Providing a non-partisan model for generating and sharing          

    essential information on public issues and proposed solutions              

10th Anniversary :  2005- 06 to 2015-16

   
                                                                                                  About Civic Caucus   l   Interviews & Responses  l   Position Reports   l   Contact Us   l   Home  

 
 Response Page - Phil Cohen Interview - Transportation   


These comments are responses to the questions listed below,
which were generated in regard to the
Phil Cohen Interview of 04/04/08,

 
The questions:

Please rank the following jurisdictions in order of relative influence (i.e. "1"
for highest influence, to "6" for lowest influence) each should have in establishing major highway and transit priorities in the Twin Cities area.

Composite ranking by 23 respondents
_4___ federal government
_5___ Minnesota Governor
_2___ Minnesota Department of Transportation
_1___ Metropolitan Council
_3___ county government
_6___ city government



Wayne Jennings
__4__ federal government
__5__ Minnesota Governor
__2__ Minnesota Department of Transportation
___1_ Metropolitan Council
___3_ county government
__6__ city government


Lance Olson
___6_ federal government
__3__ Minnesota Governor
__3__ Minnesota Department of Transportation
__2__ Metropolitan Council
__1__ county government
__5__ city government

Alan Miller
_4___ federal government
_6___ Minnesota Governor
_1___ Minnesota Department of Transportation
_5___ Metropolitan Council
_2___ county government
_3___ city government

Where is mention of the MN Legislature, which should be a primary source of influence?? I would rank the Legislature as #1 in the chart above if it was included in the chart. My other decisions are guided by the present administration. In another time, I would rank the Governor as #2, right behind the Legislature.

Scott Halstead
_6/2___ federal government
_5___ Minnesota Governor
_2___ Minnesota Department of Transportation
_1___ Metropolitan Council
_2___ county government
_4___ city government

First, an elected Metropolitan Council responsible to the citizens should have the primary influence. They or the MN DOT needs to set Transit operational standards for various modes which may not be avoided unless approved by the metropolitan residents. Second, on transit, the federal transit administration evaluates and rates transit project throughout the country. Their guidelines may adversely affect design and construction of projects. If they are concerned with wasteful spending, they should reject the project for federal funding/or cap their share. I rated the MN DOT and the Counties equal because of funding, design and operational issues.

Marina Lyon
__2__ federal government
__4__ Minnesota Governor
__3__ Minnesota Department of Transportation
__1__ Metropolitan Council
__5__ county government
__6_ city government

Vici Oshiro
MNDOT should establish state priorities in consultation with Met Council, county and city governments. Council and local governments should then work within that framework. So influence would differ at various steps in the process. City and county would play strong role in bringing many issues to the fore, but those need to get put into broader framework by MNDOT and Met Council. Locals would then play larger role in detailed decisions.

We need a much broader discussion of role of federal vs. state government in many (all?) areas of domestic policy.

Paul Hauge
___3_ federal government
__6__ Minnesota Governor
__2__ Minnesota Department of Transportation
__1__ Metropolitan Council
___4_ county government
___5_ city government

Joe Mansky
3 federal government
____ Minnesota Governor
2 Minnesota Department of Transportation
1 Metropolitan Council
5 county government
4 city government

I chose to mark only five. Since the commissioner of transportation is an appointee of the governor, I don't think it's necessary to mark the governor separately.

Steve Alderson
1____ federal government
6____ Minnesota Governor
2____ Minnesota Department of Transportation
2____ Metropolitan Council
3____ county government
4____ city government

Several generations of policy makers have tried with some success to establish planning strategies that were long range, comprehensive and insulated from partisan local influence. The state and regional process embodied in the Metropolitan Council and Statewide DOT plans has been and should continue to be viewed as a way to gain the regional long term perspective. If local politics are permitted to interfere with the focus of the better positioned oversights then chaos insures, witness the funding situation of the past decade with the reliance on bonds which it has had. The governor's office just seems to make it worse. The incumbent is always following some personal political agenda. Giving the governor power over transportation funding is the worst scenario.

Malcolm McLean
__6__ federal government
__2__ Minnesota Governor
__1__ Minnesota Department of Transportation
___3_ Metropolitan Council
__4__ county government
__5__ city government

Donna Anderson
___3_ federal government
___4_ Minnesota Governor
____4 Minnesota Department of Transportation
___6_ Metropolitan Council
___5_ county government
___2_ city government

Carolyn Ring
__4_ federal government
__2__ Minnesota Governor
__3_ Minnesota Department of Transportation
__1__ Metropolitan Council
__6_ county government
__5__ city government

The Governor can erase the lack of leadership by setting over-all priorities. As an aside, I have always felt there was not a master plan" for Highway 100. It's been improved, re-figured etc. as long as I can remember-and that is a long time.

Robert Mairs
__4_ federal government
__5__ Minnesota Governor
__1__ Minnesota Department of Transportation
__2 Metropolitan Council
__3__ county government
____ city government

Clarence Shallbetter
__5.3_ federal government
__6__ Minnesota Governor
__5.3__ Minnesota Department of Transportation
__3.3 Metropolitan Council
__2__ county government
__1.3__ city government
federal government- to the extent they have national objectives such as the interstate freeways
Minnesota Governor - only with considerable advice
Minnesota Department of Transportation for all major regional transportation facilites
Metropolitan Council- depends on whether they prioritize based on transportation goals or development goals or major transportation projects judged to have regional significance
county government for collector roads

Al Quie
__6__ federal government
__5__ Minnesota Governor
__1__ Minnesota Department of Transportation
__4__ Metropolitan Council
__2__ county government
__3__ city government

The above has to do with need, location and service. When it comes to
getting money, it is governor, federal government, county government, MDOT,
city government, Met Council.

