Monday, June 13, 2011

Community Conversations continue in Moorhead and Bemidji
The cities of Moorhead and Bemidji recently became the fifth and sixth communities to complete a series of Cities, Services, and Funding Community Conversations sponsored by the League of Minnesota Cities. Each city hosted four conversations designed to learn resident preferences for tough budgeting choices that cities will need to make in the near future, and how those choices will affect service delivery.

On Saturday, the Bemidji Pioneer reported that:
In the final meeting, open to the public, the group focused on the question: What are the most important considerations to keep in mind in making these tough choices? All suggestions and ideas were accepted and then each person voted for his or her top three answers.

In no particular order, some of the most-liked answers were: health, safety and well-being of area residents; using science, i.e. water quality, to ensure health and safety; quality of life and livability; combined services, such as a joint powers system; fair tax or a sales/consumption tax; having a vision or intelligent plan in city design; consolidation and sharing of services (such as between cities or a city-county partnership, for example); and consideration of vulnerable populations through an advocate, to hear them and listen to their needs.

Next up: the City of Eveleth