Friday, February 22, 2008

Ramsey document switcheroo: Tinklenberg Group related (Updated)

Go check out Developers are Crabgrass for the latest.

I've been getting some more traffic lately looking for a certain Ramsey document I've quoted in the past.

This is what they have been looking for. January 8, 2008, the City of Ramsey was going over a proposal for services from the Tinklenberg Group and Elwyn Tinklenberg.
Communication with key staff in Senators Coleman and Klobuchar s offices to
ensure visibility for the project and garner support for receiving funds.

Coordinate events meetings and other opportunities for congressional leaders to
learn about the project and ultimately support funding.

Pretty easy to find, when you have the document (15 pages), that was originally posted at the City of Ramsey's site.

When I check the Adobe Reader properties of the document that used to be on the site, it tells us it was created 1/10/2008 5:11:33 AM.

Going back to the City of Ramsey site and going to the January 8, 2008 Work Session link, you find a 4 page document is now available on the site. Checking the properties shows us that this document was created on 1/4/08 at 11:59:26 AM.

Why would the City of Ramsey post a 15 page document outlining the details of the Tinklenberg Group presentation and Home Occupation Regulations and then after some of us begin to write about details of the Tinklenberg Group presentation, pull the data from the city's site?


eric zaetsch said...

It is less nefariousness than ineptitude - bad info handling decision making.

One version of documents Google picks up and indexes is in a limited set of pdf items.

The bulk or Ramsey items, the core documentation, is run on an ungodly awful thing called LaserFiche that someone's brother-in-law must have been selling or something.

Docs are scanned, and get stored as page-by-page TIF images. Only reachable via the City website and unindexed by Google.

The retrieval is crude by mid 1980's standards and I believe that staff has better retrieval tools than on the internet for the public, but I might be wrong. And staff has a data set of items in word or PDF text, searchable pdf, and not the tiff-to-pdf that LaserFiche allows, where it is then pdf multipage items, with the image cleaned up in the transfer, but not searchable by words in the document. Making it "easier" for the needle to remain in the haystack.

Short story - the short agenda for the worksession only had the staff descriptive text; the full agenda had that plus the Tinklenberg Group's paperwork.

If your first document was a pdf generated from the website "DOCUMENTS" link then it might have been either the "agenda" or the "full agenda" depending on how you navigated the crude-for-the-1980's document tree structure. You got the full agenda that time if you have the Tinklenberg Group's papers in your earlier working copy.

Then, Google returns the online smaller agenda, which is the "agenda" only, not supporting docs.

It is a real difference for main meetings. The full agenda is 200-300 pages, often with plat drawings, maps, staff correspondence with developers, etc., whereas the agenda is the lead 3-4 pages of the "full agenda."

I looked at the full agenda that was following the work session, and cut and archived a copy of the Tinklenberg consulting decision part of the full agenda. I don't recall if it had the papers that the 15 page full agenda for the work session had.

One of the Group people, not ET himself, was at the work session [not televised] while for the televised meeting it went through with less discussion than the two routine variances before it; whereas the question of a cell phone tower in Alpine Park had the Magnificant Seven, the seven councilmembers, talking to each other 3/4 of an hour or more. ET comes up - done in an eyeblink. On camera. Low, low, below the radar attempted profile. On camera.

Again, the documents, more the ineptitude of decision making on public access software during the period when James Norman was lead administrator [the JN who reportedly was a Tinklenberg Group associate after leaving Ramsey and who was City Administrator when the Tinklenberg Group first got a Ramsey Contract, early 2003, with TG formed Nov. 2002]. So, is it yet another view of Tinklenberg's love of the revolving door, taking on James Norman despite the rumored basis for his precipitous leaving Ramsey? Go figure.

It's all part of the daytime soap opera, All of My Ramsey.

They are taking what was a bucolic backwater where people could get large lots and good house size for a good price, and turning it into a mess where large landholders cash out big and taxes get hiked for everyone else.

It's crabgrass land, big time.

But that's the long story of why there are two versions - the already pdf item Google picks up and indexes, and the "full agenda" with meat in the sandwich.

Not nefarious. Just an inept choice of inept software, and staying with a loser - not that staying with an ineffective software loser has any direct bearing on the length of time Tinklenberg's been getting contracting dollars from Ramsey - but it is an interesting juxtaposition.

Go figure that. If it makes little sense, it's Ramsey, or that's how I figure it, living here.

eric zaetsch said...

I just confirmed things. If you do Advanced Google, searching only the domain = City of Ramsey website, which is

and use the search words = tinklenberg northstar

then the first hit is the link you give. However, going from the city's homepage, through the LaserFiche briarpatch, and pull the full agenda for the same Jan. 8, 2008 work session, it is 15 pages, with the Tinklenberg pages at p. 6 & 7; and the date stamp on my doing today, the tif-to-pdf conversion and saving the pdf thus generated, put a date/time stamp on it for the conversion and download action, not for the date of anything created or placed online.

I expect what happened is I gave you a full agenda copy used in the preparation of the letter Jerry Hiniker and I sent to the US Attorney, or Jerry might have provided it, I don't recall, and the date/time stamp you have for it is when I converted/downloaded it from the tif images in LaserFiche, for that need.

I now have a second copy, stamped today's date - for today's conversion per LaserFiche, so it fits.

What is INTERESTING, VERY INTERESTING, that link of yours, if you parse it back one level, to here:

you get a "not authorized to view this page" so you cannot generate a directory or access things as easy and conveniently as .../Mayor/ can.

The new City Administrator, Kurt Ulrich, and the interim City Administrator Heidi Nelson, who held that position after James Norman's precipitous leaving, are upright people - who would not have scrubbed the website.

And did not.

However, that .../Mayor/ not having the full agenda pop up though --- that ancilary part of the City's data may have been scrubbed or manipulated so that public or press using Google, (not the LaserFiche in all its unappealing crudeness and unfitness for human use), would get a search engine hit with less than the full load of information held by the city.

You should understand - Town Center Tom Gamec, the present Ramsey mayor, has been mayor since before the dinosaur extinction; and he is an Anoka County ol' boy as true as they come.

However, in fairness, I doubt he personally would know how to scrub a data set but he could have told someone to do it, or his practice might be to not put Full Agendas into that city subdirectory.

It had been an open directory in the past, and that may be when Google indexed it - or Google might be authorized to access and visit but me, only a citizen of the City, I am unauthorized.

So again, if there is anything nefarious it is neither the city administrator nor the present assistant city manager [past interim holder] doing or managing any thing where a discrepancy shows up.

It is that .../Mayor/ directory where the discrepancy exists.

Something I am not responsible for, but Somebody in Ramsey is.

Town Center Tom Gamec was Ramsey mayor back when Elwyn Tinklenberg was Blaine mayor, and ET, if I recall the reporting correctly, was head of the North Metro Mayors' Assn. back then, with TC Tom Gamec on board as a regular member - ol' boys go way back, etc.

Uses- said...

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