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Clausen Won't Let History Influence Decision on Bottineau

Why is Golden Valley City Councilmember Joanie Clausen inclined to vote 'yes' when it comes to conducting studies on the Bottineau Transitway and the locally preferred alternative?

Golden Valley City Councilmember Joanie Clausen has a lot to think about.

In one week, councilmembers will vote on a resolution of support for the Bottineau Transitway locally preferred alternative (LPA). With two councilmembers opposed to the transitway, and with two for it, Clausen said that she feels like the decision is in her hands.

“It’s a lot of pressure,” Clausen told Patch. “But I’m doing my homework.”

On Dec. 13, Clausen, Councilmember DeDe Scanlon and other city staff toured existing light rail lines with Hennepin County officials. The tour was designed to give councilmembers and staff a clear picture of what light rail really is.

“I want to look at the whole picture and make an informed decision,” Clausen said. “As an elected official I truly believe that is my job.”

Lately, Clausen’s job hasn’t been easy.

At a Dec. 11 meeting, Golden Valley City Councilmembers reviewed a 1988 resolution of support which said that a light rail alignment along Olson Memorial Highway and the Burlington Northern right-of-way would be the best route for a light rail in the northwest corridor.

The resolution was drafted by Clausen’s father, then-councilmember Ray Stockman.

Click the PDF to the right to read the resolution.

"My father was my hero,” Clausen said, “but I can’t let that influence the decision that I’m going to make. I would never base my decision on the 1988 resolution. That was 25 years ago and times change.”

But Clausen’s mind, when it comes to conducting further study about the Bottineau Transitway LPA, is almost made up.

“I am thinking of possibly voting yes to the study,” Clausen said. “This is a study. I have all the same questions and concerns that I had before. This is a way to get those questions answered and then make an informed decision.”

Related Articles:

  • What Do You Know About the Metro's Light Rail Projects?
  • Readers React: Bottineau Transitway
  • Residents Urge Council to Say 'No' to Bottineau
Karen Lehman December 15, 2012 at 06:26 PM
I am skeptical of the study process, particularly when what this really sounds like is permission to start the engineering work, meaning making investments in building the line. This has not been clear, what initiating engineering work really means. Could we get more information on that in the Patch? An environmental impact study is one thing, and engineering is another. Much harder to pull back from. We are on our way to Golden Valley being the "least bad" alternative. I don't think "good" is even on th table. And once it's clear that Golden Valley is the least bad, what follows? More pressure to go ahead, since D2 is even worse. I wish someone would say "no" long enough to see if other options would then come back on the table. The Met Council said they didn't know what they'd do. Perhaps "come up with a better option" could be one response, if the least bad disappears.

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