About Betsey

The roof before it got really green

I’m rarely on the fence, but often on my roof.

This blog has its roots in my service on the Northfield Planning Commission during the boom years (2001-2005) when nobody would answer my questions about why we let developers decide where streets would go and would development really generate enough tax revenue to sustain itself

Connecting the streets (and designing them for people rather than cars) and regulating for sustainable development patterns are still the questions I care about.

I have one husband, one daughter, two dogs, and three bicycles.

The author riding a blue bike across the Northfield pedestrian bridge on a sunny day
My pretty blue bike for around town.

2 Responses to About Betsey

  1. geoff wheeler says:

    Very well written and thoughtful. I couldn’t agree more. Add to your discussion the prospect of a new municipal liquor store which almost certainly can’t come close to covering costs, continuing deterioration of many residential streets faster than projects can remedy, proposal for a new transit center (not even sure why we need that especially at that location), interest in a whistle free train crossings, and tax levy increases of around 10% last year and looking like another bump up to 6% or more this year in a community which seems to have disinterest in any significant and sustained business, industrial or other developments as means of increasing our property tax base to help pay for all of this, and as far as I can tell, no publicly debated priority list with 5 or 10 year financial plans to guide us.
    Finally, I find it offensive that the selling point(s) and the publicity has featured the “civic center” aspect. Lets be straight about this…this is a 2 sheet ice arena that very occasionally and certainly only seasonally might have a couple of more craft fairs at best. Calling it a Civic Center is quite disingenuous and gives an impression far from the truth.

    Duke, Northwestern, 1 dog, 1 partner, 4 bikes, former businessman,local, county and state official (all in another state).

    • Thanks! I completely agree about the “Civic Center” label, especially since that aspect of the project was added only at the last minute.

      Northfield needs to consider how it can increase private investment in Northfield (more business, more homes, higher value projects) while monitoring the public investment in these projects so the city can become more profitable and resilient plus budgeting for the life cycle of projects (like the repair and replacement of any improvement or facility) rather than just managing the current financial picture.

      And well-informed public debate is needed, too – got any suggestions for how you’d like to see the city push information out to residents and get feedback?


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