To the editor:
In “Edina’s future: Urban or suburban?” Bruce Christensen, founder of Stop the Lid and We Can Do Better Edina, argues Edina’s city council is on “an almost 12-year effort” to “urbanize Edina,” and that it seeks a “very active role in enabling and encouraging Edina’s unprecedented growth.”
To support this argument, Christensen interprets selected statements from public meetings. But in 2018, Christensen inaccurately quoted then-State Rep. Dario Anselmo by splicing together Anselmo’s words from a League of Women Voters Edina debate. He used this compilation to support his endorsement of Anselmo in his 2018 Stop the Lid voter guide. Christensen’s statement for Anselmo, that he credited to the LWVE debate, was “it’s clear that residents don’t want it so no I would not support TIF for the Lid.”
Anselmo’s actual response about TIF funding for the Lid during this debate is online at tinyurl.com/wbcn4hb (21:40). Anselmo acknowledges his work to “authorize and have that legislation up and ready if the people in Edina want that.” He then states, “It’s very clear that the people don’t want that. I have talked to people at the city about that. You need to do a better job of explaining this to the people. And at this point, I would say no.” This is very different than the statement Christensen provides.
Christensen also failed to note Anselmo’s support for the Estelle project, which would have significantly increased population density in the Cornelia neighborhood with two 20-plus-story condominium towers. It appears, for Christensen, some neighborhoods merit greater concern than others when it comes to population density. Arguably, neighborhoods near the Estelle, with mid-century modern ramblers on larger lots represent the quintessential suburban design. Where was Christensen’s concern? Also, did he understand Anselmo’s position on the Lid?
Christensen used Stop the Lid to influence 2018 elections – it also endorsed city council candidate Ron Anderson. We Can Do Better Edina appears to have the goal of influencing the outcome of 2020 races – one of its goals is to “Support a new vision for leadership in Edina.” Clearly, this vision is based on Christensen’s personal vision, perceptions and concerns.