayor. Thanks for coming by today. Good morning and David Ben-Gurion. The first prime minister of Israel said that anybody who doesn't believe in miracles is not a realist and I'm a realist, you know, Riverfront development was who thought that could have happened is happened the return of the NHL which will generate probably 1.4 million more people in our core downtown that set to open next year and already you've seen the off shoots of new restaurants and business developing and around that area Kincaid to sign the lease in the new Lawson soft loss and software to our baseball would take a miracle but here we have an opportunity to bring Two to three million people per year more these new visitors 2 to 3 million new visitors to our core downtown generating probably a hundred million dollars in economic activity. It should be an easy thing to do Gary when you have that opportunity, but for a whole range of reasons including way this issue is played out of last couple of years. It's a pushing a big rock uphill but not outside. The realm of possibility is is it likely that you'll actually be able to find people to buy the team from the pole ads these investors that supposed to happen by October 1 and we specifically set the date is October 1 because we felt it was critical to have new ownership and new face a new voice by November 2nd. Now the the deal will be finalized everything will be finalized if the voters say yes November 2nd and if the state then becomes a partner in this public-private partnership, but we believe it's important to have no ownership. I say that I have to say with respect for call pole at he doesn't rank real high on the public opinion polls gas. Tell you that but he did keep the steam here in the 80s two World Championships 87 and 91. And and today things are very very different. I the polite family wants to keep the team here. They recognize the importance of a new face new ownership and we will have that in place before November 2nd or this doesn't go forward. So that is a drop. Is it November 1st October 1st is day per second the early before November sacked over first is the date in the agreement. Clearly. We believe that it's important to have new ownership. That's one of a number of issues. It was it's important to have the team putting up their third. It's important to have a commitment to put a competitive team on the field and that's in the term sheet. It's important to have the principles of the framework Riverfront development framework designed principles actually in the lease agreement with the team. So what we're building is not a Metrodome. It's not a bubble with concrete around it in the middle of an of an area without any growth. This ballpark will become part of a Neighborhood whether it's the west side or lowered town. It's important to have all those things ownership is a piece of it's important by the way that the city and state get a an opportunity to share in the increase in value of the team. We have that provision in there. So there are a lot of pieces that none are independent of the others. They all have to be in place and the ownership piece is one that has to be in place before the people st. Paul vote on November 2nd, you have demonstrated an amazing ability to get things done as mayor. I think people would agree with that be your opponents. You may not like what I'm getting done, but well exactly, you know, and I guess the question that I hear a lot is well why in the world doesn't Coleman put all of that energy to work on something that that's really more Central to people's needs like housing for example, you know some of those real pressing problems that face the city the reality Gary is that we do that we do that and we brought 10,000 new jobs back to st. Paul since the And that that I've been mayor there's a there's a Renaissance going on in Selby Avenue. We've got the fail and Carter project on the east side. We've taken Williams Hill which was in a an area that was polluted. And now on the east side it's got six over six hundred jobs. We thought we'd have 325 jobs and we made a commitment to redo Williams Hill Highland Park is exploding with opportunity to go back six years ago when Carson's close and people are raising their hands about what was happening in Highland. We've added over 40 new police officers. We've cut taxes every year. I've been in office we've done those. They're all part of the of the fabric in the framework of how do you build a and a vibrant urban center? And the reality Gary is that cities are gathering places and the future of this city would be enhanced enormously while the opportunity to bring in a business that happens to be baseball that will generate between two and three million more visitors that will give us the opportunity to have the funding for things like parks and rec centers and housing and all those other things. We're doing all of it. But you cannot forego this kind of opportunity. I talk to me' is all across America Democrats Republicans liberals conservatives and end to a person they would jump at this opportunity because they understand as I understand being at the helm that you need to do things to keep us moving forward generate economic activity economic activity generates tax base, and that's the way we pay for all those services that people want st. Paul Mayor Norm. Coleman is our guest this hour, and if you'd like to join our conversation, give us a call here. If you've got a question about the the ballpark or other issues facing the city. We don't need into Focus exclusively on baseball this are give us a call here at 6512276 thousand 6512276 thousand outside the Twin Cities 1-800 to for 228286512276 thousand or 1-800 to for 22828. Jesse. Go ahead Place. (00:06:56) Hey Mary, how you doing (00:06:57) Jesse? I didn't know you'd be calling in. (00:06:59) Yeah. Yeah, how you doing today? I'm pretty good. Thanks. What can I do for you? I want to talk a little bit about the stadium. We hear you talking a lot about how great it will be for the city, but you're not necessarily talking all about the some of the negative aspects of made bring, you know, we are going to be getting a raise in sales tax sales tax if it happens and and and you know, we might have to cut some Central City Services fires Library. (00:07:24) No, no, no, no, no no no no Jesse and let me ask you. What would you base that on? What would you base? Let