Thursday, October 4, 2012

Business as Usual

One thing "A Place in Mound" is about is challenging the status quo. Too many ways about our city are done automatically without questioning the basic underlying premises that guide us. The assumptions that are made are part of the reason why cities everywhere in the country are in a tough bind.

Consolidating police with Orono doesn't cease the budget cuts down the line. Cities need to find a new way to operate in financial times, and it can't be done with only cuts, nor is raising taxes.
Mound can continue to work under the assumptions that have guided us to a place where it's acceptable to eliminate/consolidate/reduce it's own police force, and pretend that it will be all ok.  Mound can continue to think that the major redevelopment on a major intersection is just grand on it's own, even though the city seems unconcerned that it might not break even  in property tax revenue. Mound can continue to develop places (or non-places) that people can value, or not value.

The conversations brought up here and in conversations we have with people nearly everyday highlight how ingrained the status quo is.

When the conversation turns to the speeds on Bartlett and the other highways boulevards most people think Mound just needs to put a police officer out there, or just post lower speed limit signs. With the reconstruction of these streets in the next few years, Mound, and it's neighborhoods, have an opportunity to put design changes that would slow things down, and save money. Instead of doing the same thing so Minnetrista residents can get to the office 15 seconds faster, the City of Mound needs to think differently.

Highway Bartlett as it goes through the Shirley Hills neighborhood. Does this stroad (street/road hybrid) add any value to this neighborhood?
Whenever I get to share the information about the potential loss of revenue that the city of Mound will experience with the Walgreens development, people make excuses, and talk about the other values the development brings to Mound. We don't deny those. We are more concerned about the fact this issue is never discussed in any development discussion. Mound needs change it up, and incorporate a financial outlook on these development so the whole picture is clear.

City governments are in big financial trouble, and that is only going to continue. Mound can either experiment, and explore new ways of improving itself, or it can continue with Business as Usual.