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 Response Page - Marquart  Interview -      

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

The Questions:

On a scale of (0) most disagreement , to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, what is your view on the following:

1.  _5.6 average response_____  A new state-level council on Minnesota strategy, broadly representative of citizens statewide, should be established by law to develop actionable strategies for a healthy Minnesota.

2.  _7.6 average response_____  Working together, counties, cities and townships should be charged with redesigning services where economies of scale and reduction in duplication would save money and improve quality.       

3. _6.3 average response_____ Future local government aid should be based on how effectively and efficiently services are being delivered.  

Keith Swenson

 It's just the same arrogance from State Government that can't get its house in order trying to bully smaller units of government. 

Dave Broden (10) (10) (10)

Question 1:  This is as you all know one of the points that I have been pushing for some time. The membership structure however must be built around citizens not elected officials who already have a forum. There needs to be some real hard and thoughtful vision to how the members are selected, how state geographic and demographic mixes are included and how small towns and rural areas are properly represented without the urban members thinking that this is another urban opportunity for power--this must be a total Minnesota effort. The council must not be a 1-3 year action but a long term plan with rotating memberships always bringing in new ideas etc.

Question 2:  The linkage of various levels of government must be a focus without impacting the sense of local community which remains a key desire of the citizens across the state. This can be done by good leadership and communication. The scope must also include rethinking of the various special governmental units like water  districts, conservation districts etc--each of these adds more complexity and costs.        

Question 3:  Definitely must be outcome related. Perhaps some balance may be needed in a few areas where  outcomes may be difficult to define or those involved may not have the resources to address. Also as we move to outcomes as a criteria we must not let that result in an increase in state workers to administer the program. 

Carol Becker (0) (0) (0)

Anyone who thinks that this isn't already going on isn't talking to the cities and counties.  There is already a large amount of sharing of services where it makes sense. And this all presupposes that a large bureaucracy is more efficient than several small bureaucracies, which simply isn't true. It always amazes me that we think that large monopolies are bad in the private sector but good in the public sector.  I also think that basing LGA on effective and efficient services presupposes that  LGA is going to continue, when one of the easiest political moves in a budget crisis is to dump the problems on lower level government.  Also, there are a lot of devils in the details of "effective and efficient."  Government services  by their very nature are very difficult to measure the effectiveness of.  What is "effective and efficient" policing?  Or "effective and efficient" parks?  And although I think bringing back the Planning Department at the State is a good idea, I think the Legislature should be answering the question of the state-wide plan, as they are a board of citizens. It has always been a weakness in the legislative processes that we don't have  a strategic planning process.

Terry Overlander (10) (10) (10)

I am just sick and tired of the partisan politics

Dane Smith (10) (10) (7)

#3 might have the effect of punishing the neediest of our communities for the sins of the city fathers.   Rep. Marquart’s initiative on this front and efforts by  other legislators  are highly commendable.

Tom Neuville (5) (7)) (2)

Commissions are just a way to provide "cover" for legislators. A better approach is to have a select bi-partisan (equal membership) of legislators, who listen to ideas and have a round table analysis of how to reform our tax system. 

John Hoscheid (10) (10) (10)

It is time to change the way we deliver services.

Ed Dirkswager (0) (10) (5)

Effectiveness is as important as efficiency. Each has to be measured. In my opinion no state-level council will be effective. In the end change requires elected officials to become well informed, be aware of the best information and analyses and to work together to address issues.

Bob and Karen Fox (1) (10) (5)

This redesign needs to cross county lines, rivers and any other artificial barriers that are present. 

Clarence Shallbetter (6)  (9) (8)

LaMont Jacobson (2) (10) (10)

Pat Lowther (9) (10) (6)

Enforcing # 3 could return politics to the process.

