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Les Heitke, mayor of Willmar, center, voices his concerns about his city's finances during a news conference with group of local mayors at the Willmar Fire Hall. They voiced concerns about cuts to Local Government Aid. Flanking Heitke are former legislator Dan Dorman of Albert Lea, left, and Chris Coleman, St. Paul mayor. (Tribune photo by Ron Adams)

Heitke criticizes Pawlenty for 'hogwash' remark

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WILLMAR -- Willmar Mayor Les Heitke says he disagrees with Gov. Tim Pawlenty who said Thursday that local officials are talking "hogwash'' if they claim their cities can't absorb further state aid cuts to help balance the state's budget.

"I think it's easy to shout that out for a sound bite. But ... here in Minnesota, we have 854 cities and over 600 of those cities have a population that is less than 2,500 people,'' Heitke said.

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