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 Response Page - Gillaspy  Interview -      

These comments are responses to the questions listed below,
which were generated in regard to the
Tom Gillaspy Interview of

The Questions:

1. _7.9 average response_____On a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, what is your view on whether economic growth in the state will be slower in upcoming decades than in recent decades?

2. _8.9 average response_____On a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, what is your view on whether, instead of relying only on increasing taxes or cutting spending, the Governor and Legislature should redesign delivery of major services, such as for the aging and for K-12 education?

3. _7.6 average response_____On a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, what is your view on whether some organization within the state should be assigned to estimate potential return on investment from proposals in the Governor's biennial budget?

Deborah Anderson (7) (10) (10)

John Cairns (7) (10) (7)

Ray Schmitz (10) (10) (10)

Question 2: My legislator, in a letter, said that they had caused efficiency changes in the state, I have asked for the top 20 and received no answer. There have to be ways to do this, efficiency, but I see little investment in doing so. In my previous life when I tried to reach out to others, that is make changes beyond the area that I could exclusively control, which was limited, the response was seldom positive.

Question 3: But then somebody has to define ROI in this context, that is a major issue.

Bright Dornblaser (10) (10) (5)

Jan Hively (9) (9) (5)

Al Quie (10)(10)(10)

Rick Bishop (5) (10) (10)

Joe Mansky (5) (10) (5)

Question 1: Economic growth is driven by population growth and productivity growth. So, the questions are whether we will get population growth from immigration or migration from other states and whether MN will continue to take steps in both the public and private sectors to promote productivity growth. Iím not sure about the answers to either question.

Question 3: One presumes that this would be a legislative branch activity Ė I donít see an executive department critiquing any of the governorís proposals.
Alan Miller (5) (3) (8)

Eric Schubert (10) (10) (10)

Question 2: No new taxes; all new spending is too simplistic. We have to reinvent. And we have the brainpower to do it. We have to attach that brainpower to mobilizing people in the education and support of solutions.

Charles Lutz (7) (9) (9)

Donald H. Anderson (8) (8)(5)

Glenn Dorfman (9) (10) (10)

Question 1: I am afraid that Minnesota will reflect a national trend toward economic decline. To use a midwestern example, one cannot expect to have feed if one uses up all the seedcorn.

Question 2: Very practical, and shows no sign of connection to reason much less political reality.

Question 3: As well as legislative proposals.

Carolyn Ring (8) (10) (8)
Question 3: Perhaps the state does not need a State Planning Agency such as we had previously, but there must be more strategic planning for the future.

John Milton (6) (8) (7)

Fred Senn (10) (10) (10)

Tom has an important message for all of us. Thanks.
Question 2: Not just K-12, early education too.

John S. Adams (10) (10) (6)
This is one of the most incisive and useful discussions that I have seen in some time. Nothing especially new for those who have been paying attention, but well stated and focused in the right directions.

Bob White (9) (10) (7)
This is one of the most informative meetings the CC has held. Gillaspy's picture of trends in the next decade is something candidates don't like to talk about. They would rather promise a brighter future of stronger economic growth, little change in state and local services, steady or diminished tax rates. Forward-looking voters need to challenge gubernatorial and legislative candidates to discuss just such issues, and others that Gillaspy summarized.

Question 3: The ROI idea seems to me a good one. I'm cautious because of uncertainty over whether it would (a) function as intended and (b) overcome lawmakers' resistance.

Mark Ritchie
Thanks again - and thanks for the links to these excellent reports.

Bert Press (10) (10) (10)

Vici Oshiro (10) (7) (6)

3 cheers for Tom Gillaspy. I appreciated his comments on the manufacturing sector.

Question 1: Economic growth will be slower for entire USA. We consume much more than our share of the world's resources; we will find other ways to enjoy life. If we work to close the income gap, in part by better pay for many service jobs, this will help increase GDP.

