Spring Back? Saint Paul to Opt Out of Daylight Savings Time


A member of the Saint Paul Fired Department changes the clock on the Landmark Center in downtown Saint Paul.

Saint Paul, MN — In a surprise move, the Saint Paul City Council voted yesterday to opt out of Daylight Savings Time effective immediately. The 6 to 1 vote came right before the city officially “gave up” and ended its status as a municipality.

In their last action as an official City Council, the formerly civic body adopted Resolution 25.3.15b, which declares the former city to be free from the biannual temporal shift. According to former city attorney Jason Velveeta, who testified at the surprisingly short hearing, the time re-un-change is legally binding. The ordinance officially makes Saint Paul the first city in America to remove itself from the Daylight Savings Time, which has been in place since 1918.

“The good citizens of Saint Paul have had it with the aggravation of resetting our clocks every six months,” said Council Member Dan Bostrom, the ordinance’s sponsor, just before (and after) the vote. “We’re supposed to be America’s Most Livable City, but I’ve never been able to figure out how to change the clock on my car. That thing is impossible, even if you read the manual, which I don’t,” he continued before calling the ordinance to a vote. “If we’re going to give up, we might as well do some good first. Those buttons are tiny,” he added.

The movement to end Daylight Savings Time in Saint Paul came as a triumph for local preservation activists, who have long argued that Daylight Savings Time does not reflect the historic character of the city. “Saint Paul is a special place, and we want our clocks to reflect our heritage,” said Jill Hoskillo, co-president of the Saint Paul Lowertown Historic Resource Preservation Economic Committee Commission Association  at a brief press conference after (and before) the meeting. “When this city’s historic resources were constructed, Daylight Savings Time didn’t exist,” she continued, pausing to wind her antique pocketwatch. “Why not turn back the clock literally, as well as figuratively?”

News of the time change trickled slowly through the city, and created havoc in some places. Because of its location on the exact border between Saint Paul and its neighboring Western suburb, the KSTP news broadcast was forced to consolidate half its 5:00 news into its 6:00 news, as well as re-broadcasting its 6:00 news at 5:00 twice per day in an Eastbound direction. “It’s a bit frustrating.” said local news anchor Petunia Leeway. “I have to say everything twice. Once really quickly, before slowing way down and saying it all again.” Leeway then repeated herself in an extremely odd manner.

But not everyone was annoyed by the sudden change. Planners at Metro Transit seemed pleased. “Yesterday, all of a sudden, all our Westbound buses stopped running late,” said Metro Transit spokesperson Drewseph Rekk. “In fact, many of our crosstown routes were early. Two of them arrived before they had departed, somehow.” Rekk added that they were still slow, and that Eastbound buses did not seem as fortunate. Officials at Amtrak did not seem to notice the shift.

Local media news driver Joe Soucheray also commented on his daily radio performance, suggesting that the end of Daylight Savings Time was long overdue. “It’s about time,” he said repeatedly. “What savings of daylight? For every hour you gain in evening daylight, you lose an hour of morning light,” Soucheray continued. “When I was a kid, we didn’t let big government tell us what time it was. Back then, Saint Paul was a real city, a man’s man’s city, and we set our own clocks. In fact, we made our own clocks out of spare parts we found around the house. I can’t wait to tell those pinheads at the State Capitol that their precious legislative session is ending an hour early this year.”

The lone vote against the proposal came from Council Member Russ Stark, who stated on record that he “has always been a proponent of temporal continuity.”

Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.