Michael Katch’s top three priorities upon taking the council seat:
- Transparency: no vendor shall be chosen without an open bidding process, and no ordinance or law shall be enacted without open discussion and consideration in the sunshine of open and honest conversation and thoughtful consideration. I will pass nothing by consent agenda nor will I award a closed bid to an established crony. All city business must be accomplished in an open meeting paradigm, with clear copies of all city agendas and attachments therefor easily available to the public and any other person of interest. I would like to use the Pirate Party’s Liquid Democracy software to accomplish this goal, as it does in Germany and Iceland. All city citizens should be able to peruse the proposal as I the city councilmember can, with all underlying documentation available at the click of a mouse, and forward their proposed changes to me for facilitation.
- Accountability: Nobody seems to be in charge downtown. What’s up with that? Someone needs to be in charge. The police have to be accountable to the citizenry. And nobody in Minneapolis is accountable to the public. Great feats of legerdemain are presented as a fait accomplit, and there is never anyone to blame. Nobody takes responsibility. Who put together the plan for the Pillsbury “A” development? Who will take responsibility for the white elephant this current city council is propounding? Who is responsible for the new $400 million Wells Fargo park going up around the new Stadium? Who will make sure that all the contracts are filled, and every legal detail is complied with? Who is taking responsibility to looking out for the welfare of the citizenry? Our currently seated city council is sure that they can pass whatever ordinances they like, 7-6, and they all seem to have each other’s backs. City council offices are locked to the public, and the decisions are agreed to in those locked back rooms, even though they might not be smoky anymore, but the decisions are unmistakably oligarchic. I have a problem with this kind of government.
- Stability: Our city is shrinking. We lost a senate district this census cycle; our tax base is also shrinking, and our infrastructure needs maintenance and tending. Minneapolis thrived in the aftermath of the genesis of NRP. Our neighborhoods created visions and helped their communities to stabilize each in its own uniquely organic way. For our city to be healthy, we must have small businesses in each neighborhood, and our neighbors must not be taxed out of their homes with special assessments and excessive and superfluous permit and inspection fees. When I am in office, we will examine all the fees assessed to homeowners and eliminate those that are designed to be income-producers for the city, and those that may be applied excessively or unreasonably. Small businesses will be encouraged to sprout in the third ward, and we will find ways to keep the regulations from being too high a barrier to success.