me challenge you a little bit. I do a little radio on the side to let me challenge you Jesse and tell me what do you base it because it's not true. But give me your sense of why that would happen. Let me tell you the other side. What why in fact this is an opportunity to provide revenue for those sort of but give me your sense of why there would be any cut in (00:07:48) services and that's just what I heard. That's why I thought I've read somewhere. (00:07:51) Well, let me let me jump in and respond to both. First of all, you're right in terms of the funding piece. It's a half cent sales tax. That's a nickel on a $10. Purchase it's 50 cents on $100 person. We estimate that it will cost the average citizen about thirteen dollars a year on the other side. What you're doing is you're bringing two to three million more people who will spend money in the city generate about a hundred million dollars of economic activity and we've got the figures from Denver and Baltimore and Cleveland in Denver. There's about between sixty and seventy seven million dollars a direct spending between a hundred and hundred thirty five million dollars in total spending nearly 2,000 full and part-time jobs, 6.5 million to 8.5 million in sales taxes and lodging taxes generated sales tax. By the way, Jesse 60% of it is paid by non-residents another as if people come in town. They pay sales tax folks who don't pay property tax if they buy something they pay sales tax and we have this city is filled with government institutions with religious institutions. They don't pay sales tax the moms and dads who own their homes in st. Paul share the they they carry the burden for Paying for services if I can find other ways to bring in Revenue into the core City. We're going to benefit and of course in st. Paul because of the funding we did for the for the River Center for the convention center. We have a provision that says some of the sales tax money instead of going to the state actually comes back to our neighborhoods. And in what we call it. We have a starboard. We have a group that distributes it that uses it for neighborhood economic development. In fact, I'm putting three million dollars more in housing this year from the Star Fund. So the point being rather than taking away. This is one of those opportunities for cities to bring in more Revenue not taking it out of the pockets of of the moms and dads who pay property taxes seniors on fixed income who get who got buried and Rising property about this is a chance for others who come to this city to spend money if they spend money here. We reap the benefit of (00:09:50) that right? You know, that that does sound great. I would love to see that happen I'm saying president. I would love to see that the Congressional research service has in Washington. They did a study that says that Actually the cost cities a lot of money. Yeah, we know that and that they don't necessarily create as much economic activities as their proponents say they would like to and that's what I'm afraid of happening in st. Paul. (00:10:12) Well, I again dude all I could have I love this studies if you read the studies carefully, by the way, and I come to this from the perspective of an urban mayor and one of the folks that's often cited and you may be familiar with Professor, oesn't Rob. He's he's written some books about baseball's and bailouts in that stuff and but what Rosen Trav will tell you and he told us when he did an analysis of the San Diego ballpark is the arguments made that was simply moving money right from one area to another it's not creating new Revenue dollars. But the reality Jesse is the money is coming from areas where people spend money suburbs and it's coming into a core City. So Rose Aunt Robin looking at the San Diego ballpark what he said if he lived in San Diego who would have voted for it. He talks about these ballparks impacting the place where they're located and it Located in st. Paul. And so I don't think there is any argument that you put a ball park in st. Paul. You're going to generate more economic activity here. Now some may argue simply taking it from Bloomington. You taking it from someone going out to a restaurant in Eden Prairie, but as a mayor of a Central City, I want the dollar spent here and the reality is so goes our Central City. So goes the region we have more the homeless. We have more of the poor. We have more of the challenges. Let's put these dollars in in the core City. Let the let the dollars to be spent here. I don't think there's any argument that the core City will benefit the state issues and other issues and we'll talk about that if we get past November 2nd, but as a Saint Paul taxpayer yet, you gotta believe if you bring in two to three million more people and your core downtown and they're going to be spending money that you're going to be the beneficiary of that Jerry your (00:11:47) question. Yes, good morning. I also want to address the stadium issue. I have a quick comment and two questions for the mayor. My comment is first of all, I want to refute something that I hear a lot. This is from fellow Stadium opponents, like myself. They make an assumption where they say. Well, I think we can all agree that we all love baseball and we all we all want to keep the twins here. Well, I would say speaking only for myself as a child. I did love baseball since that strike of theirs. I hate baseball and I wish the twins would leave so I don't have to hear about this anymore. And that would be at least until they try to get a new team back which would probably be the very next season and (00:12:25) would cost us a heck of a lot more Jerry's terms of hockey. We had a hockey team here. We're bringing hockey back which will again benefit the city and I could talk about hockey. I Gotta Laugh because people say, oh met earlier no hockey is, you know going to bankrupt the city hockey has we have a brand new arena being built 90% of it from funds generated by the presence of the team if the team was in here and if we didn't have the NHL here st. Paul taxpayers would be putting between 25 and 30 million dollars a hundred percent in to fixing up an old arena, but it costs us a heck of a lot. More to bring the NHL back and if the same would be true if the twins left and if you hate baseball, I'm not going to convince you. I think there is something redeeming about baseball in spite of the