On a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most
agreement, please indicate how you rate the following points discussed
(6.8 average response) Local
Because most state revenue is ultimately spent at the local level,
most restructuring of services needs to apply to school districts,
cities, and counties.
(6.9 average response) Health
Because interest groups are powerful enough to stop meaningful change,
significant restructuring of health care won't occur without a major
(7.1 average response) Informal
More public money should pay for informal care in private homes, with
less devoted to nursing homes.
(6.0 average response) Higher
two public post-secondary systems, the
and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system (MNSCU),
should be merged.
Ray Ayotte (7.5) (5) (10) (10)
Dave Broden (2.5) (0) (7.5) (0)
governments. This is an interesting thought. Look at the response
this way--while the spending is biased to schools, cities, and
counties the state bureaucracy is growing in all departments and
employment keeps growing. Redesign must address the total government
structure without setting some aside only for budget percentages.
Further much of the growth is due to special interest
lobbying/influence and those areas are not only in the schools,
cities, and counties. Attaching the needed change on spending only is
not looking at the real issue and that is government as structured.
Design for the 21st century. Letís have a big Minnesota view or we
will only rub the edges of change needed.
2. Health care.
To think that meaningful change can only occur when there is crisis is
again part of the problem. Too many people simply say wait for the
crisis and then solve the problem with a series of bandaids rather
than addressing the issue before a crisis and finding common ground in
a positive way. Some may say this is impossible-- I only think that
those that take that view should pass on participation. There are real
problem solvers in
-just give them a chance, not a negative crisis issue situation.
care. This is a positive statement with much potential for good of
the individual needing care and for the state. Addressing this
approach with good oversight and incentives to families and attention
to quality of life and care can be very beneficial.
education. Starting with the assumption that merger is the answer to
quality and more efficient cost of operation is an easy and frequent
error in restructuring anything. Letís start by asking what is the
role of each organization, how do they add value to education, what
can be shared, what is duplicated, which serves who and how. After a
good functional and capability assessment then it is appropriate to
ask how do we govern the system in the best way-- should the systems
be combined or separate--this follows clearly from what needs to be
done --the approach suggested by the question is backwards and leads
to conflict in many ways.
Bob White (7.5) (0) (10) (7.5)
Pat Barnum (2.5) (0) (2.5) (0)
governments. I agree that services need restructuring, and that means
local restructuring. But O'Keefe seems to want to centralize
everything, taking away our founding father's vision of local control
and decisions and funding. If you don't like the way your school
district is going, you can move to another. What happens when all
control is by the state? Will you have to quit your job and move to
another state to find a school system you trust? I would rather see
legislation aimed at REDUCING the hoops state and federal government
places on local units - good example? PELRA
2. Health care.
By meaningful change O'Keefe seems to mean government take over. Guess
what? That ship has sailed, and it has a destination that most
Americans do not see yet. They won't like where we end up but it will
be too late to change course by the time they see it.
care. It is not the state's responsibility (read: individual tax
payersí responsibility) to provide senior care to the population. A
safety net for the most severely in need. But it's come to be
expected. I've watched family after family "get rid of" any assets
their aging parents have, so they can qualify for "free" care.
education. The result will be a system of state colleges that are as
expensive, poorly run, and fraught with over-paid and under-performing
professors and administration as the U of MN system. Let's just get
the state OUT of higher education altogether. Reduced taxes will allow
more people to be able to afford continuing education on their own,
and the cost will come down.
Judy Corrigan (7.5) (5) (7.5) (10)
care. A continuum of affordable care from private homes to assisted
living to nursing homes should be investigated with an emphasis on
keeping people in their homes (or a relative's home.)
Jack Evert (7.5) (10) (5) (10)
2. Health care.
This is unfortunately true about everything, not just health care.
