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City Hall Scoop

Welcome to City Hall Scoop, a Pioneer Press blog focused on city and county government in St. Paul. Reporters Tim Nelson and Robert Ingrassia use this space to expand the daily local government coverage they provide for the Pioneer Press. Look for short takes on news of the day, feature tidbits on politicians and other City Hall personalities and advance notice of events. Check back early and often for City Hall news you won't see anywhere else.


Thursday, August 25, 2005

"A totally rewarding driving experience, like no other luxury car's."

Since St. Paul is thinking about putting the city's drivers under the lens of photo cop, maybe its time to share a couple of shots that have come into the Scoop's possession lately.
Here's the first one:

This brand new Audi A6 was parked in the mayor's spot at 9 a.m. this morning in place of his official Ford sedan. This picture is actually from several weeks ago, when the Scoop spotted the car sitting in front of City Hall with the Maplewood Imports plaque still on the license plate holder.
It's the "3.2" version of the just-about-top-of-the-line Audi sedan, which rings up at the register for $42,600, according to the website. The headline at the top of this item is a quote from the MotorWeek blurb on the Audi website.
Kelly staff members have told the Scoop that this new Audi belongs to St. Paul's first lady, Katherine Kelly, a ranking school administrator. It did have the mayor's blue "R. Kelly" parking permit on the dash, however.
Regardless of its ownership, there is a political point here, as one Scoop reader noted: If you consider an election campaign a job interview, the Kelly family seems to feel pretty good about the mayor's chances of landing a good position in the immediate future. Maybe they know something about the election that the rest of us don't yet.

Signs, Signs, everywhere the signs
We're a little late on getting this up, with all the activity of the last couple of days, but here's a shot of the front yard at Ward 4 council member Jay Benanav's house.

He apologized, as he looked it over, for not having the John Brodrick sign up to complete the trio of DFL endorsed school board candidates. But he was making no bones about the Green Party mayoral candidate displayed front and center. Benanav says he's a DFLer. He ran for mayor with the DFL endorsement and the support of Progressive Minnesota in 2001.
Both organizations are now backing former City Council member Chris Coleman.
"It's not mine," Benanav said of the sign. "I can't get him [his son, Sam] to take it down for anything. I continue to remain on the sidelines here. Chris has not asked for my support. The mayor did. He called me two days after the convention and asked for my support. I politely declined. But it is my son's lawnsign. And you know 16-year-olds. If I asked him to take it down, he'd put up three more."



Robert Ingrassia
Tim Nelson