Two other thoughts as we head into the holidays:
- One more note on the idea of a pay freeze for city employees. If retention of employees is a concern (and the Council is certainly correct to be concerned), then the time to take an action like a pay freeze is when everyone else is doing it. By waiting now until 2012 (or beyond) to take any action, the City risks being something of an outlier compared to the private sector and other governmental bodies, who have been making these moves in 2009/2010/2011 and have already taken those savings. Additionally, making such a move earlier allows you to get savings across the entire five-year planning period.
- A good discussion has broken out at the Chaska Herald site regarding the Athletic Park proposals. I think what proposals like this and the Downtown Master Plan point to is the need for Chaska to have a published Economic and/or Community Development Strategy. Here’s a link to such a strategy for the city of Tracy, California. This is the sort of document that the city needs to create and make available. It clearly delineates a handful of key goals, one to three strategies for achieving those goals, specific actions the city will take, and how the city will measure progress. Master Plans and Concept Plans get us part of the way, but what we really need are specific actions and measures to make clear exactly what the priorities are and to hold public officials (elected and city staff) accountable for making progress.
I hope everyone has a very Happy Holiday season!