McFarlane cites collaboration among units and levels of government,
business and labor as key components in improving public services. She
calls for a state strategic plan. She identifies several proposals for
new approaches to public services that have come to the attention of
the Redesign Caucus.
For the complete
interview summary see:
Readers have been asked to rate, on a scale of (0) most disagreement,
to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, the following points discussed
response ratings shown below are simply the mean of all readersí
zero-to-ten responses to the ideas proposed and should not be
considered an accurate reflection of a scientifically structured poll.
use of the
state's financial resources.
(8.9 average response) More
collaboration among different units and levels of government, business
and labor is an important component in improvement and innovation of
(8.9 average response) A strategic
plan is needed in Minnesota as a guide for more targeted and prudent
use of the state's financial resources.
(9.1 average response) Innovative new
approaches for public services can emerge in any community, regardless
of location or size.
(7.6 average response) A pioneering
effort undertaken in Denmark, where local government reorganization
was led by the units of local government in various regions ought to
be explored in Minnesota.
(9.1 average response) A least one
significant action on new approaches to public services ought to occur
in the 2011 session.
(Bill) Hamm (7.5) (10) (10) (0) (5)
So long as it is a supportive, bottom-up effort with collaboration as
the goal, not a Socialist, top-down effort with control as the goal.
2. Strategic plan.
Only so long as it is an open and inclusive effort rather than another
top-down socialistic control model pushing predetermined goals and a
3. Location. Only
not on the ends of socialist strings. Over my 35+ years of very active
public involvement, almost every real public input opportunity has
been stifled, diminished or undermined. If the power to make those
decisions isn't returned with the effort then only officially
effort. First we need a consensus that this consolidation is needed,
oh and by the way it needs rural input not more of your top-down
socialist decision making. Your socialist example of coercion as an
option to direct socialist top down action is extremely offensive to
this country boy. It does serve to show those of us rural folks just
how adamant you (people) are toward eliminating us.
5. Action. Trust
is first needed before one can accept such a statement. At this point
my view is that this is just another push to shovel more socialistic
changes down our throats with as little input from us as possible.
Only when I see the direction you are heading as beneficial to those
of us in the 62% (not rich or middle class) will you ever get my
support. Right now I see these as only more effort by our metro
neighbors to further undermine our control of our own destiny.
Hennessey (7.5) (0) (2.5) (7.5) (2.5)
Their first order of business should be to reexamine exactly what
services each should provide, to remove duplication, and to streamline
the procedures so as to reduce the size of the bureaucracy to the
absolute bare minimum.
2. Strategic plan.
This sounds too much like Soviet-style central planning, and also
contradicts the proposal to examine and possibly follow Denmark's
example (no. 4 below). Otherwise, see 1., above.
3. Location. It's
hard to see how there is room to innovate the delivery of services
that have plagued civilization at least since Roman or biblical times.
There is nothing new about government bureaucracy and welfare. The
only innovation that needs to take place is to simplify the procedures
so you don't need a degree in public administration or law just to
fill out a stack of forms, let alone process them. OK, there is a
need for another innovation. And that is the idea that government jobs
exist NOT to employ those who couldn't make it in the private sector,
but to serve the public as efficiently and as unobtrusively as
effort. Let's not overlook some basic truths here. Denmark is a
socialist country with a welfare culture quite alien to us, still, and
a standard of living that is quite Spartan even compared to our
"poor." But if the idea you want to import is to move control and
decision making as far down to the local level as you possibly can,
then yes, by all means, go for it. Running everything from the state
level only means more and more layers of mid-level bureaucracies
totally removed from the people being served.
5. Action. No,
careful reexamination must take place first. All problems can be
traced directly to haste and waste resulting from a compulsion to do
something, anything, as long as you look like you are doing. Politics
is the only arena where you don't have to prove that something will
work, before you force it on everybody. You couldn't possibly run a
business or a science/engineering project in that manner.
Anonymous (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)
White (10) (10) (10) (7.5) (7.5)
I was not at the meeting with McFarlane, but the discussion as
summarized gives me great hope. Her open-minded, forward-looking,
collaborative-intensive approach to innovation and improvement should
be a model for her legislative colleagues.
Moderately agree only because the "At least" language is moderately
Crosby (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)
effort. There are probably many other models worldwide to explore.
Ayotte (10) (10) (10) (7.5) (10)
Angevine (10) (7.5) (7.5) (5) (10)
I believe this is a key factor in improving the financial efficiency
of government. We need to work together at all levels.
Oliver (7.5) (10) (10) (5) (10)
Broden (10) (7.5) (10) (10) (10)
Many cities and units of government are leading and doing this
collaboration. The State needs to facilitate this process with
incentives and appropriate enabling legislation. Including the private
sector and building stronger and innovative partnership of government
and business/industry must be included and this will take some
enabling legislation and willingness of government to step forward and
try something new. Incentives to both the public and private side must
2. Strategic plan.
I believe very strongly that a vision should be established and that
the vision must be established by citizens across Minnesota not by a
government or "think Tank" group. To move beyond the vision to a
strategic plan I also agree strongly that such a plan should be
established but I mark moderate agreement because I believe that while
the vision can be placed in concrete--the strategy must be fluid and
subject to change and adjustment on a regular or as needed basis.
Static strategic plans become outdated and sit in a desk drawer or on
a shelf. If the strategic plan is dynamic it will reflect real time
events and people will react positively. Business strategic plans have
evolved to living documents, as should the stateís.