strike in spite of what's going professional sports. I think there are some very positive attributes having in our community. Okay. Second part of your comment (00:13:13) Jared. Yeah, just two quick questions. I wonder why not just call pull that a red McCombs. I wonder why any billionaire Sports on her when they are the one that are going to be making the Lion's Share of the profits from a new stadium why they can't build all of it 100% of it for a new stadium. It's not like they can't afford it. And also these are fat cat ball players who are also going to profit enormously from this. I haven't heard how much they're going to chip in for a new stadium. Could you address those (00:13:39) things? Yeah. I can jury and part of what I have to address is the rhetoric. You know, what let's beat up on on billionaire owners it they're terrible guys are going to make the reality is this he's going to benefit States going to by having this business in the states. They will get about Million dollars in taxes the city is going to benefit by having two to three million people spending money where the beneficiaries to one of the things we have in this deal is an opportunity for the city and the state to benefit if there is appreciation in the value of the team. So if it's sold after the ball parks built if it's sold we will capture a piece of that but everyone's going to benefit. Yeah, I just came back yesterday Jerry from a visit over to the brewery on seven on West 7th. They Pig's Eye operation Minnesota brewing and they are opening they are training they are they are transforming part of that Brewery into an ethanol processing plant. They can do ethanol processing. They're going to capture CO2 gases which can be used to make money. They're ultimately looking at the possibility of think of a 44 megawatt cogeneration plant in that area that operation is being done with government support. So the government underwrites ethanol so that Minnesota Farmers can benefit from the I'm probably worth fifteen million dollars worth of product that they're going to sell to this to this ethanol processing plant. That is the government coming in working with a private business to generate new jobs. New opportunity economic growth public-private partnership does work in this instance. The billionaire owners are putting up a third they get the revenues. They have the risk. We got no risk. No downside in the in this agreement. The team has risk for cost overrun in the building of the stadium. The team has the risk for operating expenses. The team has a risk for losses, but we are a partner and we are going to benefit and and the argument of this mayor and mayor throughout America is that if we are going to benefit from a hundred million dollars worth of economic activity. It makes sense for us to invest that that nickel on every $10 purchase that 50 cents on $100 per purchase. We're going to make a lot of money a lot of Economic Opportunity and I think this is a very fair distribution a third a third and a third Linda you're next. (00:15:53) Hi, mayor Coleman. Good morning, Linda. I was a big opposer of the stadium until April when I was out in Denver and we went to a Rockies game. And when I saw what's happened to downtown Denver since they put in the course stadium and how beautiful the stadium was and the ability to sit outside on a Sunday afternoon with a bunch of friends and watch a game. I came back and told everybody we should have a stadium here because it is so it's so different than sitting in the dome. But alive, I really hope that you're successful in this bit to do this (00:16:30) when I wish that I could One Transport all st. Paul voters to Coors Field order Jacobs Field in Cleveland or Camden Yards in in Baltimore. I wish that I could show pictures of load. Oh that's lower downtown in Denver before the yet the ballpark was there and what it looks like today. I've talked to folks in Denver. We're going to be heading out. They're on Wednesday. There are I think about a hundred buildings older buildings that were in that worth and threat of being torn down. This is a historic preservation issue that have now been renovated because there is investment in the area the folks that do housing and Denver say that their ability to do housing in and around that area particularly in the whole downtown has been accelerated by a decade by the impact of the the over 70 million dollars in direct spending and the hundred thirty million dollars in total spending Lodo is an area that that was in distress. It was one of those urban areas that years ago were in threat of being abandoned and today it flourishes baseball isn't the only thing and it goes to the question Gary raised early on that. It was the only thing that we've got to do or have the opportunity to do to build a vibrant City, but goodness gracious. If you visit the areas with these ballparks all you see the reality I had a conversation with Tom Kelly the manager of the twins not too long ago and Kelly said that His team used to go to Cleveland. They used to go in pairs to the ballpark because the neighbor this was the old ballpark before before they build Jacobs Field that the area was a rundown area. They literally didn't feel safe. He's a he's a pretty athletic strong guys. They used to they used to go and groups to the ballpark not and they didn't like being there you go to Jacobs Field today you go to that area in and around it's not too far from the riverfront you go there now it is vibrant. They fail safe. He says he says that his players want to go there earlier. They want to spend time there there. There is a transformation. So all the academics who sit in their Ivory Towers at talk about no impact they may be talking macroeconomics. I can tell you from a micro economic perspective from the perspective of being a mayor and understanding what what it means to bring two to three million families people to you have families to your downtown that that does have impact. You can see it in Coors Field your right you can see it in the impact its had on Lodo and lower downtown in Denver. Would have the same impact here on the West Side the same may impact here on lowertown the same impact here if it was located by the river. We were talking all I guess it's probably two three months ago now to reporter out in Cleveland and pose that question to and we'll let you know as a practical matter with