The corrosive effect of money in our political system insures that
many decisions are being made for the wrong reason, that being the
organization that can produce the most money wins. It is bribery, and
the only way I can see for it to stop is to publically fund elections
and outlaw donations to candidates or PACs. But for this to happen,
we would have to get the support of the organizations with the money,
which we won't get. So the beat goes on and on and on. Pretty dismal,
care. I get the concept, but with the inability of the government
(e.g., Medicare fraud) to effectively manage such programs, I think
this one will be filled with fraud.
education. I don't understand the issues of so doing, but I
understand that the cost of higher education can't continue as it
has. This may be one way of reining in the costs and therefore the
John W Sievert (0) (0) (2.5) (2.5)
Eugene Piccolo (7.5) (10) (7.5) (0)
education. Question - did the merger of the community college,
vocational colleges and four-year universities into MNSCU lead to less
a leaner administrative structure or more effective administrative
structure or a better education for students? Statement - the
merger of these two systems would likely be a failure as the corporate
cultures of MNSCU and UM are very different - this merger would fail
like most corporate mergers fail - besides bigger is not more
efficient or more important or more effective as we have "learned from
banks to big to fail."
Dennis L. Johnson (5) (0) (7.5) (5)
governments. Just cut the budget across the board and let each
recipient deal with it as required.
2. Health care.
Effective leadership can do the job. Keep watching Gov. Christie in
care. Just cut their budgets and let them deal with it.
education. Just cut their budgets and let them deal with it.
Otherwise you get involved in trying to micromanage a system that is
too complex for most to understand.
Peter Hennessey (10) (7.5) (2.5) (0)
governments. If the underlying facts are true, then maybe all this
state revenue should be local revenue to meet local needs. Why not
just limit the functions of the state government to the few concerns
that are truly state-wide in scope (look to the Constitution for
guidance), and reduce the state revenue accordingly, and let local
governments determine and finance their own specific needs? Sure we
all have the same kinds of needs, but we differ in the size of our
problems and the amount of resources we can or must devote to them.
But that does not justify letting the State government get involved in
everything, or to kick the problem upstairs both in terms of resources
and decision making.
2. Health care.
We never fix anything until it is broken beyond repair. But again,
the fundamental problem is the assertion that health care is a
government problem. No, it is a private individual and family problem.
The only responsibility government has is, as in every other business,
to ensure that crooks are caught and punished. If you let the private
free market work, then workable, affordable solutions will emerge, as
they always do. The more the government gets involved, the more the
whole system works like a monopoly and the worse the problem gets,
especially for the doctors and the patients, because a monopoly has no
competition to keep it honest and has every incentive to maximize its
self-serving bureaucracy. Let doctors compete for patients. Let
patients choose both their doctors and how they want to pay for health
services. Don't let a government bureaucracy or an insurance company
bureaucracy get between a patient and his doctor.
care. You can't make a decision like this at the state level! This
is a decision to be made by a doctor, based on the individual
patient's condition. Then it is first and foremost the responsibility
of the patient and his family to face up to the specific needs and
education. What is to be gained by merging two huge bureaucracies
into one huge monopoly? That will increase competition? On what
planet? Most States had a "U of (state)" private college for the
"rich" and a State-funded "(state) U" for the "people." I'll bet you
that once upon a time the U of M was also a private system, which,
like others in other states, threw in the towel one day and slipped
its head under the government yoke when they saw that the State funds
are a bottomless well. The problem with college costs is not that
they rise according to their customer's ability or willingness to pay,
the problem is that the costs are rising to the limit of the
governmentís willingness to allocate funds to them. And why not? The
politicians are paying for and getting a service that ensures the
indoctrination of a new generation of voters who will keep them and
their rapacious ideology in power. It is downright laughable how a
fundamental principle of the free market (prices rise to level of the
customer's willingness to pay, which is another way of saying, don't
leave money on the table) finds an expression even in an environment
of a government-created and supported monopoly... Some fundamental
laws of nature just cannot be violated.
