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Editorial: Criticism of CGMC off base

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opinion Worthington, 56187
Daily Globe
(507) 376-5202 customer support
Worthington Minnesota 300 11th Street / P.O. Box 639 56187

Minnesota cities want to keep their local government aid, and Gov. Tim Pawlenty wants to cut it.

So when the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) helped launch a new initiative last week to promote the importance of LGA, Pawlenty took the opportunity to blast CGMC itself.

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"The first thing I would suggest that cities and counties do to save money in the budget is to fire their lobbyists to create space in the budget so they can save more police and fire personnel in their cities," Pawlenty was quoted as saying in last weekend's Daily Globe.

This didn't sit well with Wadena Mayor Wayne Wolden, who said the $6,000 his city pays the CGMC each year is critical in keeping track of state legislation. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman also spoke of the importance of the coalition's service in providing legislative information.

Worthington has valued membership in the CGMC for several years now, and city leaders have long been vocal in speaking out about the importance of local government aid. We can't help but take issue with the governor for desiring to make deep reductions to an important source of money for cities, and then blasting the group that advocates for them. Does he simply want to silence the voices of the state's municipalities as much as possible, so that the state can have its way with them?

A new Web site, www.thanklga.org, touts local government aid and what it does for communities. Perhaps the governor should take a long look.

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