the people in Cleveland want to do this again build a stadium and our people happy with it. He said well actually the people who come into the ball game most of them from the Suburban areas are just pleased as punch. I mean it's a great experience and so on thing is they drive in they go to game they leave and the people who actually live in the city have benefited not much at all from that ballpark. You see I would disagree with that perspective and I think supposedly objective guy, you know, I'll give you the reason that I disagree. Is that a conversation with the director of planning for Cleveland. I had an opportunity to give a speech on Urban Development in New York City all about six weeks ago and on the panel were Planning directors is a long term civil served in the 19 years in Cleveland and we go back to Cleveland. You know, Cleveland was the mistake on the lake. The river was on fire. They lost over half their population and in the late 80s early 90s. I remember as a kid reading a book that Woody Allen wrote It's called without feathers. I probably 1969 1970 and I remember vividly that passage in without feathers where what he has one person who's dead talking to a person who's living in the person who's living says to the person who's dead. What's it like in the afterlife and the person who's dead says not unlike living in Cleveland Cleveland was dying and and the director of planning made part of your point. He said you no matter what happens or what's happened is that we have folks from the suburbs who come in for game night and they see the activity in and around Jacobs Field and they come back on none game nights. So it's not just having two to three million people on the for the 81 nights that we that we gauge will come but there are folks who then come back. Back on none game nights and that whole area in and around that that downtown area of Cleveland by the river which was in great distress really is undergoing revitalization. I think the problem we have is when people use that argument to say, they're all the ills of the city of cured Cleveland's got some problems with their Public Schools. Cleavon had some problems with crime Urban centers are coming back Across America, but we still face challenges but I think it would be indisputable by the folks from Cleveland from the other areas that have these Urban ballpark saw LinkedIn is another one in Texas that the ballpark's have a tremendous influence and a positive influence for those who live in the community. They don't solve all else. They don't make cities Carefree places to live. It's a challenge living in the city, but they make it a heck of a lot better place to live and to visit to grow jobs and to spend money. So Paul Mayor Norm Coleman is our guest this hour we're talking about issues facing the city most notably the ballpark issue, of course, but if you've got a question about that or any other issues facing the city giving Call her six five one two two seven six thousand 6512276 thousand or one eight hundred two, four two two eight two eight. You might want to wait for a few minutes here. All our lines are busy right now will get a gets more callers and then you'll be able to get through we will get to some more callers here just a couple minutes. I'll is (00:22:12) in the town of Niagara Falls on every wall of every room in his house is a picture of the (00:22:16) falls. He writes about the Falls gives lectures, but he never ever goes there because of how they ruined the Falls. I just can't I get upset now I could cry. I feel like I'm walking on the ruins of a Wonder Legends of the falls this week on This American Life from Public Radio International Saturday night at 7:00 and Sunday at 9:00 on Minnesota Public Radio. Today is programming is made possible in part by The Advocates of Minnesota Public Radio contributors include Cargill supporting Minnesota's tradition of community service and Norwest foundation on behalf of Norwest Bank, Minnesota news headlines. Now, here's Mike Mulcahy Mike. Thank you. Gary prosecutors in California will have more to say later today about Tuesday's shootings in Los Angeles suspect birth. Buford Furrow has already been charged in the murder of a filipino-american mailman. He's also facing State charges of attempted murder in the Jewish Community Center attack. He's reportedly confessed to both shootings attorney general Janet Reno says this week's shootings in Los Angeles appear to have been motivated by hate Reno told reporters today more must be done to prevent such crimes. She wants tighter gun control measures and stronger hate crimes laws Salt Lake City's mayor says yesterday's tornado could have been much worse one person was killed and scores hurt by the storm that hit downtown and midday. The mayor says cleanup Crews work through the night. Cleared debris and the power has been restored to all 20,000 customers who lost it because of the storm. Afghanistan's ruling party is denying reports that suspected terrorist. Osama. Bin Laden has terrorist bases in Afghanistan. The Taliban militia is also repeating its promise not to hand over bid Laden to us officials. He's been indicted in the US for masterminding last year's embassies Embassy bombings in Africa, the statement comes in response to talk in neighboring Pakistan of possible us attacks on Bin Laden's bases in Afghanistan or a possible Commando raid to arrest him. In Minnesota news of farmers in the state. May Harvest a record soybean crop and their second straight billion bushel corn crop this fall but the bumper crops will only keep the prices down u.s. Egg Department report today says based on August first field conditions soybeans total about 290 million bushels and corn just over a billion bushels with crop prices already. Very low Farmers fear. The huge Harvest will drive them even lower despite drought and other weather problems. It's estimated us farmers will harvest a record soybean crop and the third largest corn crop in history looking at the weather for today showers and thunderstorms around the state. The heaviest could be in southern Minnesota. The highs should range from the lower 60s to near 80 tonight rain in the east and south clearing in the Northwest lows around 50 to near 65 for the Twin Cities showers and thunderstorms this afternoon a severe storm possible later on the higher on 75 then tonight cloudy more rain and cooler with a low around 58. It's pretty much cloudy everywhere around the region now. St. Cloud has 69 degrees 69 in Rochester as well in Sioux Falls at 73 in the Twin Cities some light rain and 70 degrees Gary. All right. Thank you. Mike 28 minutes now before noon. This is midday on Minnesota Public Radio. And our guest this hour is st. