Delaying the implementation of RNAV.

On behalf of Minneapolis residents, I am testifying today at the Metropolitan Airports Commission in favor of delaying the implementation of the new navigation system called RNAV.

In the short term, we need more time for community review and input: the MAC’s process has not provided enough time or information for the public to completely understand the impact of the proposed navigation changes.

Just as importantly, in the long term, we need more time so that the MAC can conduct a rigorous environmental review of RNAV as part of its Long Term Comprehensive Plan. The MAC needs to show the residents of Minneapolis and Edina — indeed, of the entire metro region — how they will effectively and responsibly manage the growth in traffic from the proposed airport expansion.

MSP airport plays a vital role in making Minneapolis and our entire metro area economically competitive on the national and global stages. We can and must remain competitive in the context of carefully crafting a plan that accounts for the needs of the airport and the residents of Minneapolis and Edina.

I thank Council Members Sandy Colvin Roy and John Quincy for leading on this important issue, and I thank everyone who has contacted the MAC and my office about it. Please continue to make your voices heard.

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Mayor Rybak to Meet with Vice President Biden, Congressional Leaders to Urge Balanced Approach to Deficit Reduction

Joining delegation of U.S. mayors to oppose harmful sequestration cuts, promote economic growth and middle-class tax fairness

November 15, 2012 (MINNEAPOLIS) — Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak will join a series of meetings at the White House and on Capitol Hill today with Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and other congressional leaders to urge Congress to adopt a bipartisan, balanced approach to deficit reduction that avoids harmful sequestration cuts, promotes economic growth in America’s metropolitan areas and preserves middle-class tax cuts.

Mayor Rybak will be joined by a dozen other mayors from across the country as part of a delegation of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. They will also meet with House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and Senator Mark Begich, chair of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee.

“Last week, a clear majority of Americans voted for a balanced approach to long-term deficit reduction that includes sensible cuts and additional revenue that is fairly raised from those who can afford to pay a little more, while protecting the middle class and promoting economic growth for everyone,” said Mayor Rybak. “That’s exactly the approach that mayors are urging Congress to adopt.”

“And make no mistake: mayors know that the scheduled sequestration cuts will mean a middle-class tax increase. By blindly and harmfully cutting services for children, jobs and those who need a hand up, Congress will create more problems for mayors to solve down the road — which means higher property taxes on the middle class,” Mayor Rybak continued.

The delegation of mayors that are meeting with Vice President Biden and congressional leaders today includes Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown and Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, among others.

Last month, Mayor Rybak joined 162 other U.S. mayors in signing a letter to congressional leaders that urged Congress to adopt a bipartisan and balanced approach to deficit reduction that includes both spending cuts and additional revenue, including from tax reform.

Minneapolis City Council Supporting Continued Negotiation and Resolution for Minnesota Orchestra and Orchestra Musicians – By Glidden and Hodges

By Glidden and Hodges

Whereas, the Minnesota Orchestra, founded in 1903, is a cultural icon, historic resource, and economic resource to the City of Minneapolis and the State of Minnesota; and

Whereas, the Minnesota Orchestra, originally named the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, has contributed to the vitality, competitiveness, reputation and pride of the City of Minneapolis and our state for generations; and

Whereas, the Minnesota Orchestra significantly contributes to the City of Minneapolis’ reputation as the region’s art center; and

Whereas, the Minnesota Orchestra, described as “the greatest orchestra in the world” by The New Yorker’s Alex Ross in 2010, has established Minnesota as a premier destination for artistic excellence; and

Whereas, the Minnesota Orchestra has influenced the development of contemporary music by commissioning and performing new works and supporting emerging composers, ensuring Minnesota’s reputation as a center of music innovation and growth; and

Whereas, the Minnesota Orchestra and its world-class musicians have touched the lives of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Minnesotans through orchestral performances and educational activities of the Minnesota Orchestra and its musicians; and

Whereas, the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra have contributed to the development of music and musicians in Minnesota, as well as the reputation and competitiveness of many organizations and institutions including the University of Minnesota School of Music; and

Whereas, symphony orchestras across the United States, including the Minnesota Orchestra, are facing significant financial challenges including reduced attendance and operating deficits, with the Minnesota Orchestra expecting to post a $6 million deficit for fiscal year ending August 31, 2012;

Whereas, the City of Minneapolis accepted a 2010 state bonding grant of $14 million on behalf of the Minnesota Orchestra for the purpose of maintaining and improving this performing arts center and contributing to its competitiveness as a world-renowned symphony orchestra; and

Whereas, in 2012, the City of Minneapolis issued $15 million in 501(c)(3) revenue bonds and lent the proceeds to the Minnesota Orchestra for the purpose of the Orchestra Hall renovation; and

Whereas, the cultural and economic benefit of the Minnesota Orchestra depends on, in addition to its financial condition, its continued ability to attract and retain top caliber musicians, music directors, and artistic staff, retain and grow its audience,  provide music opportunities to residents of all ages, and other factors; and

Whereas, during the Minnesota Orchestra lockout concerts are cancelled, concert revenue to the Orchestra is eliminated, tax revenues to the City and State will decrease, and musicians are without pay or health benefits; and

Whereas, revenue to the Convention Center (acting as the temporary performance hall of the Minnesota Orchestra), restaurants, bars, hotels, small local businesses, and the entire hospitality industry  is impacted by the lack of concerts during a lockout;

Now, therefore, be it resolved that the City of Minneapolis encourages that measures be taken to ensure that both the Minnesota Orchestra and its musicians have a common understanding of existing financial information and future projections; and

Be it further resolved that the City of Minneapolis discourages “lockout” as a means to resolve the existing labor dispute and requests that both sides work to find options for rebuilding trust and engaging in bargaining in order to ensure the continued vitality, reputation, and economic benefit of the Minnesota Orchestra as a pre-eminent cultural institution of our City and State; and

Be it further resolved that the City of Minneapolis encourages continued negotiation and resolution of the labor dispute between the Management and Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra.