Cities continue to face challenges posed by the economy and changing demographics. Amid these and other pressures, expectations for cities to find ways to do things in new ways—to innovate—continue to grow. The League has assembled a wide variety of resources to help cities innovate, including a detailed guide to pursuing a wide range of innovation.
As local governments work to navigate fiscal constraints and growing and changing service demands, collaboration among cities, counties, and school districts is an option to explore. Those cities that have implemented collaborative efforts know this is hard work that can take significant political will and perseverance, and success is not always easy to demonstrate. There are also risks to be considered as formal agreements are drawn up. So why do so many cities embark on intergovernmental collaborations? Because such cooperative efforts hold the potential for improvements in efficiency and effectiveness.
The League, in partnership with the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC), and Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA) has developed a report called “Focus on Outcomes: Redesigning Minnesota’s Local Government Services.”
The Legislature created the Council on Local Results and Innovation in 2010 and charged it with developing 10 performance measures for cities. For cities that opt to survey their residents about public services, the League offers assistance with administering an online survey.
The publication Navigating the New Normal: A Minnesota Local Government Innovation and Redesign Guide is designed to help public officials find new and better ways to deliver public services in the midst of these difficult times. First published in 2011, the guide was updated in January 2013.