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman lots of callers on the lines with questions a quick practical question (00:25:41) for you mayor regarding (00:25:43) plans the ballpark plans as I understand. Is there any provision any thought being given to building if a stadium were built here building it in such a way that at a later time when more money was available that there might be a rough a retractable roof put on this thing because after all we do live in Minnesota April is not a good month for baseball and if the team is successful and gets into the postseason, they'd have to play well into October and temperatures dip. Well, it's not pleasant here we could heat the seats, you know. And I would probably wasn't pleasant was at 65 when when the Twins play the Dodgers Sandy Koufax great picture. One of the deciding game there. You could build a ballpark that has the framework for a roof later on but we got to tell you I would I would hope that we have in process something that would you really wouldn't want to do that unless something extraordinary was going on with you know, all of a sudden our global cooling or something. There's something about the Outdoor Experience. There's something about ballparks like are Midway Stadium where the Saints play there is something about Coors Field in Denver, which is not a warm weather area or Cleveland, which is certainly not a warm weather community that part of baseball is an outdoor baseball. It's the field, you know, Jerry, they're called who's angry at baseball and hates it I could I could see that anger being fostered by sitting in a Metrodome and you know on a beautiful summer evening. I Which part of what's going on here with this Urban ballpark is to create and expand Urban experience regards what the team does and the team has to be competitive. I think people want to know on any given day though believe that the team can win their niceness. We have to be world champions. What's fascinating is that Baltimore which is drawing capacity crowds every night. I think they've won three more games than our Minnesota Twins a Denver also is their record isn't much better than ours right now with a joint capacity crowds in part. It is the experience the urban experience coming to an outdoor Ballpark and it may be a little tough some days in April, you know could redo the schedule to I think about I don't believe we do many games here on July 4th and in Minnesota those games should I play in stadiums that are Outdoors you got some sun? So maybe your redo the schedule clearly if we get in postgame it can get a little cold figure out a way to heat the seats, but I would hate to lose the experience of outdoor baseball that is part of what we're creating. Here from a city perspective. The game is important. It's got to be competitive but it is the the idea of creating this environment this this neighborhood ballpark that perhaps has a farmers market as part of it year-round farmers market that perhaps affords us to create a walkthrough to get closer to the river all those things apart of the experience and they again looking at the Saints I if we have any calls to a Saints fan, I always like to a Saints fans. Can you name anybody on the team other than Matt knows who played Major League Baseball anybody else quite often? They can't but they tell you they love the experience. So you'd hate to lose that experience. I don't like those big domed retractable roof stadiums. I've seen him in Phoenix doesn't do anything for me and I don't think for a lot of others. We're looking to create an urban ballpark. I think that will be part of of the st. Paul experience and I'd hate to lose that Patty R question, please. (00:29:10) Yep at our this is Pat Geary. First of all, I'd like to say that, you know in Cleveland that Little disappointed that people came downtown Cleveland from the suburbs and went home but I doubt if they'd ever go to downtown Cleveland unless they had a baseball stadium there. The other thing is that one of the chief arguments against the stadium has been taxpayers dollars, but isn't it true that it's sort of priorities other words the state of Minnesota spends billions and billions of dollars each year. I believe they have a biennial meeting to decide how much they ends are going to spend and at that time they decide whether they're going to spend money on a National Guard Armory in black duck, Minnesota or something else like that. So it's just a matter of priorities that it really wouldn't cost us more taxpayer dollars. We would be just putting it into the stadium in downtown Minnesota. And if you hate baseball, I think the argument could be made that would help you as the same poll tax. To have that baseball stadium in downtown st. (00:30:19) Paul. I don't think there's any doubt that it would help us as Saint Paul taxpayers as injured as Star Tribune didn't edit or I think was this Sunday that that put this debate in perspective and it is a heated debate about make it better A lot of phone calls a lot of folks on the line here that yeah, we did we did some polling and I was told in the pollster that the average the conversation after conversation was 23 minutes. I'm people want to talk about this they are this is a very passionate but this trip put it in perspective and they did a very very conservative in a very conservative analysis and said in the end from a state perspective ringing a ballpark a new ballpark outdoor ballpark st. Paul would cost the average taxpayer three cents a day that the so that's it wasn't an argument for or against it says let's put this in perspective. This is about a three cents a day issue, but it does generate a lot of a lot of emotion clearly. We make choices clear. There are more important things than baseball. I have. No there's no About that education's more important Public Safety is more important housing is more important, but baseball and quality of life are things that that that impact decisions are made whether you live in a community whether you grow jobs in a community from economic