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 Response Page -  Proposed Civic Caucus Statement  -      


These comments are Civic Caucus Participants' responses to its
 Proposed Statement to the Minnesota Governor and Legislature. 
02-21-2011.
 

 Civic Caucus

Overview

We have asked for member input on a draft of a Civic Caucus statement calling for creative leadership by the Minnesota Governor and Legislature in 2011.  The statement calls for a vision for the state, a split-screen approach of continuous improvement and continuous innovation, and systematic redesign to resolve the state's structural imbalance. We believe these are factors necessary to positioning Minnesota as a national leader in the future.

After reviewing your comments and suggestions outlined below, we will modify the statement, resubmit it to you and invite your signatures of support . Finally we will officially transmit the statement, with your signatures, to the Governor and Legislature.  

Response Summary:  Readers have been asked to rate, on a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, the following points covered in the Proposed Statement.  Average response ratings shown below are simply the mean of all readers’ zero-to-ten responses to the ideas proposed and should not be considered an accurate reflection of a scientifically structured poll.

1. Split screen. (7.7 average response)  The public sector in Minnesota should employ a "split screen" approach of (a) improving the effectiveness and efficiency of public services and (b) developing new ways to assist Minnesotans who are losing public services or might not need them if alternatives were available.

2. Innovation. (8.3 average response)  The Minnesota Governor and Legislature should see themselves as stimulating a climate of innovation within government agencies, local units of government, non-profit organizations, communities, families and individuals. Lawmakers themselves are not in a position to do the actual innovating.

3. Systemic redesign. (8.1 average response)  While budget, service, and finance reforms will be required to bring the budget into line this biennium, only systemic redesign can resolve the state’s structural imbalance and put Minnesota on competitive footing to pursue a vision for the state.

4. Budget cuts and revenue increases. (7.9 average response)  Budget cuts and revenue increases as finally adopted should not become permanent in the absence of systemic redesign. 

Response Distribution:

Disagree Strongly

Disagree Moderately

Neutral

Agree Moderately

Agree Strongly

Total Responses

1. Split screen.

6%

8%

8%

35%

44%

52

2. Innovation.

2%

10%

4%

31%

54%

52

3. Systemic redesign.

2%

6%

8%

37%

48%

52

4. Budget cuts and revenue increases.

2%

15%

6%

25%

52%

52

Allen Sigafus  (7.5)  (10)  (7.5)  (10)

Part A - Vision:  If we have strong political will and do it right we will win for all residents of the state and be the shining light of all states.

1. Split screen.  Minnesota leaders should first develop a common vision for the state's future, a common understanding of our goals that span 15 years with which lawmakers and the governor could then use in assessing proposed long term strategies for reform. 

2. Innovation.  As a critical part of Innovating Minnesota leaders should reach consensus on   a) a moral level of commitment to future spending.   b) a commitment to future spending based on a consensus of community needs as a first priority. 

3. Systemic redesign. The primary emphasis on redesign should be to increase public sector productivity over the long term. Part of this is education, infrastructure, criminal recidivism, and promoting activities that improve health outcomes; keeping people healthy by helping them be active and productive in the community.  4. Budget cuts and revenue increases. 

Larry Kennebeck  (2.5)  (7.5)  (7.5)  (2.5)

Anonymous  (7.5)  (10)  (10)  (10)

Anonymous  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10) 

Weiming Lu  (0)  (2.5)  (0)  (10) 

Part A - Vision:  A return to the values of Humphrey and McCarthy emphasizing concern for the neediest amongst us first and a tax system whereby those who take the most out of society pay the most.   "From each according to his/her ability, to each according to his/her need," across the board.

1. Split screen.  See my vision above. I don't thing there are any alternatives. Government's first job is to protect its citizens and that most definitely is domestic Job One. 

2. Innovation.  Why shouldn't lawmakers set the tone of innovation for the rest of us? 

3. Systemic redesign.  Let's learn from the socialist countries where economic and social justice come first. 

4. Budget cuts and revenue increases.  Budget cuts are the rich's way of destroying their political opponents. Let's have a CC discussion about the undeclared class warfare that is going on or what I term America's Second Civil War. 