Phil Herwig (3) (6) (1)

Sounds like another layer of government being promoted. Government needs to be downsized, programs need to be dismantled, and government employees need to be let go. By continuing with what we have in state government we are continuing to support a 21st century dinosaur. State government is out of touch and out of step with the times. This includes the "conservative" Republican governor and Democratic House and Senate. These people have caused the mess we are in, and now Marquart wants to tie us up in more knots than we already are in? Marquart and others are part of the real problem we face. They, by their actions and position, are creating, inch by inch a society and government that is becoming so convoluted and cumbersome that its ultimate end will be that neither will be able to function. They always say their plans will be cost effective and a benefit to all. The problem is that what they say and what they do never are the same. Their cost effectiveness winds up spending more money, causing more regulations, and raising everyone's taxes! This drives more jobs from the state, which results in more "plans", more regulations, and raise more taxes! Does anyone see a pattern here?

Dick McGuire (10) (10) (8)

The governor should not chair this committee; that position, as we are seeing, can become so political as to be almost ineffective at the state level.

Wayne Jennings (10) (10) (10)

Arvonne Fraser (7) (8) (8)
This will not be as easy as it sounds given the size and diversity of this state but rethinking things is always useful.  Beware, however, of unintended consequences and get people--including the likes of Roger Moe and Martin Sabo one of whom lives in a far corner of this state and the other in Minneapolis who know government at all levels and now have time and nothing to lose--and, of course, as Abigail Adams said, "don't forget the ladies."

Bert Press (5) (10) (10)

Roger Heegaard (8) (8) (10)

Tim Utz (0) (5) (0)

No layoff, on ideological expectation, why bother even setting up a commission to review state government?  We have a an existing state wide strategic plan for Minnesota. We call it the constitution, and our elected officials need to grow a spine and conform government to that supreme strategic law. We need not another hand picked group of folks ignoring the 40 ton elephant in the living room, unconstitutional state government. This proposed commission is another reason folks like me around the state have stepped forward and are running for state office in 2010.

Chris Stedman (7) (10) (10)

George Crolick (6) (10) (4)

Council is a good idea- but worry that members might be too political.  Members from city and county government or why not ourpolitical scientists play a role? 

Good to see that people are talking about redesign opportunities and good for civic caucus to keep the subject on the table !  Maybe it is OK to get started without having all the answers.  

Tim Houle

Thanks for the e-mail update on Rep. Marquardt's MN House Redesign Committee.  This is welcome news, indeed, and I am glad to see at least some legislators recognizing the leadership of both the Civic Caucus and the Association of MN Counties in leading this discussion.  I did note that Rep. Marquardt mentioned neither of us in his press conference.

This is a good start, but let's recognize this for what it is:  at this point, it's just a political platitude until you are actually prepared to exhibit courageous leadership to try to implement some bold ideas on how to fix the state's budget problems.  In my humble opinion, as long as legislators see this as a math problem, nothing will change and they will continue to muddle through.  They don't have a math problem; they have a service delivery problem and an inability to set priorities about what is most important to the residents of the State of Minnesota.  When Sen. Pogemiller suggests an across-the-board budget cut, it is inherently based on the premise that all things we do are equally important.  Make no mistake that everything we do is important to someone, but not everything we do is equally important.  I hate to use a time-worn analogy, but government will talk about its programs in isolation as if the program competes with no one for the limited available resources; when we go home at night, we would never contemplate spending money to fix the roof without taking into consideration all the other demands on your limited personal resources.  Without prioritizing, with only an axe in your toolbox, is it really any surprise that all you can do is chop?  And, more importantly, when we cut everything equally, we do nothing to advance driving out inefficiencies.  Each inefficiency is a precious resource we are flushing down the toilet that impairs our ability to deliver the services the residents of the State of Minnesota most need from us, like public safety, a social safety net, snow-plowing, etc.  When you treat this like a math problem, you just move numbers; only when you seize the opportunity to truly prioritize and streamline can you truly change the system.

