"GIVE BLOOMINGTON BACK TO THE PEOPLE"

Committed to work hard for you

Thank you, Bloomington, for selecting me to represent you. I will do my all to listen to your concerns and stand for the values of our wonderful community.

-Victor Rivas

Volunteer. It makes a difference.

Committed to the Community

Victor Rivas for Bloomington City Council

City Council Involvement

Although I grew up and began my career in California, when I moved to Bloomington, I knew I wanted to get to know the city and make it my home.  I began attending City Council meetings to find out what issues were being addressed and how the city was run.  I heard concerns of residents and decided to learn more in order to ask questions at City Council meetings.  Sometimes I listened, sometimes I researched, and sometimes I spoke for or against things.  

As I paid more attention to decisions made by the City Council, I became aware of how they were not listening to the residents, but special interest groups and influencers outside of Bloomington.  

It was time for me to take action, so I ran for District 4 Councilman against Patrick Martin.  As I went door to door, I listened to residents and gained their trust.  I lost by a very small number of votes.  

I am asking you to trust me again, as someone who is like you, someone who wants to see Bloomington residents be the influencers in the City Council.  Just like you, this is my city and your city and our voices matter.  We are the community of Bloomington.  

Experienced in Management

My experience in managing hotel dining hospitality as well as senior living dining services is far reaching.  I have set guidelines and followed protocols to be sure diners receive the best. I have set up and managed purchasing equipment along with an acquisition team of 40 members to set up kitchens and facilities to specifications. I was involved in the hiring of employees and managing 100 of them who worked under my supervision.  

I understand the big picture and the important details that it takes to make things run efficiently and correctly.  I troubleshoot and solve problems on a daily basis.  These skills are essential in understanding the many issues and functions that exist in running a city.  

Financially Responsible

As I built my career in dining hospitality, upper management saw my potential and encouraged me to pursue a degree in Hospitality and Tourism. As I carried out my responsibilities, I gained their trust to where I have set and managed budgets of $16 million. I have appreciated the opportunity to learn and prove that I am someone who can handle funds diligently with integrity. My skill set in financial management will allow me to require city spending to stay within budget and be responsible to Bloomington residents. I realize the city has made poor choices and spent our funds in ways that are not necessary. You need a watchdog on your side, and I will be there for you.

Values Transparency

I believe the City Council works for the people; therefore, they need to give a good reason for the decisions they make and include the details to justify their decisions. This was not the case when the Port Authority and one council member made the decision recently to purchase a hotel near the MOA. Even other council members were not fully informed of the process leading to the purchase. If this is how the City Council communicates with each other, it makes the residents wonder what they are not being told.

Resident comments need to be made public as well. In the past year, public comment was taken out of the meeting and is not recorded for others residents to hear. This prevents others from learning about concerns brought by residents. A good City Council is open to listen and not afraid of open forum. Like you, I want to know how the decision was made and why. Like you, I want to know that leaders in my city will listen and not shy away from suggestions or criticism. That is transparency. That’s what I will work toward.

Victor Rivas

Working hard to represent you

Financially Responsible

As I built my career in dining hospitality, upper management saw my potential and encouraged me to pursue a degree in Hospitality and Tourism. As I carried out my responsibilities, I gained their trust to where I have set and managed budgets of $16 million. I have appreciated the opportunity to learn and prove that I am someone who can handle funds diligently with integrity. My skill set in financial management will allow me to require city spending to stay within budget and be responsible to Bloomington residents. I realize the city has made poor choices and spent our funds in ways that are not necessary. You need a watchdog on your side, and I will be there for you.

Values Transparency

I believe the city council works for the people; therefore, they need to give a good reason for the decisions they make and include the details to justify their decisions. This was not the case when the Port Authority and one council member made the decision recently to purchase a hotel near the MOA. Even other council members where not fully informed of the process leading to the purchase. If this is how the City Council communicates with each other, it makes the residents wonder what they are not being told. Resident comments need to be made public as well. In the past year, public comment was taken out of the meeting and is not recorded for others residents to hear. This prevents others from learning about concerns brought by residents. A good City Council is open to listen and not afraid of open forum. Like you, I want to know how the decision was made and why. Like you, I want to know that leaders in my city will listen and not shy away from suggestions or criticism. That is transparency. That’s what I will work toward.

City Council Decisions Impact Your Daily Life.

Bloomington is a great community, but it is changing in ways that are not necessarily what people want.

The Met Council, a non-elected entity with taxing authority over cities in the metro area has plans that supersede local resident investment and opportunities.  Our City Council votes in lock-step with the Met Council and cooperates with them on perceived responsibilities such as transportation investments, homeless housing, and development based on equity of results instead of equality of opportunities.  We need a strong Council who will be responsible to those who elected them first and evaluate the worthiness of any regional opportunities that don’t comport with the advancement of our residents’ well-being.

 

Bloomington has continually stood in the way of entrepreneurship and has become a laboratory of bad ideas. The current City Council has adopted more regulation regarding small businesses, often forcing them to close or relocate due to the various ordinances that are continually being voted in 7-0. The recent prohibition of flavored tobacco products has forced some shops to close and still some to significantly reduce their ability to earn a living to support their families. In addition, a sunset provision in this ordinance prevents small tobacco sellers from being able to hand their businesses down through their families. Those who sell tobacco products in neighboring cities are reaping the rewards of our District’s self-righteous decisions. This over-regulation in our specific district seems heavy-handed in light of the fact that our state has recently lifted restrictions and authorized the sale of Marijuana products.