perspective, if people spend money in your course City those Suburban nights if they come in town part of our challenge Gary and it's why in the least degree with the twins, we have a provision about the development framework that we're going to we are cognizant of reflective of the design issues. We will build a ballpark integrate into a neighborhood that will create opportunities for people to spend money. One of the things about saying Paul that's a positive as we don't have to build new parking ramps are not going to talk about that. We've got lots of parking in around the core downtown that is occupied during the day but not at night and not at weekend so we can use existing parking facilities on off-peak hours to have people Park their and then create opportunities for them to spend money on their way to the ballpark that Before five block walk that they have to make wreck here question, please. (00:32:21) Good morning. Good morning. Mayor. Good morning, Rick. I'm just pulling into a ramp here. I've been waiting outside of the ramp because I don't want to get cut off and I'm watching the Minnesota life's great big building going up here and I as I was driving the downtown, I think I counted 14 cranes in the sky and it's like I was here back eight years ago when I don't think we saw crane for quite some time since a lot of activity going. (00:32:42) Here's love cranes by the way construction. It's one of the things that just kind of warms my heart (00:32:47) as a taxpayer. I can tell you a taxpayer's love cranes to to see the city turn around but what I'm wondering is now if depending on where this stadium is placed, it sounds like in this Lower Town area is how how do you see that impacting the development of the downtown in terms of businesses going there and restaurant openings. Is there is there an opportunity for that kind of an upside in that (00:33:09) area? Well, I think the issue gets back to the provision in the agreement that talks about the development framework. We have a design. St. Paul we created that just a couple of years ago can't can Greenberg who was a internationally known urban planner. Urban thinker out of Toronto was involved in San Juans Riverfront and Amsterdam. I've been involved with us and working in Detroit now with some Urban revitalization issues there what we will do if we get this ball park built and it's either going to be an in around the lower town area by the west side is we will incorporate the restaurants the other activities as part of that. You just you don't do what I say. You don't do it Minneapolis. Did you don't do what what the not-so-great urban thinkers did 17 and 19 years ago when they built a Metrodome and simply plug something down and hope that it develops and he got Hubert's bar and that's about it. Very different approach. We've learned a lot about urban Urban Development. We've learned a lot about building great cities which by the way, is it new thinking, it's Jane Jacobs it goes back to Old thinking you create activity that generates street life. You make sure that there's a relationship that people can Inside buildings, they get a flavor of what's going on. You can create a sense of Vitality by using good Urban Design principle. So the answer that is is yes, if in fact the ballpark is in the lower town area the West Side area that it would be part of an overall Economic Development Vision. We have a plan for housing for instance the Northeast quadrant. That's one of the potential sites if the ballpark will go into we go into the Gillette site. We'd at the same time use that and that investment as a stimulus to accelerate the housing opportunities the creation of that Urban Village in the Northeast quadrant. There's an artist community in and around the Lower Town down Terry. They have to be part of the design discussion and they are last week Gary. I visited the folks at Market house. They have a they condominium right across from one of the perspective sites and I talked to the folks there about the impact on their neighborhood. You can build a ballpark today. And in one of the things we're talking about is a concept of a living wall. In other words the frame around with a seats are that that that outer shell can be something in which you play. Businesses, you can do a a Pike's Market in Seattle where you can have that year-round Farmers Market work with the Growers. Let them kind of tell us what they want. You could possibly have housing people actually living in the structure that is part of the skin of the ballpark. You can do those things. We will build a ballpark that will move I think Urban Design to the next level Coors Field Jacobs Field Camden Yards, they'll all have big back 10 years old by the time we do our thing and I think we can move this concept of neighborhood. Ballpark Urban ballpark generating a development opportunities with it to another level. That's our hope and that will be the reality of the voters of st. Paul say yes back to the phones John has a question for st. Paul Mayor Coleman. Go ahead please John. Yes, you're on the (00:36:01) air. How you doing today? Don't see good John. I've got a couple of questions actually if you put up with me for a minute. Okay, make (00:36:07) them brief though, because we got a lot of (00:36:08) callers. How many households are there in St. Paul? Just a rough number at $140,000 K. Why don't you tell each one of those hundred and forty? Thousands we're going to put $1,000 on your property tax over the next three years if the stadium so good for st. Paul. Let's say Paul pay for it and we'll see whether or not the voters really want (00:36:26) it. Well the stadium the stadium is good not just for st. Paul state of Minnesota will get about 13 million dollars in taxes from this business that has baseball operating in st. Paul that the state is a huge winner the team alone. If you assume a payroll level around 50 million dollars the state at eight and a half percent income tax. The state's going to be a huge beneficiary that this is this is a win-win for everyone. It's not just a Saint Paul things and we st. Paul buildin will build a moat around it and it's just for st. Paul. This is a regional opportunity that we in st. Paul will benefit. So we're putting our hands up with saying yeah, we're participating if the people st. Paul say yes to that half percent sales tax that that nickel on a $10 purchase that 50 