Today Minnesota is facing a "new normal" -- with an increasingly aging population, growing public service needs, a changing workforce and a shrinking base of taxpayers -- and these circumstances require new innovations. In November 2011, more than 400 of our members from these three organizations -- city council members and administrators, county administrators and county commissioners, superintendents and school board members -- came together to do just that.
Across six meetings, some of Minnesota's most passionate and innovative local leaders came together to share their experiences with redesign and to explore new opportunities to work together across jurisdictions. They shared stories of what's working in their communities, and they shared their hopes for their community's future.
Three critical lessons are addressed in this report:
1. Redesign is facing some barriers to change. Changing the way services are managed or delivered is never easy, and it hasn't been for the local leaders working to redesign services in their communities.
2. Leaders agree that five essential elements are needed to redesign local governments. Barriers are not permanent obstacles, and many local leaders have moved past them.
3. Minnesota's local governments are ready to innovate. In fact, they're already doing it. In Beltrami County, local government leaders have redesigned dozens of services from natural resource management to workforce training and more. A consortium of schools in Northeastern Minnesota is joining technology and sharing teachers to offer !rst-class electives in the state's most rural stretches. Cities in Dakota County collaborated with the county and consolidated the 911 public safety dispatch services.