Willard B. Shapira  (0)  (2.5)  (2.5)  (2.5) 

Part A - Vision:  A community of free citizens, self reliant, generous and reverent.

1. Split screen.  I don't know exactly what is meant by this.  If "new ways" means returning the functions to the private sector, where they belong, I can probably agree. 

2. Innovation.  Lawmakers and state employees should not be in the business of innovating with tax money.  That is the proper province of entrepreneurs and private actors, who can do so with their own money, or that of their donors and investors.  That said, there is always room for innovation in the sense of good management of government functions. 

3. Systemic redesign.  Much of what is broken in government boils down to doing too much that is simply not the proper function of government, and interfering where it should not.  "Structural reform", when defined as dismantling these misguided efforts, is a good direction.  The deficit is also simpler than it is portrayed.  The state government has simply made more promises than it has resources to fulfill.  Raising taxes to fix that problem is not an honest solution. 

4. Budget cuts and revenue increases.  Discussing "systematic redesign" without being specific is not useful.  There are lots of "redesigns" I would support, and lots of others that I would reject completely. 

Donald Lee  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10) 

Part A - Vision:  MInnesota could be a catalyst in resolving problems all states are having by working together and not resorting to the partisanship so prevalent in today's society.

Don Anderson  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10) 

Bruce Kennedy  (7.5)  (7.5)  (7.5)  (7.5) 

Josh Ondich  (7.5)  (10)  (10)  (10) 

Part A - Vision:  I like the redesign / investment approach you are proposing. Nice.  Thanks.  Need to send along the redesign proposals.  All creative. 

Carl Scheider  (10)  (10)  (7.5)  (10) 

Part A - Vision:  I'd like to see the State decide what their core mission is an concentrate on that.  I'd submit that the State needs to get out of a lot of things and concentrate on things like education and transportation.  The State needs to get out of things like running ski areas and businesses (Hyland Hills, Giant's Ridge and Spirit Mountain for example) and stop foolishness like the IRRRB - as examples.  The state is trying to do too much and with too little focus and the result is a poor performance at high price.

John  Sievert  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10) 

2. Innovation.  Government agencies may be resistant to self-initiated change. 

3. Systemic redesign.  The focus must be on the major cost centers:  K-12; Human Services, and Public Health.  If you can't make major gains in these areas, the efforts will be marginal. 

Charles M. Denny  (10)  (7.5)  (2.5)  (7.5) 

3. Systemic redesign.  Systemic redesign is not sufficient to resolve the state's problems. It is needed along with revenue increases and service cuts. 

Anonymous  (2.5)  (5)  (5)  (7.5) 

Part A - Vision:  Lower taxes, reduced benefits, smaller government, move to an "opportunity" state.

1. Split screen.  First, balance the budget. 

2. Innovation.  First, balance the budget. 

3. Systemic redesign.  First, balance the budget. 

4. Budget cuts and revenue increases.  First, balance the budget, then look for ways to reduce government's role. 

Dennis L. Johnson  (0)  (0)  (7.5)  (5) 

1. Split screen. I think that offering some hope that there is some new way of providing services to people who need them outside of government in some volume to impact the budget is just smoke and mirrors. We shouldn't hold out false hope that somehow the private sector will step up and provide needed services if government isn't.  Saying that it is possible just gives policy makers a lie to hide behind as they make painful cuts. 

2. Innovation.  I think the Legislature can be key in choosing or not choosing to set goals of innovation. 

3. Systemic redesign.  Structural imbalance is a choice that we make from decisions we make on the revenue and spending sides together.  We have as many choices on the revenue side as the expenditure side to address these problems.  We will need to redesign but it is only one of several things we should be pursuing. 

4. Budget cuts and revenue increases.  Systemic redesign should be one of several tools in our toolbox but not the only one.

Carol Becker  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10) 

Part A - Vision:  We need to improve our technical edge by improving education and creating business incentives for Minnesota companies.

