Spectrum: Citizens League meeting on the Metropolitan Council

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In 1967 the legislature created the Metropolitan Council to address problems like waste disposal, transit, and urban sprawl. In this annual meeting of the Citizens League, members discuss the origins of the Metropolitan Council, where it is going, and the implications in other areas for this type of approach to regional government.

Speakers at forum include Rollin Crawford, president of Citizens League president; Dean Lund, member of League of Minnesota Cities; John Boland, chairman of the Metropolitan Council; Charles Clay, member of Citizen’s League; and Martin Sabo, speaker of the Minnesota House.

Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.

The first person that we're going to call on to give a bit of perspective on perhaps how we got to where we are and the how this whole thing started this Metropolitan government that we face. That were working with now is Dean Lund Dean Lund is presently the executive secretary of the league of Minnesota cities at that time. He was working a most directly with the Metropolitan section of the Minnesota League of municipalities. The question is the dean what was going on, then I worked with Dean those days. We testified before a lot of legislative committees on fiscal disparities questions. I guess I'm somewhat amused at this point to ask a Dean what was going on then because I can remember he and I asking each other frequently what's going on at any rate Dean. Would you like to give us your perspective and thoughts on what was going on back in 1965 and 67? Thank you very much Raleigh. I think Rollies comments are kind of appropriate in the sense that he was not the only one here tonight other than myself who was involved in that as matter fact in many ways. There are some people in the audience and rolly who might offer a better perspective than I can including a r naftalin and Mel time zone wolf. So if those actors that were on the stage and 65 and 67 wish to take exception not to what I say, or do embellish it later. I hope they'll have an opportunity to do so. Wyndham Raleigh was kind of explaining a little bit about the Citizens League and the way it operates. I guess it brought home to me. A difference. I think it's a fairly fundamental difference in the way. The Citizens League approached the problem or the problems in the metropolitan area in 1965 and 1967. And the way the municipal officials did Chuck Clay is going to talk a little bit about the Citizens League approach later, but I guess the way I would characterize them as the Citizens League approach was kind of an intellectual approach and I think the municipal approach to the problem was something I would call experience Center. It's kind of the difference between the professor of of agricultural economics and the farmer or it's the difference between reading a book on marriage and being married and they are quite different. the way in which Municipal officials approach the problem or the reason they became interested in it was really rooted in Practical problems, which they were facing in their own communities the fundamental and very practical problem, which really caused me to fundamentally cause Municipal officials to take a look. At Metropolitan structure was the sewage problem not every city border the Mississippi or a lake in which to dispose of the affluent and therefore the Practical necessity of some kind of a joint effort beyond the Sanitary District which Encompass the to Central City was absolutely necessary. They recognized that we had problems of metropolitan transit that were not adequately dealt with by then Twin City lines and a perforation of small suburban bus companies and they were at least beginning to conceive of the necessity for having some kind of guiding force to development in the metropolitan area much as in their own communities. They had planning commission's and a city council which guided the development of the Growing cities this was not a philosophical or theoretical kind of an exercise. I suspect the only real philosopher in the whole dialogue was our and he had the contest with some very practical people like any wolf and Mill x e and a and stanols who are coming at the problem in essence from the bottom. In other words. They said, okay. How does this affect my city? And if we extrapolate that problem and all the other cities, how do we come together in some way so that we can address this problem? I think this pragmatic or experience centered approach cause them to focus in on only those problems which obviously were of a metropolitan nature and obviously had to be dealt with on that basis. They did not address nor consider basically a restructuring of local government. They did not really seriously consider a merger of the Seven Counties in the one big County. They basically did not consider a wholesale merger of cities, even though there were more than a hundred cities at that point. What they did fundamentally was to consider superimposing in effect on the existing structure some kind of a vehicle through which the Practical problems they saw could be addressed. even the structure that they came up with really was a reflection of their own Municipal experiences in a in a sense. If you look at that structure, it's in it's an extension of local government. They considered the Metropolitan government structure a logical extension of local government. They did not consider it to be an agency of the state or a vehicle of the state or an arm of the state. Four basic principles that they came up with number one that the Metro Government should be limited. Rather than a general unit of government. In other words that should address those matters that the legislature specifically identified as being ones that could not be dealt with at the local level. Secondly the policy and financial control should be by a single unit of government. Not a series of Special Districts not some kind of a coordinating umbrella, but in effect a single operating unit at the Metropolitan level much as you would find in a city thirdly the governing body should be directly elected again. They brought that from their own experience in and translated it directly to the Metropolitan level. They is Municipal officials were members of the policy body of the city liable if that work well at the city level why not had use the same pattern at the Metro level. Finally, there should be a single Unified Government structure headed by a professional manager. a page right out of the council-manager plan of local government some