Question 2: Government will need to operate in "continuing improvement" environment as much of private sector does today. That's harder when you have governor and legislature micromanaging. So much depends on how it is done; it requires flexibility and long range perspective.

Question 3: ROI is a valuable measure. Danger is that it becomes only measure. Some things are worth doing because they are right even though ROI is low. In those cases perhaps ROI can help identify better ways of accomplishing the purpose.

Austin Chapman (9) (9) (9)

Peter Hennessey

At the risk of offending whoever wrote the questions, they are mostly irrelevant. Must have been in a great hurry.

Question 1: I have no idea, and I am sure nobody does. Depends on how badly current and proposed Federal policies will hurt everything.

Question 2: You'd think that government at all levels would feel a moral imperative to do their business in the most efficient manner possible. Bah! That's funny.

Question 3: No, there is no such thing as an ROI on government expenditures. What is the ROI on paying a retiree's hospital bill? Death panels do have an ROI -- they limit both the current costs and the retirement benefits that won't have to be paid out anymore. That's funny, too. Creepy.

Jim Olson (7) (10) (10)

Royce Sanner (5) (10) (5)

Question 2: Since the government pays for these, the government should search the world for ideas on how to deliver these services in a way that provides quality and economy.

David Broden (7)(9) (8)
Question 1: Minnesota economic growth will be slow and lower if the current approach to business and jobs continues. The resources are available and the workforce is well educated, trained, and available,--the issue is there is no focused or even visible thrust by business or government to establish business growth nor does there seem to be any serious interest. With this approach business and the economy will grow in a "as it happens rate"--this is definitely not the historical Mn approach but seems to be the desired approach by the business and government structure involved. We are tending to watch others not to lead others.

Question 2: A major thrust area such as this is needed. But we need to have categories that are well selected and which will have an impact. Aging and K-12 are good ideas but there are perhaps others that can be done more easily and reach a operation mode that can be implemented to show results. To make this work results must be shown early or it will be rejected.

Question 3: This is a great idea but must "add value" not be just another metric that has no impact. I am concerned that if this is done it will be just more info and data without any impact role.

Hans Sandbo (9) (9) (9)

Bill Kuisle (5) (9) (9)

State Sen. Sandy Rummel (9) (8) (8)

Terry Stone (10) (8) (6)

Ray Cox (10) (10) (5)

Shari Prest (6) (6) (8)

Question 2: It should be a combination as part of a comprehensive, progressive plan that invests heavily in the foundation of our success.

Question 3: Great idea as long as it is non-partisan and does not become an absolute for state spending. For example, there will be little to no return on spending on dependent seniors but it is still our responsibility as a society to explore a better way to provide meaning, security and health care for our seniors. I have been working on a model of "care communities" that should cost less without burdening the next generation but that will provide a new relevance and purpose to the lives of seniors.

Roger Heegaard (7) (7) (5)
This was a sobering and needed discussion of our demographic changes in the years to come.

Paul Hauge (5) (9) (5)

Steve Alderson (4) (4) (8)

David Detert (8) (10) (10)

Robert Freeman (8) (10) (2)

Question 1: Although it is impossible to predict this with any accuracy more than a few years out, generally agree with this premise. We should certainly budget as though this is the case.

Question 2: As HHS and K-12 makes up <80% of the state budget and rapidly increasing it is imperative we redesign these services.

Question 3: In an ideal world - maybe. It is difficult to imagine how an agency with so much power could remain non-political, the science on estimating ROI is less than ideal and the measure only really takes into account a narrow set of economic criteria and I think would be questioned by its detractors. Most likely the agency would issue recommendations and see them ignored by the legislators who have other ideas.

Babak Armajani (9) (10) (10)

Larry Schluter (8) (8) (7)

Roy Thompson (9) (7) (10)



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, Charles Clay, Marianne Curry, Bill Frenzel, Paul Gilje,  Jim Hetland,  Marina Lyon, Joe Mansky, John Mooty,  Jim Olson,  and Wayne Popham 

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

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