Results Matter

RESULTS MATTER, VISION MATTERS

Prior to being elected, I put out a list of 100 things I’d try to accomplish if elected – many called it unprecedented.  I’ve invited other elected including my peers to offer their list too – so together we can get to work.  Here are some highlights and impacts in just three years.  The full list (original article) can be seen here: bit.ly/3tpjGoA

For those that want the cliffs notes:
-I’m pro YOU! (YOU MATTER)
-I’m pro community (community over caucus).
-I’m pro employee.
-I’m pro business.
-I’m pro planning for the future.
-I’m pro big vision with an action plan.
-I’m pro family, parents and caretakers.
-I’m pro a community for a lifetime for ALL.
-I’m pro lowering your tax rate.
-I’m pro wage and quality of life mobility.
-I’m pro results. RESULTS MATTER.

My campaign pillars are:
People Matter.  We should put people over politics and community over caucus.
Community Matters.  If you choose, you should be able to call this place home for a lifetime.
Finances Matter.  Smarter spending of your tax dollars.
Results Matter.  Results over rhetoric.

This is my report card, with status updates!

1. I will establish a confidential inbox for any employee to safely voice concerns, ideas or questions.  Turns out this was easier than anticipated.  Staff can (and do) e-mail me directly and messages are treated as confidential.  If you’re been told ’we’re not to speak to commissioners’ – you’re exactly who I want to hear from!
2. I will seek the input of each full time county employee a minimum of annually.  For three years in a row, I’ve personally invited EVERY staff member to voluntarily answer two questions.  This past year, 1. Where are we delivering best practices? 2. Where can we do even better?.  An estimated 10% of staff responded (up from about 3% in year one) – insights, best practices, efficiencies and knowledge have been well worth the effort!
3. I will host a ‘smarter spending session’ a minimum of once per year with front line employees on how the County can reduce costs, reduce unnecessary layers and/or increase revenues for the benefit of taxpayers. 74. I will propose an audit of device hardware, software and service agreement utilization.  78. I will propose an incentive for employees finding and saving taxpayers $100K annually. For three years in a row, I’ve hosted and invited a cross section of folks across nearly every division for one primary objective: where could we save the organization $100K or more in the next year without eliminating any staff and with no or minimal investment.  In the first year, the team suggested switching cell phone carriers – we did so at an estimated savings of $250K in year one, and an estimated annual savings of $100K.  In year two, the team focused on mileage.  An estimated $100K was saved in the first year – revisiting policy to shift personal miles to county miles, pausing on any new and/or planned vehicle purchases, and the sale of underutilized vehicles.  The third year, we expanded beyond $100K+ in savings to include how we can save the organization 1,000 hours or more in time.  The team focused on streamlining the hiring process.  Labor savings alone can eclipse 1,000 hours – much less the hard to qualify stress of follow up, losing quality candidates, having to repost due to losing quality candidates, and overall hiring manager morale.  Lots of work remains.  The path to incent staff finding significant savings is limited.  We’ve given greater emphasis to public recognition, awards and promotional opportunities.  I’ve proposed that 50% of savings tied to extreme vacancy be reinvested in the department covering the vacancy.
4. I will not vote on any major decision until there has been adequate time to hear and digest the input of stakeholders.  Multiple times I’ve paused a vote to gather more input.  Each time a better decision and/or greater community partnership resulted.
5. I will decrease the double poverty rate from 11%. 6. I will decrease the poverty rate from 5%. 43. I will close the economic disparity gap in Carver County by helping raise people from below the poverty level to above it.  Our double poverty rate is estimated at around 6% (2022) and our poverty rate is now lowest in the state at 3.9%.  Let it be said, this is the result of many, many people focused on bold solutions to tackle including elements of food security, housing, and workforce/job support and creation and the work is not done.