1. Split screen.  Not sure how the spilt screen would work, but I know enough to support it. 

2. Innovation.  Agree completely, but good luck making the change.  Legislators should see themselves as people with the questions and not the answers. Legislative answers have not worked. 

3. Systemic redesign.  We need to think beyond this biennium. 

Duane Welle  (10)  (7.5)  (10)  (10) 

Part A - Vision:  Try to get back on the international scene as an innovative and well-educated state.

1. Split screen.  1) I believe I read that MN is 16th or so in population of all US States, yet it has something like the 5th or 6th largest number of state legislators.  If true, then we need to enlarge the geographic districts and bring down the total number of districts; thus also lower the number/expense of legislators and state employees that support those legislators.    2) I'd like to see MN enact a longer waiting period before new residents may receive state welfare. I still believe there is a flow of people from WI, IL, IN coming here with no jobs, and likely low job skills to use our higher benefits. 

2. Innovation.  I believe Gov. Dayton will do a better job of promoting MN than the previous governor; yet I'm not aware of innovative pushes by Legislators. Also, didn't Governor Perpich start a board to study and implement a state (agencies?) effectiveness study? What ever happened to it? 

3. Systemic redesign.  1) I read systemic redesign as making governmental function faster, more efficiently. I'd like to see the state get a mini-study by a firm like Accenture or McKinsey. For example, I think the Dept of Employment-Econ Development is still asking workers how do they want to be re-trained; and not first finding out what skills employers are seeking; then train the workers to meet those skills.   2) Also, I'd like to see a study of the number of businesses that have exited the state in say the last 4-6 yrs and if possible what types of industries they were in. My hunch is that many are of a lower skill set, and that companies with higher profit margins and higher skilled workers remain here.  I'd also like to see MN promote itself better on quality of life issues: lower housing prices then say CA, MA, higher graduation rates, longer life expectancy, higher number of people covered by health insurance, world-class sports/arts, etc. 

Greg Davidson  (2.5)  (7.5)  (7.5)  (2.5) 

1. Split screen.  If the public sector is successful at A then they may in fact be able to serve more people (b) at a lower price 

4. Budget cuts and revenue increases.  Some cuts need to be made and made permanently...revenue increases should only be considered after priorities have been set, cuts have been made 

Brent Olson  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10) 

We live in a time with two strikingly different visions for the future of our state and its citizens.  Those visions cannot be fully reconciled, but we need to start from the position that those opposing us may be wrong, not evil.  There is no one in state government who doesn’t sincerely want what is best, and yet I very seldom see that acknowledged.  That is not only wrong-headed, it is intellectually lazy.  If you can demonize your opponent, there is no need to negotiate with him.  It is the biggest weakness in our efforts to surmount our economic difficulties.

RobertJ. Brown  (10)  (9)  (10)  (10) 

Al Quie  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10) 

Besides agreement with the statement, I think it is very well written.

Ann Berget  (na)  (na)  (na)  (na) 

Perhaps I have drifted over to the dark side, but I am no longer responsive to the "systemic redesign", "structural imbalance", and other buzzwords that have come to dominate public policy discussion. For the most part, I think they mean little.

I understand that the Civic Caucus refrains from endorsement of particular policy positions for the most part and instead tries to provide informed discussion (I take exception to most of your education commentators), but I would have a hard time adding my name to such a generalized statement.
 
That said, I take exception to several items:
 
I will not support any statement that proposes to give localities more authority to raise their own revenue. As a Minneapolis taxpayer in a one party town dominated by union interests, I have no real political choice at the ballot box and I am being gouged by the amount of authority they already have. More freedom to raise taxes at the local level is anathema to me. My property taxes have doubled over the last 8 years (Rybak administration) and my increase for payable 2011 is 17.5%. I would like to see property tax increases capped by the state.
 
Expansion of the state sales tax to include clothing, probably, and other things (maybe), is very regressive.
 
I want to see serious budget reductions including clawbacks and freezes before I even consider expansion of any taxes.
 
I don't know what Market based early childhood education is supposed to mean, but the endless expansion of education-related funding has not resulted in improved student performance. I like the performance bond concept for non-profits, many of which benefit principally their employees, and I think that maybe the performance bond concept would be a good one for education funding too. I do not support expanding funding for pre-K-12; it does not appear to produce results.
 