Innovation comes from people, from individuals, and sometimes from
groups. Some recent articles suggest there are a greater number of
innovations in a more populist area. This is a very arrogant position.
People will innovate any time and any place so perhaps the key is to
ensure that there is a process to identify and capture the innovation
regardless of where it comes from.
effort. Minnesota like all other areas must be open to the experiences
and lessons learned from others. While MN has a strong record of
leadership and innovation we can integrate experience into MN
Redesign must be long term and tied to vision to govern with the best
structure, operations, and service delivery possible. This will
require a process of evolving innovative change as ideas and
opportunity, as well as problems, arise. Government structure,
operation, and services must evolve to be a dynamic activity not based
on static process. This will require government (to have) a new
paradigm and approach.
Anderson (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)
Under our present situation we aren't getting anywhere near improving
2. Strategic plan.
We have limited financial resources under our present situation and we
need a strategic plan to try and solve our present getting nowhere
effort. Itís worth looking into, a regional approach. The biggest
problem may come in defining "regions" and their scale.
Rossing (7.5) (10) (10) (7.5) (10)
It takes two to tango. Some of us are willing and open to finding
efficiencies between units of government but there are many that are
territorial. Also real gain requires that there will be benefits for
both entities. You also have to realize that it is much harder for
rural communities to share services with each other because of the
distance. Suburban/urban density makes this much easier so more
efficiencies can be found.
2. Strategic plan.
A strategic plan would be great but first a shared understanding of
what we need to provide for our citizens. Wants no longer are what we
can afford and we need to differentiate between the two.
3. Location. When
you don't have a lot of resources you are forced to be creative.
Small communities understand this. However our staffs are stretched
so thin, doing many tasks, wearing many hats. Larger communities have
the ability to find efficiencies between and within departments.
effort. I sincerely believe that local governments can figure out
solutions but first we have to roll back the multitude of state and
federal mandates that are strangling them. Business tax reform is
also necessary so that smaller communities can be competitive and grow
their tax base.
Schweigert (7.5) (10) (10) (10) (10)
2. Strategic plan.
One key area is the relationship between real estate development and
public services. Too often, we have let real estate development lead
and then followed with government services (roads, sewer, schools,
etc.) at high taxpayer cost. Let's turn this around, establish growth
areas and limits, target population growth where there is already
infrastructure in place, and plan for maximum use of public transit.
Bright Dornblaser (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)
Stedman (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)
system is a great example. It must be radically changed and
overhauled. The experts arenít being heard, and the politicians arenít
equipped with the tools to make the changes that are necessary.
Heegaard (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)
This is a very
encouraging report. I am a 10 on all 5 categories. Remind me where you
meet and how often. Thanks.
Cox (10) (10) (10) (5) (10)
Much more work
needs to be done on cooperation between governments. We have a
mishmash of local governments providing services from snow plowing and
road repair to social services that are not effectively coordinated.
There seems to be far too much reliance on ďthatís the way weíve
always done itĒ as opposed to Ďwhy are we doing this when XXX is also
Baker (7) (10) (6) (na) (9)
As a possible case
study: Streamline the accounting system between the U of M and the
state agencies. There should be one universal system; today,
individual units make up their own rules, some of which are impossible
to comply with. This must waste millions of dollars each year,
wasting time by agency staffs and UM researchers. Another: develop a
transparent planning process for the Legacy funds, one that is based
on professional planning and analysis outside the main agencies.
Milton (na) (na) (na) (na) (na)
Sorry -- this
sounds to me like a "Minnesota nice" way to muffle the public employee
unions. Rep McFarlane and her pals have no cred with me. I'd rather
go to Madison and protest the Koch-brosí governor's fascism.
Press (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)
Robert J. Brown (10) (10) (10) (5) (10)
Carolyn Ring (7) (10) (10) (4) (10)
restructuring of state government has been explored, studied, talked
about etc. for over 30 years. Committees meet, come up with plans,
but no timetable is developed. Time is running out to do something,
and our current fiscal problems should make it mandatory.
William Kuisle (5) (6) (7) (6) (7)
T Brown (na) (na) (na) (na) (na)
creating incentives for local governments to innovate, collaborate,
merge, etc.??? Maybe related to state aid, as dollars always seem to
Miller (8) (7) (9) (8) (9)
Schwarzkopf (8) (9) (3) (5) (9)
Jennings (10) (8) (10) (10) (10)
I am very
encouraged to know of these efforts at redesign. McFarlane provided
lots of meat and potatoes for thinking and I am inspired to work on a
major redesign of K-12 education as a result.
Quie (10) (10) (10) (10) (8)
Spitznagle (7) (10) (10) (9) (10)
John James, former
Dept. of Revenue Commissioner, has some very good ideas about
structural reform on his website
Stone (10) (5) (10) (5) (10)
County redesign effort (as linked) has nice politically correct ideas,
but ultimately depends upon metrics that lend themselves poorly to the
quantification of sociological phenomena. The subjective nature of
these metrics, e.g., how long a client has been alcohol-free and no
longer doing B & Eís, is hard to determine in any economical manner.
The incentive built into the system would be to ignore relapses unless
they ended up on the front page of the Bemidji Pioneer.
2. Strategic plan.
A strategic plan sounds a little like a five year plan and centralized
command and control; hardly the stuff of redesign.
effort. Iím not sure that what a socialist country considers redesign
success necessarily plays well here.
5. Action. One
significant action of redesign would portend the status quo for the
foreseeable future; if we canít make hay while the sun is shining,
then we probably wonít be making hay.