7. I will proactively work to provide a better path for the homeless population. 8. I will decrease the time it takes someone presenting as homeless to service from 12 – 18 months (with gold standard goal of < 3 months), to ensure best use of taxpayer dollars upstream to minimize compounding impacts downstream.  15. I will work with represented cities to pave the way for increased affordable options for 65+ housing. 44. I will continue to dedicate energies to sustainable food sources and partners.  45. I will dedicate energies for housing stability, specifically the $900 – $1,400 (current rate) range for ‘step up’ housing.  46. I will dedicate energies to lower barriers/stigma associated with getting mental health resources.  48. I will propose a safe room share program, helping make a portion of the over 9,500 rooms available in the County to those seeking shelter.   Often the best solutions are in partnership with civic, faith based, not for profit and/or philanthropy. I’m proud to have advocated and come alongside efforts of community partners including:  19 completed units of incremental housing (219 (CDA)  + 160 (BD) + 19 (L) + 12 (HH) + 6 (HA) + 220 (OR) = up to 636 proposed incremental units are in process that could come to fruition in <2 years), closing the gap of food security (depending on your measure, we’re $80K/year away from 100% of people in need in the county having access to healthy meals), and yet another closed a food desert gap (Cologne/Surrounding).  As a county, we’re taking lead to convene a community leader round table to delve into root causes and tangible solutions of the impact of mental health including addiction and guiding opiod and fentenal settlements in a high impact way.

I led the charge to allocate funding for up to 219 incremental units through our CDA relationship.  I also supported a $50 per household levy increase to fund additional units, need for space, and expand to a sizable project in Victoria – this proposal was shut down by peers.  I’ve been vocal in articulating that just 15% of the calculated housing need is being addressed via our primary agency tasked in this space.  I’ve advocated for three considerations, 1. 7 Every 7 (paving the way for a partnership whereby 7 communities commit to a sizeable (60+ unit) project every 7 years.  2. 4% Fund (whereby the county would commit levy for 4% of the build cost – the equivalent of $3K per bed or $10K per unit) and in conjunction with 4 other partners (city, philanthropy, builder, cda), to help fund 20% of a unit build cost and manage for a minimum of 30 years.  3. 100 Units Per Year for 20 Years (paving the way to close the known demand for housing of wage earning people working in our community that can’t afford to live in our community, a plan that mixes subsizides, privately build and alternative solutions (think building convers, tiny, room share, manufactured homes, etc.).  I’ve also come to understand long held state systems are a barrier for various reasons and am working upstream on influencing decision makers to close the gap.  At current, one needs to more or less deliver a resume of hardship and repeated struggle before getting upstream to prevent homelessness (vs. address downstream).  It’s an estimated 10X more costly to wait for a need to bubble vs. move upstream.
9. I will continue to proactively meet with a minimum of 25+ taxpayers/stakeholders each quarter to hear the concerns, ideas and questions of our community.  12. I will continue to listen to taxpayers and stakeholders, and proactively encourage residents (particularly those impacted by County Commissioner decisions) to participate upstream in conversations and plans.18. I will identify and continue to invite 10+ businesses each quarter to showcase Carver County and invite their input on how the County can help retain, grow and attract new business. 38. I will continue to maintain a personal advisory board representing an intentional cross section of Carver County stakeholders.  Though I no longer keep track, each month I’m in front of an estimated 250 – 300 individuals and 20 – 50+ business owners seeking their insights and concerns – some 1:1, others in groups, others through accepting speaking invitations at schools, home owners associations, and beyond.
10. I will increase the diversity/balance of board and committee appointments (age diversity, race, gender, etc.) to represent the larger Carver County population.  13. I will lead the charge for modified systems to attract a more diverse pool of candidates (this will lead to more than one qualified individual at the manager level or above that is a person of color (the current level (<1%) and will more closely mirror the community we service (currently 7%+ POC). Arguably, we now have the most balanced and diverse boards we’ve ever had.  Diversity comes in many forms, but prior to election we’ve never had an African American or Asian committee board chair, two student committee representatives, and an individual identifying as transgender to name a few.  I believe intentional proximity is one of the best paths to having a staff that mirrors our community, and have found when we succeed here our community benefits from broad inputs and ideas.  Carver County also fairs very well in annual diversity audits.
11. I will respond to district taxpayers within 48 business hours of request. 49. I will establish a response standard for customer facing positions at the County (for instance, I will propose a rule like 2/15/30 employed while a franchise owner; answer the phone within 2 rings, greet a customer within 15 seconds, respond to email within 30 minutes). I shortend this to 24 hours – nearly 100% of the time (have to account for times like being on vacation and taking three days to respond) I’ve achieved this.  I also had the 24 hour expectation added to our strategic plan for all staff/peers, and include ‘expect response within 24 hours’ on my e-mail tag. Test me (others) and let me know what you experience.
14. I will lead the charge to audit and drive change in County culture to make working at Carver County more attractive, for more people and more representative of the population served.  Unfortunately, here’s an area I’ve not been successful to date.  I’ll persist.  In a nut shell, a proven, cost effective approach with a sizable ROI was proposed multiple times and was shut down.  The reason given? ‘We wouldn’t want our unions to get ahold of the data’.  Sad.  I’ve also repeatedly proposed each people manager be given investment to host bi-annual wellness events for their team not left to managers’ personal funding.  16. I will pave the way with fewer unnecessary layers to help attract 100+ incremental, non exportable jobs paying $60K+.  To date, we’ve had two sizable proposals (up from zero in the last 10+ years) to have Carver County on the short list of $10M+, 100+ employee enterprises relocating here.  I’m also active in advocating for a commerce overlay on 212 to attract more industrial and commercial businesses to compliment our landscape – these are long lead time efforts showing promise!
17. I will reduce the number of households without high speed internet access (from 11%).  Simply put, when I came in, an estimated 11% of households in our county didn’t have access to high speed fiber, and no plan to close the gap.  I’m so proud to share that we’re now fully funded and expect to be the first county in the state with 100% rural fiber by 2026.1
19. I will lower barriers impacting reading proficiency at District 112 (currently 30% of kids are below the reading proficiency level).  We’re making significant headway.  I wrote an article about the 5 ways I’d help the district accomplish this.  I’m proud to have been asked to serve on the Superintendent’s Parent Advisory.  I’m also proud we’ll have two kids in the district in 2024.  These five areas have been my focus: 1. Close the economic disparity gap 2. Food stability 3. Housing stability 4. Mental Health resources 5. Access to high speed internet.  All have been covered in updates above.
20. I will drive overdue expansion of 212 to 4 lanes or provide concrete timelines in first term. 21. I will drive overdue expansion of highway 5 to 4 lanes or provide concrete timelines in the first term.  Wow – some said it was impossible.  We’re in the midst of delivering both projects by 2027.  When I came in, I heard a lot of blaming Chaska for Highway 5 getting done.  When you peeled back the onion, Chaska had no plans to develop the land between the Arb and McKnight park until 2045, and at that time development funding would help pave 82nd, making way for 5.  Knowing that, there was one clear path – engaging state representatives to help fund the city portion of 82nd street, and engaging federal representatives to fund 212.  Both were successful.  Many can take credit, the bottom line is perhaps best captured by a visitor at the October 2023 initial design meeting at the Arb, ‘what the hell took so long? I’m happy someone values results over rhetoric.’.
22. I will attend Victoria City Council Meetings a minimum of 2X per year. 23. I will provide an annual update to City of Victoria as a key partner. 24. I will attend Chaska City Council Meetings a minimum of 2X per year. 25. I will provide an annual update to City of Chaska as a key partner. 26. I will attend D112 School Board Meetings a minimum of 2X per year. 27. I will provide an annual update to District 112 at a key partner.41. I will provide an annual results report card, providing a status of key issues to stakeholders.  During covid, no one could predict the acceleration of Zoom and Teams calls.  Frankly, it makes it easier to be plugged in to what’s going on locally including tuning in to recorded city council and school board meetings – especially after the kids are in bed!  In addition, we’ve made it a practice at Carver County to issue two bi annual impact reports shared with our elected peers.  You can find those here:  www.youmattertomatt.com/reportcard
28. I will continue to host a neighborhood listening/information/chat session in each neighborhood I represent.  Candidly, due to a lack of interest and thwarted marketing efforts – I’ve shifted my attention away from formal listening sessions to posting my information for anyone who wants to contact me.  Hundreds of 1:1 coffees have resulted, and I’ve made a habit of bringing conversations of substance to the convenience of your home via Facebook Live ‘Chat with Matt’ about once per month.  Chat’s include 12 questions, across roughly 20 minutes from topics ranging from charitable efforts, local media, association planning, elected officials and community leaders.
29. I will continue to help attract, teach and groom future leaders for commissions, boards, etc. 56. I will propose a student representative have the opportunity to be appointed to each commissioner appointed board.  The county needs an estimated 15,000 applicants to fill an estimated 1,500 jobs in the next 10 years.  Each year I make myself available to the schools (particularly high schools) in the district I represent to come speak.  I also extended the invitation to come to the government center for tours.  Annually, teachers representing approximately 1,000 youth take me up on the offer.  We’ve since streamlined the effort – and are in the midst of composing a 30 minute video made for civics teachers to share with their class to give a taste of county government.  I’ve also launched ‘Every Junior’ program, making tours more accessible.  Stay tuned!  We also went through a deep dive on what boards students were best equipped to serve on – outside of the planning commission (where students are welcome to attend, but was determined if they don’t pay taxes, it’s a hard sell on weighing in on land use issues) students are welcome on all boards.  Unfortunately, my effort to award a scholarship or stipend to students successfully completing a year of board service was shot down.
30. I will propose a way to honor the heritage and history of farmers. 31. I will propose a way to honor the heritage and history of teachers. 32. I will propose a way to honor the heritage and history of veterans. 33. I will propose a way to honor Carver County employees who have made significant contributions to the county in their careers.  I led the charge to dedicate a stretch of road to Farmers and Their Families.  Unfortunately, some wanted to play politics instead of making a minor adjustment to signage language.  If only capable community members would dedicate their energies to making this place better vs. trying to tear it apart.  They won’t succeed.  I’m also proud to have supported dedicating a stretch of road to veterans.  Naming for future parks has been proposed multiple times including ‘Teachers Park’ and ‘Farmers Park’.  These things take time.
34. My service as County Commissioner will not exceed the equivalent of 3 full terms (12 years), unless under extraordinary circumstances or no other qualified candidate decides to run. 3 years in, we’re off to a good start!
35. I will propose a regional training/educational facility partnerships specifically for increased trade training and work readiness. We now have active partnerships with ISD288 and D112 – if all goes to plan, you’ll see a tangible output from what I call Trades 360 as early as 2024, and a partnership to address sorely needed CDL drivers and industrial mechanics as early as 2025.  In the interim, our HR and Public Works team have taking bold strides to get certified and equip existing staff with an affordasble path to CDL licensure. Stay tuned!
36. I will propose expanded trails, trail connections and signage for bike paths contributing to healthy living. 37. I will narrow the massive health disparity gap in Carver County.  An informal list of the top 25 identified needed trail connections is becoming formalized.  About half will be delivered in the next 8 years are part of programmed road projects – one specific example is the trail linkage between 82nd Street and Highway 5 on Bavaria Road.  Also proud to have helped lead the first substantial revisiting of our parks master plan, bring to light 20 years of deferred maintenance, and am leading the charge to fund bringing our parks up to standards while expanding amenities and land holdings for our future.  One of many tangible examples is the work at Lake Waconia Regional (the first major building in over 20 years) and at Lake Minnewashta Park (rethinking the replacement of a 25+ year park structure with normal useful life of 15 – 20 years).
39. I will establish a ‘welcome correspondence’ with all new residents showcasing our community and the services available to them.  Every new resident to the district I represent get’s a welcome post card and an invitation to engage directly or through service on one of our county boards.
40. I will propose an annual Carver County community gathering for Carver County residents  Some would say the Carver County Fair would be adequate – but imagine an annual celebration of our heritage and history at the Andrew Peterson Farm.  Stay tuned!