Sorry to be a curmudgeon, but in short I want to see big and "structural" cuts in spending. I want to see fewer entitlements and more individual responsibility. Middle class private sector taxpayers are tapped out.
 
Thanks for your work, as always, and good luck with this effort.

Tom Triplett  (8)  (8)  (7)  (4) 

Chuck Lutz  (9)  (8)  (8)  (9) 

Tom Spitznagle  (7)  (7)  (8)  (8) 

Minnesota's property tax system should be mentioned for redesign (in the last bullet).  It is dysfunctional and should be scrapped.  It ranks very poorly against the Dept of Revenues own published criteria for an effective taxing mechanism.
As a first step towards redesign, the Civic Caucus should request the Legislative Auditor to perform a program evaluation relative to the above-mentioned Dept of Revenue tax criteria.  The results will surprise many people.


Minnesota's property tax system is a prime example of a legacy system that has long ago outlived its usefulness to the citizens of Minnesota.  I can provide several examples of property tax system dysfunctionality if desired.

Ina Erickson  (10)  (10)  (10)  (7.5) 

3. Systemic redesign.  Who is qualified to do this?  How many retired past governors could be consulted?)

4.  A. Budget cuts (10) and B. revenue increases (5). Revenue increases as finally adopted should not become permanent in the absence of systemic redesign.

Bob White  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10) 

Even better.  In the text below I made some corrections with words so tiny I put the changes in red for better visibility.

“The new designs must change the incentive structure. Until incentives are changed, nothing fundamental occurs-rather more defensiveness. That is a test of redesigns: How do they (delete it) change the incentive structure. New systems with new incentives are difficult to emerge from those already in place, so new system designs must often be staged and kept separate from the structure of existing services. Great changes often happen slowly.”  

“The Civic Caucus has recommended (http://bit.ly/eo8I9I) that the overall size of the biennial budget be intensively discussed early in the session, instead of waiting until last-minute negotiations. Thus the House and Senate ought to enact by joint resolution, promptly, an overall legislative target  in response to the Governor's budget. …”   

Tom Neuville  (5)  (8)  (6)  (3) 

Sheila Kiscaden  (6)  (9)  (8)  (7) 

David F. Durenberger  (0)  (0)  (0)  (0) 

Vision:  Must admit I don't have one.  But I do believe that if a select number of persons currently in leadership positions in this state were asked to come up with one and given a year and the resources to do it, such a "vision" might be possible.  Too many really smart people, who control decisions regarding millions and billions of dollars in investment in this state or the companies and other institutions headquartered here, have never been asked the question and told their futures are on the line to get the right answer.

I recall Wendy Anderson as the last Governor to do this sort of thing in specific sectors.  Both ELA and I were among those asked to head up such sectoral efforts. None, however, of the "vision of the future" dimension.

Were I Governor today I think I would focus on two areas:

(1) A vision for the future of "public service" in MN...To include, but not be confined to those who work for government in MN. Public Service should not by a government job or a charitable impulse.  It needs to be seen and rewarded as a profession on par with business, education, healthcare etc.

(2) Higher education for Minnesotans.  Which starts with one major research university stood on its head, emptied of all the accumulated (nonsense) that gets in the way of "greatness," and (is) re-charged and funded to be the best there is in some select number of areas.  That means other public and private institutions of higher education need also to have defined relationships and independent roles.  This includes institutions outside of MN who might compete for the business of well-prepared MN students.

Everything else right now is replacing the parts rather than re-engineering the state.  I hear all the re-design talk, but every state's doing it. Right? If Mitch Daniels is the best example, then I don't think this is what you guys mean. I hope.