Debby Frenzel (7.5) (10) (0) (7.5)
Anonymous (0) (7.5) (5) (10)
governments. Because most of the programs local governments provide
are mandated by State and federal government, you would need to reduce
these mandates first then (reduce) the funding.
Robert Freeman (7.5) (7.5) (5) (2.5)
2. Health care.
Dramatic change is already coming from federal health care reform but
is unlikely to reduce the cost of health care, which will precipitate
a major crisis. Wait until the first few large employers jettison
care. This makes sense as long as the care in private homes is
demonstrably keeping people out of nursing homes. We should ensure
the amount we spend is not out of line with out neighboring states.
Carol Becker (5) (10) (10) (10)
governments. Because most cities have been facing budget cuts for the
last ten years, there already has been substantial restructuring. The
amount you can get out of restructuring is limited. At some point,
you do less with less.
education. Until there is a move to rationalize the
higher education system, to close campuses and to focus programs so
there are locuses of expertise rather than every school for itself,
merging will not do anything. You need a base closing approach that
requires a fiscal crisis coupled with the will to do the wholesale
did before merging will create any meaningful change.
Dave Christianson (8) (4) (7) (9)
David Pundt (8) (10) (5) (10)
3. Informal care.
My parents did it the old-fashioned way; they paid for it themselves.
Where in the constitution does it say that some taxpayers will pay for
the caretaking of others' aging parents? The discussion about 'what we
want from state government' should be held, and constantly, perhaps in
the framework of the 10 Commandments. If you take something from me,
itís called stealing and itís wrong. Let's begin the long, slow march
back to a society of virtue. It hasn't been that long.
Wayne Jennings (8) (10) (10) (5)
comments about engaging the community into deciding what services it
wants and then generating agreement about how to pay for them. Iím
convinced also that many of our services need redesign but that the
status quo will continue without something like a super commission to
jump-start the change process. Pilot programs could be employed as a
change strategy in various sectors.
Carolyn Ring (9) (4) (6) (4)
Arvonne Fraser (9) (5) (8) (8)
William Opsahl (10) (10) (0) (10)
D. Hamm (10) (10) (10) (5)
While I have
generally shifted to the Survey Monkey system, occasionally an issue
like this comes along where the Civic Caucus fails to ask the
questions it should have or so words the questions as to steer the
answers in the direction that supports their position. Both are true
in this interview.
governments. While I mark this as a 10 my direction is 180 degrees
different than O'Keefe's While I agree that restructuring must take
place I do not support his push toward a more Socialist central
control model, because the more we have moved in this direction the
more dysfunctional the systems have become. Local control must be
wrestled from the legislature and returned to these programs. The
biggest change we need is to back up about 50 years and take a look at
the locally controlled system we shifted away from. In that system,
before we had teachers unions, we had local control of a very
competitive education system with the ability and support of the
people to raise the funds needed. Under this system we had far more
than we have now that had survived under economic hard times equal or
worse than they are now. We didn't have to deal with teachers unions
putting their needs ahead of our children's, and we didn't have to
waste large amounts of time and money begging and lobbying the
legislature for funds. We raised them locally. State bureaucracy can
never compete with local common sense.
2. Health care. On
this issue I support Mr. O'Keefe's conclusions 100%. The existing
system will not be fixed because internal complexities make that
impossible. 1. We the people want a system that puts out health care
needs first. 2. Doctors, nurses, and other health care workers want a
system that is fair to them. Right now the Drug companies and Unions
undermine both these efforts. Yes the system must be rebuilt from the
bottom up, and yes there is a model out there that does this. The
model I speak of is a Cooperative structure used by the Industrial
Coop's of the Basque people of Spain. While the Basque Industrial
Coop's are described as the ultimate way to bring capitalism to the
worker, their medical system accomplishes both the necessary goals I
outlined above and provides the most comprehensive medical coverage on
the planet for less than 1 dollar in 6 that we are wasting. The only
thing I am lacking to bring this system to
is a half dozen Board Members to file under
existing Coop laws.
