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Community Solutions Podcast

May 12, 2019 Corporations and government are always looking for that next new fad to "inspire" and  "motivate" to new levels of dedication and efficiency. We've seen things come and go from "Who Moved My Cheese?" to Six Sigma, core competencies, "Good to Great", the lean methodology. We debate the pros and cons of Waterfall and Agile project management. Another trend has moved through like a thick fog, putting employees to sleep. Cities and counties have picked up on the S.M.A.R.T. goals craze (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Reasonable, Time-Bound) to drive their agenda. In fact, the State Auditor's office began the Performance Measurement Program that asks member cities write S.M.A.R.T. Goals, and in return receive funding and a lifting of levy limits. There are a number of standard measures that need to be met in order to qualify for these incentives. Meanwhile, that huge sucking sound you hear is employee hours (and taxpayer dollars) circling the drain. A big part of this program are these useless city surveys that you receive and probably don't fill out. The questions asked tell the city absolutely nothing about anything. Cities and counties measure progress against S.M.A.R.T. goals and survey results and file a report with the Auditor's office annually. We're not saying that goals are bad. Planning is an important task, but these are goals created by the state government. Each city should be left to decide what's important to them. In response, we float the idea of D.U.M.B. goals. Help us to draft them by commenting!

Did you hear about the push by the Wisconsin governor, Tony Evers, to give back to local governments the ability to use eminent domain to confiscate private property to build biking and hiking trails? They are making the argument that recreation constitutes public use. This is a dangerous precedent.

In the Local Lowdown, we also discuss the mess in Lakeland, MN, where city council member, Jim Stanton, was hired by the city council to fill two part-time city staff positions. His wife was also hired as a contractor to the city. Mr. Stanton recently resigned from the council, rescinded his resignation, and resigned again, resulting in a division in the city council as to whether he could rescind his resignation to begin with. Grab some popcorn for this story, because it's gonna be a good one.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We’ve launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast!” You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify, or go out to the PodBabble Podcast Network!