Council member wants Lino Lakes to be state’s first ‘English-only’ city

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Dave Roeser, a member of the Lino Lakes City Council, says the Anoka County city of 20,000 can save money if it declares English its official language. If approved, the move would likely make Lino Lakes the first city in the state to pass such a measure, according to KSTP TV.

The proposal would mean no city documents or the official website would be translated into other languages. But the city’s demographics – 93 percent of residents are white and 95 percent speak English at home – few expenses seem to go to services for non-native speakers of English.

As the Star Tribune’s Paul Walsh reports:

Administrator [Dan] Tesch, in a City Council staff report issued last week, said that only police in the city have ever employed a translator and he’s unaware of the city ever fielding a request for materials to be translated.

In an interview with KSTP, Chuck Samuelson of Minnesota’s ACLU chapter links the move to growing anti-immigrant sentiment in the country, and suggested the city would be on a slippery slope if it passed the proposal.

“If [Lino Lakes] didn’t have to accommodate for wheelchairs and things like that on their sidewalks, they could save even more money,” he said.”If that’s the way he wants to go, that’s the kind of road we’re on.”

The City Council is likely to vote on the measure within the next month.