I took Ward 12 Council Member, and recent jack-o’-lantern, Andrew Johnson on a historic walking tour of our very historic Lowry Hill East Historic District. He agreed that it is a beautiful neighborhood and that it should never change. Afterwards he sat for a series of softball questions in Mueller Park.
I was eager to hear his thoughts on Linden Hills. He described, with awe in his voice, that he’d never seen anything like the recent 43rd and Upton appeal at the Zoning and Planning Committee. He was particularly impressed with the Linden Hillers’ determination to blow through time limits and ignore repeated requests to wrap up. He remembered being surprised by a chant of “this is not what democracy looks like” in response to speakers being told they wouldn’t get a second try at the microphone (sadly, this was not captured in video of the meeting).
We talked about his proposed animal control ordinance, which is strangely controversial. He said his intention is to modernize a wide range of policies relating to animal care and shelters. According to Johnson, the existing policies are “cobbled together” and in need of overhaul. In formulating the proposal, they’ve held two public meetings and consulted with groups that advocate for the humane treatment of animals.
The proposal is full of potentially cumbersome regulations requiring pet owners to provide:
- Adequate food, water, and shelter
- Access to care, treatment, and transportation to veterinary care
- Appropriate space and exercise
- Access to care to prevent pain and suffering
We spoke about his legendary thirst. He claims he only used this giant mug one time on Channel 79 (implying that somehow I’m the weirdo for catching him). He took frequent sips from the comically large mug during our interview. After some examination, I believe he is telling the truth when he says it’s not a water pitcher stolen from a pizzeria. He emphasized over and over that he is still “re-hydrating” weeks after his Linden Hills experience.
|I let Andrew hold my pumpkin, he let me touch his giant mug.
We talked about his Tweet-battle with home improvement icon Nicole Curtis. He renewed his challenge for her to release the disturbing emails. I got the impression he was prepared to take all the credit for running Curtis out of Minneapolis and back to Detroit, but he didn’t come right out and say it.
In response to a question about the recent setback for the Working Families agenda, he mentioned his hope that something could still be accomplished on sick time and fair scheduling, but in a way that accommodates some of what he sees as legitimate business concerns.
2015 Sexiest CM Alive pic.twitter.com/kOLYWoFQzl
— Wedge LIVE! (@WedgeLIVE) August 21, 2015
Coming up next in our Better Know a Pumpkin series: City Historian and Planner John Smoley(!).
|Smoley for President logo carved into the backside of Pumpkin Andrew.
We’ll ask him: Why is our historic district so small? What does he have against Queen Annes? Did he really get his PhD in “Missile Silos”? And also, why isn’t our historic district bigger?