In Crow Wing County, we talk not just about cheaper, we also demand better.  We have re-organized most of our work units such that they are now organized around the customers that tend to move across our departmental lines.  For instance, we have created a Land Services Dept that contains the County Assessor, Planning & Zoning, Natural Resource Management, Solid Waste, and Surveyors functions.  This gives us a better opportunity than in the past to capture organizational synergies that makes us more efficient.  As an example, we now have our Assessor's staff verifying our Planning & Zoning permitees built only that which they were supposed to when the appraiser visits the site to assess the new structure for tax purposes.  Before, someone from P&Z was doing that as well as the Assessor's staff going, too.  Not just cheaper, but better!  I have many more examples of how we are driving "radical efficiencies" (Google the term and you'll understand better what I mean) as our strategy to make our operation as efficient as it can be.  We have used a priority-setting process to prioritize every single "book" of county business so we know what's most important to us.  We are embarking on a Managing for Results approach to measure and demonstrate the value (or lack thereof) that we supply to the community with our various programs and services.

You can't sell a vision of a better future that involves only cut-cut-cut.  You can sell a vision of the future that is not just cheaper, but better!  I'm glad the Legislature has taken a small symbolic first step.  The Governor did likewise in last year's State of the State address by specifically referring to AMC's Redesign effort as a model for the future, but nothing ever came of that.  To be clear, I don't view this as a problem with every legislator--I think our legislators get what we are trying to do and see the wisdom of it; I view it is a failure in leadership from both the Governor and legislative leadership.  The proof will ultimately be in the pudding and, forgive my cynicism, but I still doubt the organizational and leadership capacity of the leaders in both parties to do what really needs to be done.  Given that belief, I continue to advise that distancing ourselves from a partner that is financially unstable and that does not apply sound financial practices to its budget (not counting inflation, no rainy day funds??!!) is in Crow Wing County's best interests at this time.  That advice won't change until we see something more than just words. 

Scott Halstead (8) (10) (10)

State level council should include members from various non-partisan organizations such as the Citizens League, Civic Caucus etc.   There should be a report of actions considered, enacted, rejected with a scorecard and legislative action and voter record.

Shari Prest (2) (5) (5)

 I would begin by encouraging government leaders to take a "non-partisan pledge" committing that they will act first in the interest of the  people (all the people) government serves. (Evidence would be the varied positions (not postures) on votes and initiatives. The plans listed above assume that Competition is always good. In fact it is very costly. Also Rep.  Maquart contradicts himself when he says on the one hand that individuals are not the problem but rather that the problem is in the systems...he then proposes a carrot/stick approach to rewarding/punishing individuals (i.e. merit pay.) What happened to inspiration, the greater good, leadership, and shared goals, values, and dreams. Even though heated and even deadly debates took place among our founding fathers, they were eventually able to create "One Nation..." Our current leaders held government and innovation hostage to personal ambition and party politics for far too long. We should never again elect any politician that is accountable to "the party" first.

The sources for Rep.  Maquart's "learning" presupposes a conservative, privatization bias as do a couple of the questions from Civic Caucus members.

Fred Senn (10) (10) (10)

These discussions about the redesign of government services are very important.  We need a way to institutionalize innovation and celebrate improvements.

Debbie Frenzel (10) (10) (10)

Peter Hennessey (0) (5) (0)

In the general scheme envisioned by the Founders of our Republic, this session is in line with the great laboratory of governance that is possible precisely and only because we are a Union of independent sovereign States, and can try many good or foolish ideas that other States can copy, modify or ignore.

My own impression is that the set of proposals offered by this speaker falls in the foolish category. My preference would be to see the design in our great Constitution being carried through at all levels of government; that is, to push the actual governance down to the local level as far as possible, as close as possible to the actual people being governed. This set of proposals goes in the opposite direction.

Question 1:  We already have a state-level council broadly representative of the people; it is called the legislature. I assume MN has one? Or did MN go the way of CA, and finds its legislature and its bureaucracy being increasingly dysfunctional, the budget locked in with extravagant fixed and mandated appropriations, and the State robbing the treasuries of all lower levels of government in the State?