David Broden
_5___ federal government
___4_ Minnesota Governor
__2__ Minnesota Department of Transportation
__1__ Metropolitan Council
___3_ county government
__3__ city government

This ranking is tough call in many ways. Phil has hit the mark with some of his comments about the process in the 1960-1970's time frame--the focus was on bipartisanship/cooperation with the primary issue the details not the major what was to be done. The entire process seemed to be focused at that time as "Builders" or "Builder a Better and Greater Minnesota--Metro and Outstate--lots of competition for priorities etc. but the underlying theme was on track for most. Phil's comment about the outside group input of a solid plan such as the Citizens League did in many instances was a High Quality standing above the fray and well respected approach by each side and allowed a reasoned debate. The decision in the 60's to do rural farm to market road upgrades was perhaps a good model and understanding of how legislator of different interests could come together for the benefit of the whole--a bit more of that thinking today and looking to solve overall transportation concern for all the people would go a long way.. These comments reflect my opinion which I have to say is a bit biased but I think the Status of State Government, much of the Met Council and County government is addressing management of topics vs. what is really needed and that is Leadership--and it needs to move Minnesota back to the innovation in Government and problems solving which we did well in the years referenced--lots of great examples--forming the Met Council is just a great example.

Now for some thought on who set the priorities and how/why I did what you see on the ranking.

1. Met Council--Is the one body that can and should pull the picture of the Metro areas together for both short and long term and should/must avoid the parochialism that can come from county and cities--Thus the Met Council should lead.

2. A Team approach--MDOT needs to weigh in with the Met Council decision regarding the view from the state level and how all thing balance--they must be able flow down criteria (State and Fed) as well as listen along with the Met Council to the input of County and City. County position should impact county flow and congestion, link with other county priorities etc. City input should be the real link with the people--tie to business flow and primarily to public safety input. We need to let the cities raise the flags where safety of the citizens becomes a major concern.

3. I consider the 2 and 3 categories basically mixed dependent on the specific topics as outlined to some degree above.

4. The governor is his role as the state chief executive needs to set some priorities--he must be a builder--he must balance the Metro needs with the overall state needs and look to the considerations of economic growth across the state, funding , national/federal compliance etc.

5. Federal should only set and monitor reasonable guidelines and provide the funding (or portion of funding that states request)--while earmarks may have had their place--they are frequently parochial and by working around these to real program and funding --perhaps some form of matching and if needed incentive except when a emergency like 35W bridge then their role in planning and selecting should be low.

Bob White
__5__ federal government
__6__ Minnesota Governor
__2__ Minnesota Department of Transportation
__1__ Metropolitan Council
__3__ county government
__4__ city government

Bob Brown
___4_ federal government
____1 Minnesota Governor
___2_ Minnesota Department of Transportation
____3 Metropolitan Council
___5_ county government
___6_ city government

I think the state should have primary responsible for planning not only for transportation, but for all other governmental functions - housing, employment and economic development, education, open space preservation, etc - so that public planning is integrated and not done in a piecemeal fashion. A key would be to create a new state planning agency that could coordinate planning in the various sectors of public policy. The governor should then be held accountable for mediating between the different agencies and levels of government and creating a systemic approach to delivering public services in an effective and efficient manner.

Charles Lutz
___5_ federal government
___4_ Minnesota Governor
___2_ Minnesota Department of Transportation
__1__ Metropolitan Council
__3__ county government
__6__ city government

Tim McDonald
6____ federal government
2____ Minnesota Governor
4____ Minnesota Department of Transportation
3____ Metropolitan Council
1____ county government
5____ city government

Marianne Curry
3 Feds
6 MN Governor
1 MNDOT
2 Metro Council
5 County government
4 City Government

Funding is the issue and it will get worse at both the state and federal levels as boomer income tax payments decline. Where is the discussion about the role of railroads in this mix of modal transport of goods and services, not just people? Let's also address the root causes of deterioration of streets and highways, ie., overloaded trucks. Gas pricing strategies to change behavior and incentives that waste resources are part of the answer. Eliminate use of salt that destroy water quality, pavement and bridge supports. Recapture development assessed value increases as the price of doing business for public services such as roads and bridges. Spread out work hours. Reduce cargo weight. Powerful lobbies? Controversial? Yes. But we are now subsidizing wasteful habits, and we can't afford it anymore.

Ann and Larry Schluter
__3__ federal government
__6__ Minnesota Governor
__6__ Minnesota Department of Transportation
__6__ Metropolitan Council
__6__ county government
__5__ city government

We also need business & community leaders to be involved as well to lead a bipartisan solution to our transportation solution. They are trying to do this in Arizona right now.

Jim Hetland
____ federal government
1___ Minnesota Governor
_3___ Minnesota Department of Transportation
_2___ Metropolitan Council
_4___ county government
_5___ city government

Matt Kane
Hard to rank. I'd be inclined to push the Met Council, but the political structure of that body (all members appointed by the governor without staggered terms) often makes it difficult for the Met Council and the local governments in the metro area to work together. In an ideal world, I'd say the Met Council, as the Metropolitan Planning Organization, should have the greatest influence over decisions for the Twin Cities area. In a real world situation...?

Tom Swain
__3__ federal government
__6__ Minnesota Governor
__2__ Minnesota Department of Transportation
__1__ Metropolitan Council
__4__ county government
__5__ city government
 

    

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;  Lee Canning,  Charles Clay, Bill Frenzel, 
Paul Gilje,  Jim Hetland,  John Mooty,  Jim Olson,  Wayne Popham  and  John Rollwagen.  


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.

contact webmaster
 

 

 

Hit Counter