Resident asks: Where are city leaders? Why aren't they at 3rd Precinct meetings?

'It's been three years of hell over here and I am extremely motivated to prevent the insult of rebuilding the old precinct on the existing site.'


Longfellow business owner, 30-year Longfellow resident and local filmmaker Paul Irmiter doesn't want the 3rd Precinct site reopened at its existing location - and none of the residents he's spoken with do either.

He left the April 11 community meeting on the 3rd Precinct at the Hook and Ladder extremely disappointed, and he's reaching out now to set up meetings directly with elected leaders, whom he said weren't at the public meeting. (*Note: Ward 2 Council Member Robin Wonsley and members of her staff were present, as was Ward 9 Council Member Jason Chavez and members of his staff.)

"I've been able to talk to over a dozen businesses in Longfellow and numerous neighbors. At each instance they've said I'm the only person who has talked with them directly. I will continue to talk with every business and as many of my neighbors as possible. The overwhelming sentiment is noone wants a precinct built on the existing site which is obviously what is being pushed on us by Mayor Frey etc. I would very much like to meet and continue this discussion. Yourself and anyone else you feel may benefit are welcome to visit my studio in the heart on Longfellow….

“It's been three years of hell over here and I am extremely motivated to prevent the insult of rebuilding the old precinct on the existing site. Looking forward to hearing back from you."

Irmiter has sent and received the following feedback since Tuesday:
- Jason Chavez - Ward 9 City Council - Responded right away and is working out a time to meet.
- Heather Johnson - Interim City Operations Officer - Responded right away and is working out a time to meet.
- Samantha Sencer-Mura - State Representative - Responded Friday, and is working at setting a meeting.
- Zaynab Mohamed - Senate District 63 - Awaiting a response.
- Mayor Frey - His office is the only one that has not responded. 

“I will continue to contact each and every office holder who can affect this situation,” said Irmiter. “I will also share this with every media outlet available.”

His letter to Mayor Frey follows:
Mayor Frey, I attended the community meeting at Hook & Ladder on April 11th. Like many of those who attended I found the whole affair extremely disappointing. The stated goals for the 3rd precinct rebuilding process according to the cites website are:
“ Our goals, We want to:
• Engage and build trust with the community.
• Share community input with City leadership and decision-makers.
• Collect data that informs the future building location within the 3rd precinct area.
• Ensure that the community sees movement toward rebuilding after the murder of George Floyd.”
See here:

- The meeting did little to build trust. Not one of those who spoke was from the neighborhood/ community. Instead we had to listen to an outside consultant?
- How would it be possible to share information with city leaders when none of them attended the meeting?
- What is the point of collecting data when the decision has already been made?
- There has been no movement on the rebuilding, in fact it looks like the day after it was burned down if not worse. It is deeply troubling for myself and my neighbors to have to drive past the building everyday and relive those tragic events. It’s been three years!

As an owner of two commercial properties in the neighborhood I support 11 businesses in Longfellow. I also own a home here and have lived in Longfellow for over 30 years. The lack of progress on the 3rd Precinct site not only affects the people who live here like myself, but is a deterrent to businesses locating and expanding in Longfellow.
Sincerely, Paul Irmiter

The city is working with the Longfellow Community Council to hold a total of 5 meetings in a 1-week period with a report due just prior to the 3rd anniversary of George Floyd’s death. These were announced just two weeks prior to occurring. Some residents and leaders have pointed to the false choice the meetings and online survey offer, as they merely ask citizens to pick whether they want to rebuild the precinct at Lake and Minnehaha or construct a large, new building at 26th and Minnehaha. Citizens are asking why the city has already made a decision. This also comes on the heels of the city paying out nearly $9 million to two people who alleged that former police officer Derek Chauvin used excessive force against them. Since 2006, Minneapolis has paid out nearly $90 million in police brutality cases. Settlements for Chavuin alone have cost taxpayers over $35 million.

• General Public Session: 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturday, April 15 at Roosevelt High School, 4029 S. 28th Ave.
• General Public Session: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 18, Keewaydin Recreation Center
• General Public Session: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, Sabathani Community Center


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