When local governments are under pressure to do more with less, it's tempting to focus on service cuts or fight over taxes, rather than tackle the long-term job of self-assessment and continuous improvement. Dakota County is one local government making sure it's looking at the big picture. Last week, according to an article in ThisWeek, Dakota County commissioners reviewed the county's report card from the Minnesota Council for Quality. The evalu... Read More
Sometimes it's hard to decide which anti-government myth is more ridiculous: that the public sector is too expensive or that it doesn't provide anything of value. And one of our ongoing challenges in making the case for more public investment is explaining to folks - in clear and more vivid ways - the good that our government does. We need to show, not just tell, the story about the myriad things at bargain prices that governme... Read More
The question was: "What helps or hinders growth in Minnesota?" The venue was a luncheon program in Bloomington this week at the "Grow Minnesota'' project sponsored by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. The answer, in large part, turns out to be smart public-sector investment. And those weren't our words, although we say them often enough at Growth & Justice, but the implicit and explicit response from four exemplary real-world bu... Read More
[via Lincoln Institute of Land Policies] An article in the LA Times (registration required) describes the latest beachhead in the privatization of government services: Fulton County Georgia. Newly established cities have been carved out of the large county that encompasses Atlanta and unincorporated areas north and south. The affluent, white, northern tier began a secession movement, to retain tax money that had been flowing into the city. It's ... Read More
As the legislature heads into its one-day special session, we're reminded of the $31.8 million in budget appropriations the governor has already redirected to flood relief. It's not the only shifting going on. According to a story in Willmar's West Central Tribune, some county and municipal officials are watching closely as MNDoT prepares to borrow from a local government highway fund to keep the Northstar commuter rail project on track.County o... Read More
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