Question 2:  Let's make that zero if the proposal is to create regional super-agencies that ride roughshod over local concerns, by creating regional monopolies in the delivery of services, for example.  Let's make that ten if the proposal is to first discover if there are any services at all, such that (1) their delivery is the proper function of government, and (2) if it is appropriate to allow a monopoly to deliver these services rather than assign it through competitive bidding.

But when a formerly great State such as CA and its girly-man governator formerly pretending to be a Republican such as SchwartzenShriver are proposing to privatize jails, my guess is that there are very few "services" that any level of government should be monopolizing beyond police, courts and civil defense.

Question 3:  What is local government aid? Is it *funded* mandates as opposed to unfunded mandates? Why else would the State government need to provide aid to lower levels of government? And how do you define effectiveness and efficiency?

Is it effective and efficient if police vans and ambulances cruise the city on winter nights to pick up drunks and the homeless and transport them to a shelter, even against their will? Or is it a failure if they only get half of them, or if they pick up the same people every night, or if they pick up only the dead ones?

Is it effective and efficient if the welfare office has a growing list of applicants, or it is a failure if surveys show they still manage to miss half of the eligible people, or they issue checks to the same people month after month?

I think history and everyday experience have consistently shown that effectiveness and efficiency can only come from competition; the entity offering the service must be on their toes to control their costs or risk being undercut by someone more nimble and smart. The statists grouse about profits in private enterprise, and say that if only government ran it (whatever "it" is; health insurance, maybe?) then the cost would be reduced by the amount of profit the privateers are pocketing now. The free enterprisers point to the shamelessly padded operating costs and work rules in the government bureaucracy that make it cost far more than private enterprise with all their profits. 

A good example is the history of the health insurance premiums, at least in CA which I know from a lifetime of personal experience. In 1972, Blue Cross was advertising that 97 cents of every dollar of premiums paid went to health care providers; claims processing costs and those evil profits was only 3 cents, far below the costs and profits of any other form of enterprise. As the years rolled by, this number went down and down, eventually to 84 cents that last time I saw it in print maybe 5-15 years ago. Just last week I heard on the news, in reaction to the Blue Cross demand for a 39% increase in premiums, that regulators and legislators are willing to approve the increase but only after they also pass a law to mandate a minimum of 70 cents paid to providers. Imagine that! We went from 97 cents to 70 cents, all during the same years when the do-gooders ran wild with their good intentions. Only government and oppressive regulation can achieve a spectacular failure such as this. 

It would be nice if people remembered that whatever the operation, it can't survive if its income is less than its expenses, and that its income is always ultimately set by the level of support from its customer base, whether the operation is public or private. The drive for a monopoly, whether in government or in private enterprise, is the desire to be free for this kind of approval from the customer base, that is, control by it. Freedom from competition is no less unhealthy in government than in private enterprise. The risk of failure and ceasing to exist is a very good reason to stay honest, and should be applied especially to government bureaucracies, rather than automatically increasing their budgets every year. There is no such thing as a natural monopoly -- not in utilities, not in services, and not in government. Everything cannot be and must not be turned into a regulated utility; all that does is make stagnation permanent.

Charles Lutz (10) (9) (9)

Vici Oshiro (10) (10) (10)

10 if it is done right and I'm not sure I or others know how to do it right.

Michael Martens

1. Tthere is lots of talk about reinventing local government/ improving service delivery.   When real change is proposed the entrenched bureaucracy will oppose it.  Because of opposition from entrenched parties, the legislature will talk but not do anything meaningful. Unless there is massive support by the general public, nothing will happen.  

For example it took 10 years of lobbying & working by many many business groups  to reduce the property tax levy on commercial property form 5 times homestead property to 3 times homestead property rate.  Commercial property taxes in MN are still 2 to 5 times higher than neighboring state and other high tech states.