One last thing:  The current and future policies of the national government have great impact on Minnesota.  We do little or nothing as a state to impact the design and delivery of national policy.  Except try to get someone on appropriations, public works, or earmarking. After the obsolescence of the partisan far left and far right have picked folks between Keith Ellison and Chip Cravaack to speak for the "vision" of 6 million people. Take a simple thing which is a big factor here: the national economy.  This is the no. 1 job oft to design a future, not let it be designed by national security investments in the south and west, or the weather and right-to-work patterns which also follow the south and west, or the no-tax tax reform policy and the no-spending economic security policy which I believe is also being driven by people who don't come from places like Minnesota.

Sheldon Clay  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10) 

Part A - Vision:  First, I’d like to say that the statement is exactly what’s needed, especially the part about starting with a vision. That’s what’s completely absent from the current process. That’s the part I’d shout from the rooftops. Basing the process on a vision could make our state the opposite of the embarrassment going on next door in Wisconsin.

My vision is clearly the third thought mentioned below — becoming the innovation center for industry. I’ve attached a piece by David Brooks that speaks eloquently to this as being the way of the future. Regions that attract talent, creativity and collaboration will be centers leading the 21st century economy. Efficiency plays a role in that, but a blind race to the bottom in terms of cost is probably counterproductive. We’re competing with New York, Los Angeles and London, not Tijuana, at least for the kind of workers I need to attract. Here’s how I’ve seen my own industry of Advertising evolve. Our talent used to be largely homegrown, or at least midwestern. Ten years ago, we were trying to attract people from the East and West Coast.  Now, it’s global. We’ve recently had creative people coming from Brazil, India and Singapore to work at our agency. The people we’re trying to attract are the best in the world, and they tend to be interested our night clubs, sports facilities and public transit, rather than our income tax rates.    

R.C. Angevine  (8)  (10)  (8)  (8) 

Rick Bishop  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10) 

Steve Dahl  (10)  (10)  (7)  (0)

Norman Carpenter  (5)  (10)  (10)  (10)

Part A - Vision:  High quality of life, encouraged and supported by committed public minded citizens (enough of the wrestlers, comedians and hacks).

Redesign: for example, how many counties do we need? How many agencies? _(For example: there should be a new bridge over the St. Croix at Stillwater. Agencies responsible, including the feds, are at cross-purposes. Do we wait until the bridge falls into the river?)

Vici Oshiro  (6)  (9)  (6)  (4) 

Adopting a budget goal early in session turns out to be a way to get press - not make progress.   Not your intention, I know, but reality.   In current climate "improving effectiveness and efficiency" is becoming a synonym for cuts.

Roger Heegaard  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10) 

Lyall Schwarzkopf  (7)  (8)  (9)  (6) 

Part A – Vision:  To be a viable state where people have work, education is very good, parks and open space are well kept up, government can live within its means and where business is exporting products and services and can prosper.

To bring about innovation in state and local government and to do systemic redesign, public employee unions need to take a different approach than they have in the past.  When I was in Minneapolis we negotiated with 21 different unions.  They did the job they were suppose to do and that is to represent their members.  They were not very concerned about making any changes, looking at new ideas or innovation unless they got something for it.  For example to go from 5 fire fighters to 4 fire fighters on a ladder truck, Minneapolis had to move from a 56-hour week to a 54-hour week.  That meant that firefighters worked two 24-hour days plus 6 hours the next day.  They had four plus days a week to work at another job.  It is nearly impossible to bring about systemic redesign trying to negotiate everything one does.

Peter Heegaard  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10) 

Well stated.

Arvonne Fraser  (4)  (4)  (5)  (4) 

Wayne Jennings  (8)  (8)  (7)  (9) 

Question two, “Innovation”, has two parts. I have agreed with the first part but disagreed with the second, hence was conflicted in answering. Question one, “Split Screen,” is not well stated to make our point.


I wonder if our statement is too much for the Legislature to act upon in the time it has left. Perhaps we ought to aim for next year. An alternative would be for the Legislature to establish several commissions to prepare the specifics for the next legislative session. I understand the urgency but our recommendations will require authors and an advocacy constituency, and this takes time. An alternative would be to tackle just one area this year concentrating our efforts and hoping that quick success would spur the Legislature in succeeding sessions.

Carolyn Ring  (8)  (10)  (10)  (10)

Part A - Vision:  A well-educated citizenry capable of sustaining and expanding a robust economy based on education, business/industry and tourism.    

