There is even more detailed information emerging from Apple Valley City Council member (and MVTA rep) Ruth Grendahl and her personal crusade with the rest of the MVTA over Kautz receiving campaign contributions from Messerli & Kramer, a law firm that has no lawyers who reside in Burnsville nor has offices there.
According to Thisweek, Kautz received $950 to her campaign which is over 3x as much as anyone is permitted to donate when a city the size of Burnsville is involved. Kautz did not choose to recuse herself from voting when it came time for renewing the $77,000 contract with Messerli and Kramer. Instead of having an independent review take place, Kautz again snubbed the idea and Grendahl responded by saying, “Madam mayor, obviously you’re not supportive of an independent review. You brought in people from within the organization to examine it themselves.” Wow, way to go Kautz, you really look transparent and open there–just like those closed meetings about the PAC eh? Taking one from Liz Workman’s playbook are ya? The MNSun article about this went on to say that Grendahl suggested that Apple Valley leave the Suburban Transit Association. Nothing was mentioned about what that would mean for Apple Valley and its residents.
While I don’t agree with everything Ruth Grendahl does, I have to admit that the woman doesn’t put up with much bullshit and it’s nice to finally see someone stand up and get Kautz’ name next to some really negative press. Based on how that article is written I really want to know how much of that $950 Kautz spread around to the other MVTA members to keep them from agreeing with Grendahl. Maybe she’s paying for their dinners at Jo Jo’s Rise and Wine? I really hope that Grendahl stays in and continues to press this and any issues where the rest of the STA members are trying to hide their dirty tactics. While I don’t trust any politician at least she’s doing SOMETHING to try and inform the public about what’s going on.
My favorite quote of the article was this one from Len Simich, CEO of Southwest Transit:
We know this is going to be a critical year for suburban transit providers and had to ask ourselves if this is the time to change firms. Not all of the STA members had issues with Messerli & Kramer, but we got their attention.
Umm, dumbass, law firms are a dime a dozen. Are you seriously suggesting that you couldn’t have done better elsewhere? How much did they pay you to say something like that? The only thing you got them to do is line all of your pockets to keep you happy and stick it to the rest of us. If any of you assholes really cared and had nothing to hide you’d allow the independent review to occur and shut the fuck up. Unfortunately you’re just making yourselves look even more guilty by covering this up and hoping it goes away.
So what do you think about this whole hoopla? Do you think Grendahl is taking it too far or is she completely right? Are the rest of the STA members ignoring the issue mean that they are just as dirty as that slimy bitch Kautz? If the law firm paid off Kautz (3x over what they should have) are they also padding the pockets of the other idiots involved with the STA?
These are our representatives that are fucking with our transit options, they need to hear what you have to say so go ahead and do it!