2. There are many groups that already exist that a have looked at this issue, there is no need to form a new group.   Just review the work that has already been done, the pick the things that have the most public support.

3.   Laying off people has to be part of the solution from the beginning because a major cost of state & local government is employee salaries & benefits. This requires overcoming the opposition of public employee and teacher unions. Since no or few DFL legislators are will to oppose public employee unions., this severely limits the cost saving that can be realized

4. CSDD and CSDA sound like another layer of government with its own set of employees, which will increase not decrease costs.

5.  I believe that the LGA system is broken beyond repair.    Go the State website and randomly pick at least 5 small and 5 large cities.  Ask State Rep. Paul Marquart to explain the reason for the differences. Some cities get zero other get almost $400/capita. Why the difference?  A study showed that cities that get LGA spend $100/month per employee more on employee benefits than cities that don't get LGA.  So LGA isn't being spent on roads etc.

Mina Harrigan (7) (10) (8)

Don Anderson (8) (8) (10)

This is the right idea, however, are we to polarized, i.e., right or left to accomplish what is proposed? The Governor is running for another office, and some of the legislative leaders are running for his position.

Robert J. Brown (5) (_) (10)

Question 1:  This might be a good idea, but it could also add another layer on our already overly complex system of government. And it might go even further to relieving the legislator and the governor from facing up to their responsibilities of their elected offices.

Question 2:  While reduction in duplication is a worthwhile goals one must be wary of the so-called economies of scale. If we learned anything from the consolidation of school districts it is that the larger entities always had higher costs than the ones they replaced. While they may have improved some services the cost in the alienation of constituents may have been greater than the benefits received.

Bob White (10) (10) (10)

John Nowicki (0) (0) (0)

Question 1:   This is why we have a legislature


Question 2: Who is doing the charging and under what authority?


Question  3:  Who determines this and what is the criteria?


Northstar will not work until we have a new governor and less bias leaders in the legislature.


Kevin Edberg (5) (8) (5)

Regarding Q3, I'm not sure that central dictation of "effectiveness" and "efficiency" is efficacious. Wrath or favor of local voters is usually more direct, though this admittedly also fraught with issues of interpretation.

It was noted that the costs of "people" in service delivery is rising faster than rates of revenue increase. That's true. Incompletely addressed in the discussion was the issue that certain kinds of services, because they deal with human beings, inherently require human delivery for effect, and that some of the most expensive are driven by demographics. (Picture deliver of certain aspects of health care for senior citizens, or the engagement of young human minds aka education). Greater clarity would be welcome: which services are particularly demographically driven, and of these, which are amenable to significant increases in efficiency (i.e. can accommodate increased customer load without commensurate increases in provider count), and which ones are not necessarily so easy to control (at least so long as we choose to provide the service/tolerate the impact of not addressing the particular issue).  Teasing out these kinds of distinctions are necessary for considerations of alternatives.

Also inherent in the entire conversation  (all of the work of Civic Caucus) is the question of what benefits might citizens reasonably expect equitable access to because they are citizens of the State as opposed to citizens of a particular community or region of the State?  The rural/metro (or rural/urban/suburban) distinctions keep raising their heads throughout the conversation. I personally believe it important for individuals to ask "Are we one State?  Or an amalgamation of units?  It seems to me this is as much an issue of vision as one of efficient service delivery. 

Worthy conversations. I'm glad someone is having them.

Ken Smart (8) (7) (10)

Carolyn Ring (4) (8) (7)

Question 1:   I am hesitant to pass a law for this, as once a law is passed it is difficult to change it or abolish it. I would rather see it done by resolution or Governor's initiative.

Question 3:  How will the guidelines for effectiveness be established and who will make the decisions?