Shirley Heaton  (na)  (na)  (na)  (na)

Looks great to me. Just wish we had a possibility of providing something like this in Florida. No doubt you have read about our new Gov. Rick Scott who is really turning everything upside down in attempt to get the state back on the right track to a fruitful future. This time I'm holding my breath that he succeeds.

Clarence Shallbetter  (8)  (7)  (5)  (5)

Shallbetter made several suggestions for change in the text.

Bob Whereatt  (7.5)  (2.5)  (10)  (10) 

2. Innovation.  The Legislature can be innovative.  Examples:  Metropolitan Council legislation; school district consolidation; shoreline protection legislation. 

John Crosby  (10)  (7.5)  (10)  (10) 

Part A - Vision:  One that delivers essential services much more efficiently. We need to reduce the number of municipalities and consolidate service delivery.

2. Innovation.  Some lawmakers might be innovators. 

3. Systemic redesign.  First we must decide which services are truly essential then develop a delivery system to make it happen. Having 180 municipalities in the metro area is a recipe for fiscal disaster. 

Dane Smith  (10)  (10)  (7.5)  (7.5) 

Part A - Vision:  A Camelot of Shared Prosperity.  Near the top in average income and median income and all the important socio-economic health indicators.   Tops in higher-ed attainment rate.   Economy vibrant, innovative and clean, famous for brainpower and artistic and cultural sophistication.  Fewer mosquitoes.

3. Systemic redesign. Important as systemic redesign is, the stark reality is that we need more revenue in the next couple of decades to take care of a population that is demographically more vulnerable and less economically productive and secure, and to address the chronic failure of the private-sector to provide adequately for all our humans.   So I can only moderately agree that "only" systemic redesign can put us right.

Dave Broden  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10) 

Part A - Vision:  I waited for some initial responses--now it is my turn.  Vision; MINNESOTA: Welcoming Innovation                                    

1.  Enabling Opportunity                                     

2.  Ensuring Quality in Health care, Education, and Enviroment 

3.  Achieving Results thru Private-Private Partnerships --Across all of the state.

Joseph Mansky  (5)  (2)  (9)  (10) 

3. Systemic Redesign.  I would not minimize the role of the governor and the legislature in providing the environment for innovative thinking by state and local public officials. Their function here is to make the right decisions and to provide the means to do the job. If our elected leaders provide us with the direction they want us to go, the non-elected staff can then figure out the best way to get there.

Tim Utz  (5)  (10)  (5)  (5) 

1. Split screen.   Private support services are available across our economy - churches,
Salvation Army, Food shelves, private charities, family. The bigger issue is what defines "need"; cell phones, unlimited access to services without regard for moral conduct are not "need", yet government using taxation and restricting charities using the power of IRS and 501 3C tax exempt status has suffocated and cannibalized the private aid services that in the past provided 100% of folks real "needs". One example is someone has a need or job loss or other experience; food, support, or other aid provided by family, neighbors over $600.00 is considered income by government, thus making
criminals (if recipients have no revenue yet) of private aid recipients when
tax time comes around requiring income tax paid on the aid. I could go on
but government wants control of "We the People" (a natural development of
government, purpose our founding fathers provided us a Constitutional
Representative Republic not a Democracy) and uses the tyranny of IRS forcing
compliance. 

2. Innovation.  Legislators only Oath is (to) uphold and defend the Constitution; effectively preserving the supreme liberty of the people; providing secure currency,
general safety and benefit of the people. I suggest legislators start here
and tell lobbyist and special interest groups to "pack it in" and go home.
How about this novel unused process? 

3. Systemic redesign.   We have a system design, but not enough legislative leadership in St. Paul with courage, purpose, conviction, wisdom, and mission to comply with their
mandate to conform government within the strictest bounds of our Constitution. Until people get a grip on the Constitutional purpose (of) government and conform to such, all other effort to contain government (at) any level (is) futile . 

