Sunday, December 05, 2004

Will Wonders Never Cease!

In the brief time that I have been criticizing the Star Tribune editorial pages I've complained about the sloppy thinking, vitriol towards Republicans and conservatives (not quite the same thing), and bias against same that appears there on a regular basis. Well today I was in for quite a shock, since the Strib ran some opinion pieces that actually sound pretty reasonable ( see here, here, here, and here). In fact the way the Strib advocates a move to a trimmer, more accountable government for the city of Minneapolis sounds almost ... Republican!

Steve Berg's piece describes how the structure of Minneapolis' government is an impediment to effectively and efficiently running the city, and how difficult it can be for citizens and employees of the city of Minneapolis to work with their government. Staff members getting conflicting instructions from supervisors and City Councilmen, and the struggles to reconcile the often conflicting demands of 13 city councilmen, the Park Board, and the Library Board.

A piece by John Gunyou provides his analysis of why the "weak mayor-strong council" form of government is not working well for Minneapolis and why it should be change. He points out that with 250 contact numbers for city departments, for example, that it can be very difficult for residents with a problem to figure out who the right people to contact are.

Another article, this time by the occasionally criticized on this blog Jim Boyd, explains the history of how Minneapolis got the government structure it has.

Today's editorial describes again (in brief) the problems they perceive in Minneapolis governmental structure and lay out their ideas on how to fix it. I don't agree with everything they say, but it's not a bad start. They even admit to needing some Republican influence in how the city is run (has the world ended? - ed, ).

All four of the pieces mentioned above are well worth reading, if only for the primer they provide on how the government of Minneapolis is (un)organized and the description of the problems it faces. But since there always seems to be one bad apple on the Strib's tree, here's a piece by Lori Sturdevant ( Isn't she the one who's so partisan she makes your hair bleed?- ed. Shut up.) that makes a lame attempt to blame the city's governance problems on the state GOP, despite the fact that the borrowing and pension decisions that are financially crippling the city now were taken during the time when the DFL had complete control of both the city and the state. But even she concedes that much of the city's problems are of its own making (quite a concession for her). Anyway well worth reading, especially for Minneapolis residents.

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