Al Quie (8) (0) (0)

Rep. Marquart has some good ideas but, in my opinion, there are some flaws. 1) strategies, economies of scale, reduction in duplication, saving money, effectiveness and efficiency of services delivery are all activities problems. First attention should be given to the outcomes of people being served. The conflicts come in the resources (money and employees) and activities areas. Already "no layoffs" is a given. (a gift to the public employees union.) 2) Most people do not think in service lines concepts but in political subdivisions lines. As long as a political subdivision has a building, people think geographically and protectively. 3) First act of the bipartisan group of legislators who held the press conference is to agree on an answer to the question, "Why did 'an agenda for reform' fail?" When I speak of outcomes, it is as basic as this: How well are the citizens served by our transportation system? How well are we educating our children? How healthy are our people? How well are we protecting our environment? Are our people receiving justice in our judicial system?    Redesign of activities to affect "resources" is not a good enough motivation.

What would I recommend? Appoint two Senators and two Representatives from each party and one person appointed by the Governor and do what Civic Caucus is doing. You can't take any action in state government, but such a group could.

Terry Stone (8) (8) (8)

Unfortunately, Rep. Marquart’s thinking seems to leave a large intrusive role for the state to continue social planning initiatives. Using LGA to keep small towns on life support seems more romanticized culture than solid governance policy. Many small towns are artifacts of long gone economic systems and transportation systems.

Bob Fenwick (0) (2) (0)

Question 1:  Citizens are already “broadly represented” .  They are called city councilors and county commissioners.

Question 2:   They have been doing this for years for the right reasons to the benefit of their own citizens and the state as a whole. Economies of scale is a fine catch phrase for Burger King, McDonalds, Sears, etc, but we have none of those in Cook County.

Question 3:   Can you say, “more unfunded mandates”? Can you say, “one size fits all”? How about this; let’s apply this scenario to the relationship of states and the federal government. That is where we are headed with this strategy.

Dick Angevine (3) (8) (8)

Connie Morrison (8) (8) (8)

Some of the suggestions sound like an enlarged fiscal disparities law.  Not easy for the more efficient communities to swallow.  I wish them luck with the bipartisanship.  Wouldn't it be nice?

I have high regard for all those involved in the proposal.  I would love it if various governments realized it's time to work together.  Unfortunately, the Legislature likes to tell local governments what to do, and school districts are often given short shrift.  Nevertheless I'm quite leery of suggestions that increase fiscal disparities.  I'm so glad you and your team continue to work on all of this.  No wonder Minnesota is head and shoulders ahead of so many other states. 

George Pillsbury (5) (10) (10)

The best redesign would be a unicameral Legislature.

Shari Prest (2) (5) (5)

Question 1:   This is no way guarantees bi-partisan action. We have representative bodies...why add another layer. They simply do not act in a bipartisan fashion. I fail to see the purpose of this layer. 

Question 2:   Theoretically this is sound, I am much more skeptical about application. They could do it now but rarely do.      

Question 3:    If someone can come up with a measurement scale that assures improvement and not efficiency at the expense of quality...great.    

4.  Comments: I would begin by encouraging government leaders to take a "non-partisan pledge" committing that they will act first in the interest of the  people (all the people) government serves. (Evidence would be the varied positions (not postures) on votes and initiatives. The plans listed above assume that Competition is always good. In fact it is very costly. Also Rep.  Maquart contradicts himself when he says on the one hand that individuals are not the problem but rather that the problem is in the systems...he then proposes a carrot/stick approach to rewarding/punishing individuals (i.e. merit pay.) What happened to inspiration, the greater good, leadership, and shared goals, values, and dreams. Even though heated and even deadly debates took place among our founding fathers, they were eventually able to create "One Nation..." Our current leaders held government and innovation hostage to personal ambition and party politics for far too long. We should never again elect any politician that is accountable to "the party" first.

The sources for Rep.  Maquart's "learning" presupposes a conservative, privatization bias as do a couple of the questions from Civic Caucus members.

