Business is beating local control

Published 8:44 am Friday, February 3, 2012


Local control is at risk in Minnesota. Local control, be it in our school districts or in land use, has from the beginning of our nation been the very hallmark of democracy. Corporate interests find democracy bothersome because their interests often don’t mesh with the interests of citizens and local communities. This legislative session some legislators are siding with corporate special interests against citizens by starting the session off with House File 389 and Senate File 270, two bills that weaken local control.

HF 389 and SF 270 say that merely by applying for a permit, projects are exempt from interim ordinances or moratoriums and that moratoriums would require a two-thirds majority to be enacted. Most of the time neighbors to a project and even elected officials don’t find out about a project proposal until after a permit is applied for. These bills give the upper hand to outside corporate interests that want to push unexpected and unwanted projects into our communities. This includes projects like frac sand mining. We have all seen the importance of moratoriums on this issue.

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Minnesota has consistently had a high quality of life and good schools, in large part because citizens have had the right to local control, something that Minnesota soldiers have fought to win for people in other countries. Local control is too important to hand over to corporate interests at the expense of our hard-won democracy. We need to make our voices heard in favor of local control and let our legislators know that we oppose House File 389 and Senate File 270.


Barbara Finley-Shea