Cambridge Council member voices opinion on 16th Ave. S.E. properties

Dear Editor:

Dear city residents and taxpayers,

Like the rest of the city council, I was elected to represent the approximately 8,100 people that live in the city of Cambridge. I will continue to represent our friends and neighbors as long as they elect me to do so.

As city leaders, our mission is to represent the people of the City of Cambridge and make decisions in their best interest. I think recent decisions made by the Cambridge City Council not to annex certain parcels into the city of Cambridge are contrary to our mission.

There are seven parcels located along 16th Avenue S.E., a city street. Six of the parcels are located in Isanti Township, and one is located in Cambridge Township. The property owners enjoy access to their properties via the city street system and are completely surrounded by Cambridge corporate limits. As these properties are not in the corporate limits of Cambridge, they do not contribute to the Cambridge coffers,where the funding for city street maintenance is derived. Additionally these property owners will not pay their fair share of the projected improvements of 16th Avenue S.E., leaving the rest of us with the bill. My argument is and has been that these properties have the same benefit as those properties already within the corporate limits, and, therefore, they should be brought in if for no other reason than to pay their fair share.

I am the only member of Cambridge City Council voting to represent city taxpayers on this issue. The council members voting not to annex these properties failed to do their job—they failed to do what is in the best interests of those they represent, city residents and city taxpayers. I am inclined to believe that many of the taxpayers in the city agree with me on this issue. Please e-mail to your Cambridge City Council. Their e-mail addresses can be found on the city’s website;

Robert Shogren, Councilman & taxpayer
City of Cambridge

  • Cathy Bjornoos

    I am one of the “property owners who enjoy access” to my property “via the city street system” and, as such, would like to address a few points in your letter. First, when we bought our property we were not “surrounded by Cambridge corporate limits”. The city moved out to us, we did not move in to the city. Second, your statement that we “do not contribute to the Cambridge coffers” is false. The majority of our spendable income is spent in the city of Cambridge so, unless those business owners don’t pay taxes to the city of Cambridge, we DO contribute to the Cambridge coffers. Third, I am not clear what the “same benefit as those properties already within the corporate limits” is that my property supposedly has.

    I personally think “recent decisions made by the Cambridge City Council not to annex certain parcels into the city of Cambridge” were logical, respectfully discussed and democratically voted on.

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