cents on $100 purchase. They're going to be at the table. The good news is by the way 60 percent of the people who Generate the sales tax aren't don't they aren't City residents. They don't live the people come to visit. They may come from Iowa. They come from North Dakota. They may come from Minneapolis to use this. This isn't just a Saint Paul thing people all over the state. Listen to Major League Baseball. Listen to the twins. It provides a lot of a lot of enjoyment and opportunity for a lot of folks. We got to get rid of this attitude of all, you know, you're going to benefit or the billionaire owners are going to benefit everyone can benefit from this Economic Opportunity. So everyone we can all be at the table in a fair way this lease agreement with the team provides a third contribution of the team a third from the state a third from the city. The team has all the risk. I think it's a fair opportunity, but I disagree wholeheartedly with the perspective that somehow let st. Paul pay for it because it's in st. Paul a lot of folks are going to generate from the opportunity to bring two to three million people to the core downtown and st. Paul John raises an interesting question though. We all know that there is a lot of Even at the state level to the through this whole concept from the governor's office through the legislature on down why not just proposed doubling that sales tax increase for the city rather than a half a cent a penny the city could then pick up the state part of this you wouldn't have to worry about the legislature approving this you would have to worry about the governor approving this and since the city of st. Paul is going to be the primary beneficiary as you pointed out. I mean, if to the extent that money is just moved around it is going to be moving into the city of st. Paul. Why not? Do it yourself again Gary the same point I made in response to the previous to the previous questioner. The city is going to be beneficial is no doubt that you're going to do when you bring two to three million people in the core downtown you generate a hundred million dollars of economic activity. The city is going to be a beneficiary the state gets sales tax if they are the city the half cent is something we're putting on ourselves, but if they are The other the other sick, I mean if the state wants if we work out a deal that says all revenues generated you want to give all the income tax generated by the team to the city you want to give all the sales tax generated by the team to the city, you know, maybe there's something to talk about the state is a huge beneficiary. This is a resource for the state. I mean, we're willing to share some of the burden to make it happen because we're going to get benefits. So it's all kind of cost-benefit analysis, but the state is a huge beneficiary. I believe in an Anderson study. They talked about this team generating about thirteen million dollars in in taxes for the state. Now if all that stuff would have come back to the city if we could identify that then maybe there's a way for the city to say we're going to do it but but the the opportunity here is for everyone who's going to be a beneficiary should be at the table. That's the nature of of public-private partnership and the state is a huge beneficiary not just the city of st. Paul. But if it's such a good deal for the city and if there's a possibility of at this point, I would guess it would be fair to say a probability that The state is not going to move ahead. So you lose the stadium for st. Paul your left high and dry here. Well, Gary clearly we have to end this what I've said to the to the governor's office to the Speaker of the House Majority Leader is let the people of st. Paul be heard first on November let him you know, the idea State represent mad intensive came out. So this thing's Dead on Arrival not even going to consider it. We're not going to look at it. I think that's arrogant and short-sighted let the people of st. Paul be heard if they're heard and we have the team and the city at the table then I think you got to go to the state and you got to make the argument that I've just made I don't think you're precluded. But again, the state is a huge beneficiary from this, you know, we could make the same argument for the convention center in Minneapolis is going to generate hundreds of millions of dollars of economic activity for many appleís. I think the state's put in a hundred eighty million dollars in that you can make the same argument for facilities convention Center's facilities roads, highways and in Rochester and say, Wow, throughout the state. Well, if the city is going to be the beneficiary, they should pay for it the state we're not Islands unto ourselves. We all share when there's a strong Capital City. It benefits our neighboring communities. If we don't deal with crime here, it hurts Maplewood in Roseville. If we don't have a strong st. Paul you're going to have a problems in the surrounding region. So the idea that somehow because we're the principle we benefit that we carry the whole load it does it defies common sense. You could make the same argument for any state investment in any facility throughout this state. We are we are a rural community where a region we need to learn to work together if the what will saying here Gary is that those who benefit should be at the table the public sector benefits taxpayers benefit. This team will generate x million dollars in tax revenues. We should be at the table as we are at the table for things like Convention Center is and light rails and and and a whole range of other things that are done. Kind of Lift us all up but we're all benefiting from their presence here in our communities add to your question. (00:42:23) Good morning gentlemen, good morning, and I wish I had I've been hanging here for about 40 minutes and I wish I had counted the time that st. Paul was mentioned in those 40 minutes being a non-resident st. Paul many of us are getting disenchanted to find out that or to know that we have. Our fate is in the hands of what 10 or 15% of our population. Well, actually we how do we who are not residents and I mean now get involved and get this thing turned around so that we it is a state function and not a Saint Paul (00:42:55) function. Well first the your fate is in our hands Our Fate right now the people of st. Paul are being asked very