4. Budget cuts and revenue increases.   Refer to answer #3.

Ray Ayotte  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10) 

W. D. (Bill) Hamm  (7.5)  (5)  (2.5)  (2.5) 

Part A - Vision:  I want to see Minnesota an education leader again as it was before the Socialist education reform effort that started in the late 1960's. I want to see a strong healthcare system that is locally controlled and about what is best for the people it serves not self-serving politicians. I want to see a political system in Minnesota that encourages involvement by all rather than discouraging the working class and poor from participating. I want to see the elite ruling minorities in Minnesota replaced by a ruling majority of we 62%ers, (not rich or middle class).

1. Split screen.  First of all we are in this trouble because (a) government employees have little incentive to "improve the effectiveness and efficiency of public services", and (b) because public employees see moving these jobs to the private sector as encroachment on their territory and will undermine such efforts. 

2. Innovation.  Innovation must come from empowering the effort from the bottom up, not the top down. Return decision making to the local level in every way possible is the beginning. Unwind the socialist concept of bigger government is better, and that bureaucrats can do better than local elected officials and you begin the fix. 

3. Systemic redesign.  The approach being promoted here is not one of returning power to the local level but rather the concept that big government works, all we have to do is tweak it a little and do a few things differently. If we don't unwind the centralization of power we do nothing to fix the problems. 

4. Budget cuts and revenue increases.  The only way to unwind this socialist failure is to defund it permanently. That defunding will create the real redesign, rather than the elitist attempts to hold onto the socialist failures being promoted as redesign by the Civic Caucus and others.

Lonn M. Kiel  (7.5)  (10)  (10)  (7.5) 

Part A - Vision:  It is not Explore Minnesota, it is Minnesota Explore!  We don't need to reinvent the wheel but maybe that wheel could be installed on another vehicle. One idea, use technology in every hospital in MN to tap into the resources at the U of M and Rochester by using interactive high resolution video during procedures so that doctors receive advice and expertise from the best.  This could be expanded by volumes and no other state in the region could match it, and I would assume an aging population where operations become more delicate would appreciate the help. Is it feasible? I don't know but the word idea is not necessarily a four-letter word.  That's what we must do in every category, be better than everyone else.

1. Split screen. What's wrong with privatizing public services?  In MN it takes over 20 employees in the private sector earning $40,000 per year to pay for one public employee earning the same wage.  So, in essence, if one public employee is "retired" 20 more jobs have been created. 

2. Innovation. The lawmakers should keep the streets free of debris so we can drive our ideas and innovations home. 

3. Systemic redesign. In this race for jobs, MN is competing with concrete tennis shoes.  We don't need only to think out of the box, we need to burn the box. 

4. Budget cuts and revenue increases. A racehorse has its food rationed before the big event and is rewarded after.  We, as a state should always be in the rationing mode because the race never ends.  Maintaining the status quo is going backwards.  In a systemic redesign we need four cornerstones or concepts that would encourage other ideas to fill in, kind of like the "Mall" did. 

Larry Schluter  (9)  (10)  (7)  (9) 

We need to return to a long-range planning department again to oversee what we need and to recommend what should be done.

Terry Stone  (na)  (na)  (na)  (na)

The lack of a call for the restoration of a reasonable state reserve fund is conspicuous by its absence. This practice of spending every dime in sight to perpetuate an unsustainable status quo needs to stop. A 90-day cash reserve would equal about $3.75 billion (one eighth of the biennial general fund). If we had children spending like either party while borrowing for asset protection, we’d hold a financial intervention. This seems to be the last can of fiscal responsibility that is being cheerfully kicked down the road by both parties.

    

The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Core participants include persons of varying political persuasions, reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

   Verne C. Johnson, chair;  David Broden, Janis Clay,  Marianne Curry, Bill Frenzel,  Paul Gilje,  Jim Hetland,  Jan Hively,  Dan Loritz,  Marina Lyon,
Joe Mansky,  Tim McDonald,  John Mooty,  Jim Olson,  Wayne Popham, Bob White


©
The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
8301 Creekside Circle #920,   Bloomington, MN 55437.  civiccaucus@comcast.net
Verne C. Johnson, chair, 952-835-4549,       Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

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