Reaching Community Members:Stoop Surveying and Speed Planning

It takes more than one method to reach out to your community. You cannot expect to use the same old method every time.

http://www.sustainablecitynetwork.com/topic_channels/policy/article_e9eff41a-7691-11e0-a9bb-0019bb30f31a.html?utm_source=SCN+InBox+e-Newsletter&utm_campaign=4969f3adcf-Newsletter_5-4-2011_Admin&utm_medium=email”>

Regulations Promote Sustainability

A few years ago, I talked with our public works director about white roofs. I haven’t seen any in Red Wing, Minnesota

http://americancityandcounty.com/admin/sustainability-roofs-solar-20110503/?cid=nl_issues

Growing the Economy

government cuts for a new economy

There has been much discussion lately about teachers: laying off ineffective teachers, keeping the best, eliminating that last in first out concept. The same should be true in other government agencies. Sometimes a “worker” has the best ideas and is most capable in keeping government services going. Rather than laying off that worker, it may be the highly paid department head that gets the least bang for the buck. We need to rethink, rescale, and build efficent, effective government.

Minnesota News Council

Thanks to Kent Laugen for this link. The Minnesota news Council has been a great place for the public to bring disagreements about writing in a newspaper, especially when the people thought it was unfair. Now people have many more ways such as blogs, but local newspapers are wise if they involve the public in this fashion. Good newspapers help to build good government.

another site worth pursuing

Betsy Buckheit ins a Northfield, Minnesota commissioner. She has a good post here. http://betseybuckheit.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/yet-another-economic-development-idea-economic-gardening/

planning city government

This weekend city council is holding its workshop/planning for 2011. In discussing finances, encumbrances are not always for work already ordered. Sometimes it is for work anticipated.  While work can be anticipated at one time, circumstances may change the priority of doing that work.  Therefore encumbrances should always be reviewed in full.

Watch for attempts to make city decisions without the input of its citizens.  Watch also for decisions being made where you have no idea of the reasoning for the decision by each council member. Sometimes this can be done in closed session; sometimes just by lack of a full discussion of the decision making process.

Policies: Government staff can be helpful when considering new policies. However beware of policies pre-written by city staff as drafts for your consideration. The new policy should only be written after you give your input and then discussed by you after it is written before you give your approval.

Good decision making is critical this year. I wish the city council well.

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