Time will tell whether Minneapolis's longtime finance director was a voice in the wilderness or a nattering nabob. For now we're inclined to believe the former. During his eight-year tenure, Moir was always there to slap the hands of politicians when they reached too far into taxpayers' pockets. Always reasonable and always informed, Moir quietly questioned city initiatives such as the massive corporate subsidy for the downtown Target store, the multimillion-dollar move of the Shubert Theater, and the Block E pleasure dome. Perhaps most important, Moir repeatedly expressed concern about the city's continued overreliance on tax-increment financing as a development tool, arguing that it will ultimately constrict the property-tax base. For all this, Moir was consistently ignored by a city leadership intent on heading down the primrose path to fiscal irresponsibility. Moir's decision last year to leave the public sector for a private St. Paul financial-consulting firm was undoubtedly a good career move. Minneapolis public officials, meanwhile, lost a voice of reason--one they might still do well to heed.


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