3. Informal care.
The present nursing home issue is plagued from two directions. First,
the for-profit structures have extremely hard times maintaining
quality help due to obnoxiously low wages. Second, the Unionized
public nursing homes are plagued again by the same problem as our
schools. Union workersí needs are in direct conflict with patient
needs and competing for the same monies. Keeping us seniors in our
homes as long as possible is far cheaper and simpler than fixing
either of the problems listed above.
education. While I somewhat agree with this concept, I would argue
that the rolling into our Community College system of Vocational
Education has only undermined Vocational Ed. by bringing the Union
conflict to it. Instead of quality teaches who had once worked in
these areas, it is now more important for Union protection that the
teacher has the proper degree than any real experience. This
shortchanges our children and grandchildren.
Question 5 should
have been: Should we examine
prison costs and look at how we can go about reducing those costs? My
answer would have been 10. While Mr. O'Keefe looked only at sex
offenders and he was right, we have a much bigger failure within that
system that is costing us far more. By legalizing both the medicinal
and recreational use of the nonlethal herb Marijuana, we cut State,
County, and City budgets by far more than several billion dollars a
year. By regulating cocaine use we gain more than a Billion more in
savings. The present "Drug Wars" strategies are an utter failure that
are costing us all far more than we see. Imprisonment, forced
treatment, drug court, everything about this undermines fiscal
stability for no positive gain. This doesn't even get to the racial
inequities of the system and how this last vestige of "Jim Crowe" is
being used to undermine communities of color and the societal costs of
Alan Miller (9) (9) (8) (9)
George Crolick (6) (3) (8) (5)
education. It should not be too hard to survey other states and
emulate "best practices" for public higher education.
Richard McGuire (5) (10) (10) (10)
Paul and Ruth Hauge (8) (8) (9) (9)
experienced and knowledgeable in many aspects of government funding
Chuck Lutz (9) (7) (9) (9)
Phyllis Kahn (8) (5) (10) (0)
Joseph Mansky (5) (3) (10) (10)
education. The question is: would the legislature be willing to turn
over the entire state higher education system to an institution over
which it does not have complete authority? Would it be prudent for
them to do so? Would the U be required to surrender some of its
autonomy as part of such an arrangement?
Robert J. Brown (8) (10) (10) (10)
governments. There is some need for restructuring at the state level,
2. Health care.
Government never makes significant changes unless there is a crisis
(real or perceived.)
education. 11 or 12! It is only the ego and power needs of the
University of Minnesota that prevents this. We are way behind other
state in consolidating the public higher education systems.
Bright Dornblaser (3) (10) (5) (1)
2. Health care.
We have the crises. Reform has started and will continue.
3. Informal care.
Nice idea but needs fiscally workable plan.
education. Reorganization (is) not practically feasible. Financial
incentives to force coordination?
DonaldH. Anderson (7) (6) (5) (8)
Quie (0) (10) (10) (0)
I have a zero in
#1 because "most restructuring of services needs to apply 'in' not
'to' school districts.
Tom Swain (7) (9) (9) (7)
David Dillon (10) (10) (10) (10)
David Detert (8) (10) (6) (6)
William Kuisle (10) (10) (5) (2)
2. Health care.
Are we not in that crisis now?
care. Whoa....be careful. Every time we do this it ends up costing
more. We have done programs like this before and end up with more
programs and more costs.
education. Taking two giant out-of-control systems and making one
massive out-of-control system does not make sense. Where are the
efficiencies that were suppose to happen when we combined vo-techs and
state colleges? Be careful of the big dragon you create with this
I'm sorry, but Mr.
O'Keffe offers the same old solutions that won't work. Grow government
and take more of my money.
Jim Keller (10) (10) (10) (0)