Response to Pioneer Press Editorial: Concerns about St. Paul’s sick-time process

Saint Paul STRONG

August 8, 2016

Response to Pioneer Press Editorial: Concerns about St. Paul’s sick-time process

http://www.twincities.com/2016/08/07/editorial-concerns-about-st-pauls-sick-time-process/

Saint Paul STRONG is nonpartisan and will not endorse any elected officials or candidates for office. Our members fall on various sides of most issues and we will not support any specific issue…other than a fair, honest, and transparent city hall process to determine public policy. The lack of trust in government is the very reason Saint Paul STRONG exists.

This problem is once again apparent with the latest example of a questionable process regarding recent evidence and concern of the fairness with the Earned Sick and Safe Time (ESST) ordinance being proposed at the City Council. The Mayor’s office and the City Council president are being accused, this time by the Saint Paul business community, of leaving them out of the decision to enact a new ESST ordinance and, as usual, the City Council majority appears ready to approve the new ordinance.

It has become standard operating procedure for the Mayor’s office and City Council to decide what is best for the City without real public input. The claim is then always made by the city administration that there has been extensive outreach into the community. Too often these decisions seem to benefit our elected city officials' future political goals rather than what is best for Saint Paul’s longterm future.

According to the business community, while the Mayor promised to include them, city hall emails show that they evidently failed again to do so in a timely manner. This also shows more evidence for the need to retain emails older than six months, as it is likely that there were emails dating even further back than the six month window of time allowed for researching the ESST issue. Not knowing the full extent of City Hall emails relating to ESST contributes to the lack of transparency and trust in government.

Saint Paul STRONG believes that an honest effort to bring all interested voices to the table is the best, and often the only way, to achieve a strong, healthy, and sustainable city policy.

SaintPaulSTRONG

We are a nonpartisan community-led organization dedicated to improving open and representative government in Saint Paul by encouraging and supporting open and transparent public processes at City Hall, engaging and empowering resident participation, and building a stronger, more inclusive Saint Paul.