42. I will establish an annual outreach to our veterans for bi-annual review of benefits and services available, and to ensure there is a better mechanism to know and take care of every veteran. 63. I will lead efforts for greater awareness among veterans for available services and reduce wait times for response. 64. Veterans requesting a replacement ID will not have to wait more than 18 months to get one. 65. Veterans will be provided an accurate list of services (like hearing aid fitting, etc.) and the closest service location, and transportation options if not provided in Carver County.  Our former VSO (Veteran Service Officer) took a sizable promotion, and we were able to hire a new VSO that has hit the ground running.  Before, through and after the transition – we’ve installed an expectation that veterans will get a response within 24 hours of request 95% or more of the time.  This is huge!  In addition, our VSO office partakes in an estimated 100 events a year building relationships with known and unknown veterans.
47. I will lead change to reduce the 18.2% free and reduced meal population at D112, alleviating the burden to the school district and teachers.  I think we can all agree a belly full if healthy food leads to better learning outcomes.  The federal government felt the same way when they implemented breakfast and lunch are now provided for all kids and funded by your federal tax dollars.  If there’s a change in future policy, we’re well positioned to address largely with support from not for profit, places of worhing, civic and philanthropic efforts.
50. I will reduce average DMV customer wait times for key services.  51. I will propose a model that ensures each patron of the DMV will receive a menu of services if in the door by 4P  We did a deep dive early in 2022.  Know what we found out? The state wanted $4,500 for the data to determine how we rank – in terms of efficiency, transactions, break even/surplus, and if we’re under/over sized for future growth.  Some of that was due to past legacy systems.  We opted to not pay the dollars, let the mess of covid 19 clear, and schedule to request the information in 2024 at no cost.  In the midst, positive changes have resulted in:

-Services offered until 430.
-Increased scheduling options
-Text freedom whereby patrons can be in a virtual queue and be notified when their place in line is ready
-Significant staff retention efforts
-Lobbying (and getting) additional funding from State for increased work

52. I will support and be active on the Sheriff’s community advisory board or the like. 53. I will be active in supporting Sheriff’s efforts to address drug use, sex trafficking, responsible body camera use, officer recruitment, officer retention, de-escalation, and deputy support services.  I continue to serve on the Crucial Conversations team.  I fully supported body cams funding and rollout.  And at least annually do a ride along with sheriff’s deputies AND am joined by the sheriff or staff for National Night Out visiting 5 – 10 neighborhood events.
54. I will push for expanded 24/7 access to our libraries.  55. I will push for our libraries to be open more than 25% of available hours. 62. I will lead efforts for greater library utilization. I was asked to chair the regional MELSA board representing 8 library systems in the metro.  The day I took on that role, I declared it a year of expanded access and got to work with what that means.  We’re close to funding to interested systems wishing to expand library hours through technology, and we’re a catalyst for bringing library TO people (think elderly that are less mobile, bike mobile for pop up youth story time, etc.)
57. I will communicate with all district households annually (not just in an election year).  I have come to recognize I’m one of the most accessible elected officials.  I took the advice of a constituent who said, ‘save the postage, we know where to find you if we need anything, and know you’re working your a** off for the people’.  I’ll continue to show up to 100+ events a year (probably close to 250 if you include ballgames, festivals and community coffees), and deliver update on social media.
58. I will vote against Marsh Lake Road expansion to 4 lanes. Hasn’t been an issue.  We’ll revisit as Victoria continues on their growth path.
59. I will not vote for or approve a mental health facility without public forum where people can be heard and offer their perspectives. Steiner Kelting operated by People’s Incorporated was open only after we had sufficient community engagement.  At the opening, residents were invited to attend – any stakeholder can also request a tour and I’m happy to provide.
60. I will partner closely with the Arts, Arts Consortium, etc. in concert with mental health efforts. If you haven’t been to our Government Center,  come see it!  The blank walls are getting filled with creative artwork that fills the space!
61. I will lead efforts for greater parks utilization.  We had an estimated 800K park visits when I was elected, we’re at 1.2M now – and I’ve cast vision for 5M visits by 2050 (broken down like this: 2 visits per resident per month + 30% from visitors – be it out of town grandparents, friends, familys, tourists, etc.)
66. I will propose signage and safe routing of guests to the Carver County Environmental Center. 67. I will propose a review of the service hours of our high traffic, customer facing services to ensure they are optimized for service demands (ie: Carver County Environmental Center). 92. I will address congestion of the County Recycling Center. Through the planning process of the Costco/41 roundabout, signifiant inputs and energy was put at best flow.  Signage was a piece of this equation.  User patterns will continue to be monitored and adjusted to optimize the times of use and responsible staffing and associated costs.  Future planning for ‘when we outgrown the site’ is underway and includes consideration for space already owned at the Public Works area in Cologne.
68. I will lead efforts to digitize services (ie: wedding licenses, etc.) and ensure there are options for service during events like Covid19. Many examples of this – greater online scheduling at DMV and passports two examples.
69. I will propose a $13.5K reduction in Commissioner Pay. 70. I will never vote for a $13.5K Commissioner Pay increase. 71. I will never vote for a 28% Commissioner pay increase. 72. I will propose any Commissioner pay increase be calculated using the same peer counties as non Commissioner employees.  It was proposed.  It didn’t go well.  In fact, one commissioner proposed an increase of $250/month for expenses.   I also proposed commissioner compensation be linked to staff increases and decoupled from what peer counties are doing.  I proposed a formula to guide pay whereby the last three year average organization pay increase LESS .25% be used.  All agreed it was a good idea, but quickly moved to the way it’s always been – proposing a % higher than the proposal.  I voted against it.
73. I will implement randomized line item review (minimum of 5 per month) for expenditures over $500 to drive greater transparency and accountability.  I did this monthly for the first two years and learned a ton.  Since then I do quarterly.  We have top notch finance folks with adequate checks and balances.
75. I will propose each Commissioner have a maximum travel and expense dollar amount each year. 76. I will propose each Commissioner report goals, objectives and results of any out of state travel or while representing the County.  77. I will propose an independent audit of Commissioner travel and expenses, to ensure taxpayers are getting value for their dollars.  100. I will not exceed 25% (or 49% for that matter) of the overall commissioner travel budget.   We each get a budget and submit plans in advance.  Finance has a high level of scrutiny and checks and balances in place (including a policy to not allow taxpayer funded flights be received as personal frequent flyer miles!). My travels have included focus on workforce, federal funding (significant success in DC), best practices (partnering with long time HHS Director to gleam compare/contrast in topics ranging from budget planning, etc.)
79. I will ensure our employees per 1,000 in population is inline with peer counties.  When the boomers age out, the reality is we’ll have the equivalent of about 20% less workforce capacity.  It seems prudent to rightsize operations to reflect that.  When I came in, the county was at 7.1 FTE (full time equivalent) positions per 1,000 populations, our peers were around 5.7.  I’m not a fan of layoffs.  I’m also not a fan of high turnover.  That said, our county has experienced the highest turnover rate (close to 17%) in our history (many factors).  This is the time to ‘right size’ our organization without impacting staff and their families with layoffs.  In the first two years in office, we were on a path to go from 7.1 to 6.0 in less than 5 years, and on par with our peers at 5.7 in 10 years – gradually and through national attrition and planning.
80. I will introduce a new business designation, making it easier to operate in the county as a business without having to circumvent current systems using not for profit status. This has been proposed and a work session schedule for 10/2023.
81. I will work to ensure we are no longer the most taxed county in the state.  87. I will manage to a flat or reduced tax levy rate (driving incremental revenues from stronger property values, diversified tax base and rooftop growth),  I’ve helped craft, advocate and drive down our tax rate – this positive trend is in jeopardy as our board chair proposed 6.8%.  If the 6.8% holds, we’ve have the largest year of year tax rate increase, the highest proposed tax rate increase and the first time in 15+ years our tax rate would go up – all compared to our peer counties.   Since we have the highest average property values in the state, even a lower tax rate will keep us toward the top of tax dollars per average household. That said, data suggest we went from the 72nd lowest tax rate to the 78th in the last two years – relatively speaking we’re moving ‘in the right direction’.
