There are four people running for two seats. You get three votes, which should be ranked in descending order of preference. The people running:
David B. Wheeler
Carol J. Becker
website here: http://www.vote4wheeler.com/index.html
David has served on the BET for four years and is endorsed by the DFL plus a ridiculously long list of people that seems to include everyone on the City Council, most of the Park Board, the current mayor, and the former mayor. His accomplishments include improving transparency by moving BET meetings to a room that people have at least heard of and could potentially find if they want to come watch, and broadcasting their most important meetings, presumably on local-access cable. I'll note that probably 98% of Minneapolis still doesn't know what the hell they do or that it's actually quite important, but I think there's a limit to what the BET members can realistically do to improve awareness.
website here: http://davidpaulpascoe.com/
This David's a Republican, which probably either made you cross him off your list, or bump him up to your #1 choice. He's a law student at the U of M and clerking for a small local law firm. He complains that the Board isn't doing its job because property taxes are too high; I submit that this is because the State Legislature has opted not to pay its share of Minneapolis's expenses for much of the last decade, and the city has been forced to raise property taxes to keep potholes filled and streetlights on.
Twitter reveals that he's a Vikings fan, a Star Trek nerd, and a Ron Paul supporter. He's a good Twitter-er -- frequently funny, and his tweets stand well on their own. (During a debate between the Republican candidates in February 2012: "Is there a reason why Gingrich and Santorum don't have ashes? They're not pandering to me enough as a Roman Catholic.")
website here: http://carolbecker.net/
Carol has served on the BET for two terms now. She's a wonk. Her "Ten Reasons to Vote for Me" list suggests that you might not want to invite her to parties, unless city financing is also one of your fandoms, in which case you should totally invite her to your parties and she would totally show up, I think.
Her endorsements list is shorter than David's but includes both AFSCME and Stonewall DFL (but not the DFL as a whole) and Cam Winton (the closet Republican mayoral candidate.)
One other note I would add for Carol is that she answers her e-mail promptly. (I was trying to put together a post about school board salaries, and got curious how much the Park Board gets paid. I couldn't find this information online so I e-mailed Carol and she e-mailed me back within an hour with an answer to my question. FYI, Park Board commissioners are paid about $12,500/year for what amounts to a robust part-time job. School Board members make less than $14,000/year for effectively a full-time job, where one of the things you do is get hated by everyone for making unpopular decisions, which is why hardly anyone runs for a second term. BET members get a laughably token sort of salary, $35/meeting, which works out to about $350/year.)
I couldn't find a website. He's endorsed by the Pirate Party. Based on his personal Facebook he appears to also be a member of AFSCME, involved in Occupy, opposed to cuts in food stamps, for trans* and genderqueer rights, in favor of gun control, concerned about government invasions of privacy, in favor of legalizing marijuana, and in general willing to re-post pretty much every liberal-grab-bag-type infographic that hits his feed onto his Facebook wall.
None of this says to me, "should TOTALLY set the Minneapolis property tax levy."
So, there are two seats, but you get three votes. If I were living in Minneapolis, I would put Carol Becker first, David Wheeler second, and the only really difficult question would be how to allocate my third vote -- for the Republican, or for the Pirate-endorsed Occupy activist. I might leave it blank on the assumption that Carol and David will take the seats easily, honestly, because I don't want either of the other two.
If you're a Republican, you probably have a similar dilemma: you'd want David Pascoe first and Carol Becker (endorsed by Cam Winton, right?) second. But then who do you put for your third choice -- the guy who's endorsed by practically every prominent DFLer within the Minneapolis city limits, or the Pirate-endorsed Occupy activist? It's a hard choice, isn't it?
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