specifically they willing to have a half cent sales tax imposed as I said that that nickel on a $10 purchase that decision will be made November 2nd if the people of st. Paul say no we don't want that then you To worry, then there's not going to be at least from this mayor and not going to be a lot of discussion. The our community will have decided and I don't think they'll be the political will to do anything further. So I'm going to listen to the voices of our people if the people of st. Paul say, yes, there's going to be ample time for lots of discussion as to how do we deal with that last piece that state? Peace and I carry I firmly believe that you know politicians Can't Stuff things down people's throats. Look what we're doing in st. Paul. We're giving this to the people one of the reasons why there is an opportunity now in st. Paul and not in Minneapolis or other places because we put this on the ballot. I don't think at the state level anyone's going to listen to anybody unless the people of a community raise their hand and say, yes people keep coming back to me say mayor. We've said no a thousand times. Well, you'd know the people you haven't given the people a chance to vote on this in a given Community legislature had a lot of discussion. They had a close vote and special session a couple of years ago. We're giving the people of st. Paul a chance to be heard and They say yes, then we'll work with the folks at the state level and you can only do something at the people in that broader community. And in this at the state level as at the city level say yeah, we want to go forward you can't stuff it down their throat. I believe that the arguments are compelling enough. If you cut through the rhetoric cut through the bailout for billionaires and the anger at baseball strikes and simply look at the economics. Look at the impact that there's a compelling argument certainly the city level and ultimate the state level for all of us to be partners and keeping this business of baseball alive in our Capital City generating great Economic Opportunity for st. Paul, but ultimately being important part of this state we unfortunately only have a couple minutes here. Let me can I run by a couple of other issues very quickly here and I know this is never fair because they're big issues in and of themselves gun violence were reminded again of you know, the shooting out Los Angeles were going to be talking about this over the noon hour. Is there anything that should be going on in the city of st. Paul? That's not going on right now to rein in gun violence. There's a wonderful program in Richmond, Virginia a city of about our size that I think may have had five or ten times. The homicide rate that we had. They are. It's strictly enforcing the law though. They're not no loopholes you use a gun in a commission of crime and you are going away for a long period of time. Hey Gary, we keep talking about new laws and new regulations. We have to be vigorous and enforcing what are you start putting people away who use guns who illegally sell guns get them off the street for long periods and get him out of our Lives. I think that's what we got to be doing vigorous enforcement against gangs and drugs. Those are the things that are making a difference. They'll be a rush for a whole Bevy of new legislation. But also if we don't enforce what we have if we don't get the bad guys and the guns off the street, we're all going to suffer and there's some programs around the country are working. We should have the courage to adopt those and to be vigorous and enforcing them next week you Outline your new budget. Are you going to call for a tax increase you've held a line since you were elected in 93 is a time for taxes to go up. We've actually lowered the amount of dollars that we collect in property taxes by think over 3 million in the six years. I've been in office if we had just kept to the rate of the Consumer Price Index that we'd be collecting 15 million dollars more not fit not three million less. I believe that keeping Lids on taxes or important to generate confidence generating more economic growth will lay that out Monday, but I'm a believer that higher taxes Drive Away jobs and residents and I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that doesn't happen. Yoo-hoo st. Paul companies all we every time we turn around it looks like more job Cuts over at the st. Paul when of st. Paul's Mainline companies, like house great exactness, a really serious situation in terms of the future of that company. Well it is it is serious and anytime this job loss that is serious and that is very very difficult. They always try to find a little light at the end of a dark tunnel clearly what st. Paul companies is doing is making itself more competitive hopefully doing those things that will allow it to be an independent company with his headquarters in st. Paul. My great fear garius stock prices are depressed as the profits aren't there that you become a candidate for someone else to buy out and take you over losing the st. Paul companies corporate headquarters would be would be a blow losing Honeywell is a blow losing Wells Fargo Noah's bank is a blow to our communities. I am hopeful that these moves in the end will strengthen the company's long-term presence and then we'll get those jobs back down the road while the opportunity anytime someone lose a job. That's tough. That's difficult. Hopefully in this job market, they'll be opportunity. But the good news is that st. Paul companies is stronger and I hope that bodes well for the future blush Coleman ticket not-not-not, this Coleman I die. I am a big fan of George W. I believe that he will Carrie Minnesota, I believe will be the next president of the United States. I am a compassionate conservative. He's a compassionate conservative believe people. I believe minnesotans are compassionate conservatives. They want fiscal responsibility. They want to deal with the some of the social issues out there. He's the best so for the Republican Party believes best hope for a Minnesota for us capturing it but no I'm the mayor of st. Paul and I'm going to be the mayor saying poem next year. Thank you, sir. Appreciate it. You got it. Thank you Gary. I guess this our Saint Paul Mayor Norm Coleman, by the way, we're going to be putting this program up on our website later this afternoon. Check it out at MP r dot large.