82. I will lead efforts to attract businesses that are good for and compliment the Carver County resources and culture. 83. I will lower the barriers to business success and expansion for existing businesses.  I’m pro business. Not just in words, in action.  We’ll need a change of mentality to be successful at the county level in being a player in economic development and attraction efforts.  That said, I’m proud to be part of what I see as the top three areas county has significantly move the needle in terms of economic devleopmetn; 1. 212 and 5.  2. Parks and Trails (people who stay and those attracted to carver county – along with current and future employers) point to our parks and trails as a top three driver for ‘why carver county’. 3. 100% Broadband Fiber.
84. I will not accept union dollars for fundraising, nor any perception of being owned or bought by outside interest, special interests, or singular political parties. Done.
85. I will review all direct and indirect taxes (wheelage tax, gas tax, etc.) to ensure Carver County residents are aware of their ‘total tax’ profile. 88. I will pay for all personal travel out of personal dollars. Done. I’ve led conversations to consider what sunsetting our sales tax, pulling back our wheelage tax and lowering fees would do.
86. I will reduce the unemployment rate in Carver County  Everyone’s unemployment is at or near all time lows.  Hard to take any credit here, but am proud to help drive initiatives to keep it that way.
89. I will propose restoring fees to Baylor Park for out of county guests. 90. I will propose restoring fees to Minnewashta Park for out of county guests.  Seems silly that prior boards ended fees when we were collecting around $250K in fees, 60% of which were coming from outside the county – all while having no funding/plan for 20 years of deferred parks maintenance.  In essence, we taxed residents $150K more a year to make the parks many were willing to pay to use.  Why wouldn’t we just make Carver County Parks free to residents?  Why not make a voluntary pay box? Why not showcase our future projects and let people see and invest in a parks accelerator fund?  All questions I’ve asked, all efforts I hope to keep alive.  Still looking for some common sense support.
91. I will propose restoring lawn refuse services in Carver County. This was proposed.  What we found by and large was residents like the associated dollars allocated to their local city and township efforts (like fall pickup days, vouchers to take to provider, and/or let competitive business serve this need). I support less government in this area where competitive businesses can compete for your business on a service basis.
93. I will not take credit for the work of hard working county employees.  94. I will propose all ribbon cutting, ground breaking or the like be performed by community members and those having greatest impact to bringing projects to completion.  Each board meeting I try to make a point to find and elevate the efforts of our staff.  Weekly I write a handwritten note to acknowledge a staff member going ‘above and above’.  Every ribbon cutting, I invite at least one community or staff member to attend and take credit for their efforts.  Finally, twice a year I roll a beverage cart to personally interact, greet, say thank you and seek insights from staff.
95. I will evaluate County funding and partnership with SW Transit. 96. I will re-evaluate the merits of partnership with Scott County on Transit.  Underway.  Autonomous and Electrified Vehciles are topics of discussion.  Also are paths to consolidation.
97. I will commit to prioritizing Carver County Commissioner meetings, and will publicly disclose any reason for missing regularly scheduled board meeting  Done.  There was that one time that I was 11 minutes late because I was putting my daughter on the bus for her first day of school and I guess the board decided that wasn’t worth the wait.
98. I will invite local DFL and GOP leadership to come together for an annual meeting to outline their top priorities annually (and work to reduce partisan division for the good of the taxpayer).  99. I will not accept donations from the Chair of the GOP, the Chair of the DFL or candidates/past candidates motivated by partisan politics.  Done.  Let it be noted that not every leader has interest in meeting or finding common ground.
102. I will not claim any affiliation for any representation on boards or committees I haven’t attended in 2 or more years.  Done. As a matter of fact, I’ve pulled myself off boards that aren’t interested in working on behalf of the people or are more interested in playing politics than finding solutions.
103. I will spend my time advocating for Carver County.  I’ve passed on invitations to run for state roles and I’ve passed on boondoggle trips outside of county that are either redundantly attended or provide no measurable value or path to value for our county.