Increasing our sales tax will decrease small business profits by deterring patrons from their establishments in search of more affordable alternatives in other less-burdened cities.

Mandatory safe and sick leave for those businesses that cannot afford the extra costs with the decreasing margins of profits are forcing businesses to consider locating elsewhere, further depleting our tax base and small business desirability.

It has been said by the existing Mayor that the details of decisions that come before the actual City Council meetings have taken place in Council Study Sessions. With regard to the three sales tax regional proposals, there have not been concrete financial analyses made on how the “estimated” funds required were arrived at nor a concrete basis for how the amounts have been derived. In addition, when asking for specifics, the Council prefers to get authorization for a projected amount and submit the detail after.  We need detail before we go to the residents to approve the spending of their tax dollars.

In the case of authorizing grants to petitioners such as Artistry, who has not been a good steward of their funds, the city grants funds anyway and then takes away any city oversight from their Board ensuring proper management.

The City Council decided to allow residents to only come to a “listening session” prior to Council Meetings to voice their concerns about various potential decisions that affect residents, rather than allowing input from residents on agenda items as they are presented in the televised city council meeting. This sadly does not help residents become engaged nor does it bolster confidence that before decisions are made, resident questions are answered and their commentary heard.  In some cases resident experience and expertise has added valuable consideration.

I believe the best transparency is to allow the city viewership to see how the “sausage is made” at City Hall directly in the meetings that require presentations, discussions, decisions and votes in the documented minutes of the official meetings.

If these projects have regional benefit, then others outside of Bloomington should be contributing to their upkeep. The push from the Council of the notion that 60% of others will be paying our additional sales tax is a red herring and only encourages overspending on these projects. In truth, after the State gets its 6.865%, of the 9.025% Bloomington sale tax rate, Hennepin County gets it’s .65% County and Transit Tax and the Metro Area gets it’s new 1% (.75% Metro Area Transportation and .25% Metro Area Housing), Bloomington will be left with their .5%. This additional burden to the patron of small businesses in Bloomington will increase pressure to go elsewhere out of the metro area to shop for items and decrease the sustained revenue small businesses need to pay for other regulations put upon them such as sick and safe leave requirements.

We are currently working to displace seniors and low-income residents from their homes by pushing them into lost cost mass housing units by virtue of the added taxes imposed on them as well as every resident. It is not a recipe for their health and longevity.  Unlike younger residents, the senior population’s fixed income does not rise commensurate with the ever-increasing costs of goods and services as well as the rising property and sales taxes. Seniors who want to stay in their homes are facing a growing deficit of funds for living expenses. The same can be said for low-income residents who are surviving paycheck to paycheck. The decline in mental and physical health in these hopeless situations of mass “affordable” housing is obvious. 

The progressive property taxes from Hennepin County are proposed to go up another 6.5% while Bloomington is asking for a 9.49% increase.  Adding inflation of necessary items and an additional .5% sales tax will soon push our vibrant community into financial insolvency.

"I'm here to listen. I want to bridge the gap."

Are your views reflected in the current Administration’s decisions? Do you feel heard?

Qualified Leader

Resource Manager with experience in:

Million Dollar Budget
$ 0 Mil.
Employees Managed
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Victor Rivas is a trusted leader.​

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Protecting our Community's Values

I will represent East Bloomington and the concerns we have such as:

Committed to the Community

Experience in Management

Fiscally Responsible

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Preserving your way of life

01

Urban vs. Suburban

Bloomington is a vibrant suburb of Minneapolis and yet does not want to be urban Minneapolis. Residents enjoy the comfort of cozy and quiet neighborhoods, green spaces to commune with nature, and close proximity to outside entertainment. Large multi-level tall sterile buildings, too close to sidewalks that destroy the ability for natural sun-light and scenery such as the Lyndale Avenue Retrofit buildings, do not make a suburban downtown. Bloomington needs to remain the safe suburb that it is with the marvelous first responders it has. I want to keep Bloomington a suburb and stop adopting urban planning that just does not fit.

02

Protecting our Single-Family Neighborhoods

Recently, zoning classifications have changed to increase density permitted within single family neighborhoods. The sizes of single family lots has also been decreased for future density. I believe that as a suburb you need to keep what you paid for and the encroachment of multi-populated dwellings in single family neighborhoods destroys the home town feel we all have come to love.

03

Encouraging Resident Engagement

Resident input has been pigeon-holed into small time frames prior to City Council Meetings with little ability for other viewing residents to see and hear what is being discussed by fellow neighbors. I pledge that open dialogue and full transparency will be restored to those interested residents who have questions and ideas to offer Bloomington leaders and influencers.

Victor Rivas

Working hard to represent you

Help Fight Government Overreach

Prioritize local citizens over federal & foreign special interests.

VOTE FOR VICTOR | DISTRICT 4

If you live south of 494, east of Lyndale Ave., north of Old Shakopee Rd. and west of the Minnesota River, you likely are a constituent of Bloomington’s District 4 and are invited to vote at either City Hall, should you opt to vote early, or your local precinct on November 7th.