Bill Hamm (6) (3) (3)

Question 1:  The devil is in the detail here. Who gets to define "broadly", and how does it get defined. Who gets to choose my representation on this new council? What I see is another desperate and despicable move toward centralization of control spelled "Socialism".

Question 2: This effort toward efficiency has been underway for more than two decades at the local level.  Where have you been? The wording of this statement is just another thinly disguised attempt to again attack local government entities and support for their elimination--an attack on local representation I will not support.

Question 3:  Again who judges who is meeting the guidelines? Indeed who is writing the guidelines? It is time to disconnect this hog trough. Why should we agree to allow the State to take our tax money, steal as much as they want, then give us back LGA?. How about a novel new Idea, Don't take it in the first place, let our local governments take responsibility and make their own bed rather than making beggars of our Mayors.

Only by pushing responsibility back down to the local level  do we began to end this reliance on Big Government to do everything for us. Only then will we the people ever have any real voice in our destiny or control of our potential instead of having our potential always manipulated from above by our richest and most elite neighbors.

Ralph Brauer (0) (5) (2)

Question 1:  This will just be a political body of the same old players who have made
a mess of things so far along with ideological no-compromise types who have made change all but impossible. 

Question 2:  The operative words here are "charged with." What does that mean? How
can it be accomplished in a way that allows for creativity and flexibility? Where are the WIFMs (What's In It For Me) in this proposal?  

Question 3:  This sounds grand, but the devil is in the details: What does effective and efficient mean? Most LGAs would tell you they are already effective and efficient. What metrics will be used to measure these changes?  Who will oversee this? What carrots and sticks will be used to insure it works? 

Question 4:  I feel like a tired arm beating a dead horse, but you cannot accomplish any of this without rigorous system dynamics modeling. Only the modeling process can bring people together of disparate views. Only the modeling process can accommodate different mental models (my colleague Peter Senge would be a abashed there has been no discussion of mental models in this redesign process). Only the modeling process can provide a mathematical, verifiable way to assess alternatives. That you have been unwilling to consider this is to me an appalling indication of intellectual provincialism. SD is not some kooky, off-the-wall idea, it
is used by most major corporations as some part of their planning process. The two modelers I work with are under contract to the federal government to model counter-terrorism plans (i.e. you have to model the potential consequences of an action like dropping botulism in the water
supply).  The plans and methods proposed so far could have come from a group in 1895. 

Jan Hively (5) (5) (3)

Question 1:  I am in favor of  what Marquart wants, a council comprising elected policy leaders and a few citizen reps from business, education, youth, (rating of 9)   I am not in favor of what this  question sounds like -- a large citizens council (rating of 4).

Question 2:  I don't trust the state running local government, which is what this sounds like ("charge with" -- which implies that the state will hold the local governments responsible... setting out criteria, enforcement code, etc.).  I am in favor of offering incentives for local government to achieve economies of scale and reduction of duplication that would save money.  

Question 3:  Local government aid should not be dependent on state judgments about how "effectively and efficiently" they are delivering their services.  That opens the door to arbitrary and political pressure. Local governments should receive basic aid based on net worth and population.  Beyond the basic, the aid should be dependent on meeting criteria for "effective and efficient" management and service delivery.

David Gay (0) (4) (0)

Phase out LGA and reduce State tax rates.  Let  local governments  do their job and quit hiding the true cost of local government  by subsidizing irresponsible behavior with free money from the state.

Jim Keller (0) (8) (5)

We all ready have numerous elected people who tell us they have the answers. If we could stimulate cooperation, I believe our local governments would be a great source for finding efficiencies.

Tom Swain (10) (10) (10)

Sounds great.

Larry Schluter (8) (10) (9)

It looks like a lot of good ideas to improve services and make better use out of LGA's which are questionable use of state money. 

Lyall Schwarzkopf ((5) (9) (6)

We need to change the boundaries of local governments.  This does not do that.  Using LGA to encourage changing the boundaries of government is a good idea._



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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