of the other important influences that were I feel that that time that had a very great influence on the way, you know school officials looked at at that problem was the existence for the previous 10 years of the Metropolitan Planning Commission. A lot of people I think do not really spend much time thinking about the Planning Commission. But in a fact it's kind of provided a graduate course in urban problems in the Twin City area for a whole series of Municipal officials that later were at the Forefront of the development of the municipal position. The second thing that was very influential was the existence of Municipal organizations in a fact serving somewhat the function that the Citizens League does for the general public but Municipal organizations, like the Ramsey County league in the Hennepin County Lee, which it affect became the debating societies for how this problem should be dealt with I can remember before I came to work with the Metropolitan section the morning after or the day. After every Hennepin County League meeting are there were prominent headlines about the the verbal duels the previous night between Kenny Wolfe and our task that really had a very important educational effect in this whole dialogue or debate within the municipal house. By the time I came on board in December 1966. Most of the basic questions had already been determined as you all know. What came out of the legislative process in 1967 was not a nice clean elected Metropolitan government. It was something that was conceived in the legislative halls and was kind of an accommodation or a compromise. I guess my own feeling having observed that session was that the kinds of efforts that did go on and younes will government that also in the Citizens League had a very fundamental of fact, however, even though we didn't achieve our objectives the effect was that at least as I perceive that in the first weeks of that session there was very strong sentiment on the part of the leadership in both the house and the Senate not to take any action during the 67 session on this issue. Within five or six weeks they had read the political signs. And at least I perceived they came to the conclusion. They could not hold that position and therefore they had to develop a substitute for what was being advocated by the citizens league and by that time the Metropolitan section delete. So although we did not accomplish all we set out to accomplish. I think it would be fair to say that some very substantial progress that was made during that session is a result of the crystallization of ideas and the pressures that were applied through are several organizations. I might just make a couple of comments about what has transpired since then although that's beyond Ted's assignment to my speakers always have a little room for license and I like the exercise at I think as I indicated Municipal people really conceived of the count as an extension of local government and they really identified with its creation. Even though it was not exactly the way they want it. However, I think it would be fair to say that the early years of the council genuinely troubled Municipal officials. I think basically because they did not consider that they were inside of that structure that they were recognized as kind of a legitimate constituency. They had the feeling rightly or wrongly that the council and the staff kind of held them at arm's length as kind of a provincial group of people that were not capable really of addressing or making a meaningful contribution to the Metropolitan debate. I think one of them most. Beneficial from our perspective are from my perspective one of the most beneficial changes, which is come about in the council in the last several years has not been a structural change, but it's been a personality change and that really is the appointment of the current chairman John Boland because one of the early things he did was to appoint a Chairman's advisory committee made up of local mayors. And what he did in a fact was to give the council back at least partially the city government. I think the result of that and the result of the political kind of fence-mending that that is cost has allowed the Twin City area to make some very substantial progress in a number of controversial areas. That would not have been possible. Otherwise examples of these are public housing in the suburbs. There is no way in my opinion. We would have public housing in the suburbs unless there had been the involvement of local officials in the development of those plans and support of those plans in the legislative process. I think the same is true of the mandatory planning at a great long series of negotiations took place between the staff of the council and local officials. Some people may feel that too many accommodations are compromises were made in that process, but the result of that process was at least from our perspective quite a reasonable log and the result was that the agencies of municipal government were in support of that act as it went through the legislative process in trying rather than trying to stop. I think that's kind of a difference between a practical political approach to solving problems and what some people might call an intellectual approach. I think the advantage of this metropolitan area is that we have both we do have the intellectual approach which obviously has a very real place in solving problems. We also have a very active political process not just in elections and partisan politics, but in the process that goes on between local elected officials in the state legislature and the Metropolitan Council. Thank you very much. And thank you Dean the next person that was going to shed some light on at least the Citizens League involvement at that time and the beginnings of the idea and concept of Metropolitan government in this area is Chuck clay who's been very active in the Citizens League for many years long before I ever probably knew about the Citizens League at that particular time in the history of the league in the history of this metropolitan area Chuck was the chairman of the Metropolitan Affairs Committee of the citizens leave that committee at that time came out with a report. I'd like to ask a Chuck to comment on that committee's activities and how it viewed what was going on in the metropolitan area at that time how it drew on the experiences of other municipalities and their ideas in formulating its conclusions and Report check. Thank you Riley. I'm not sure that I feel up to representing the intellectual approach to Metropolitan problems tonight, but I'll I'll do my best for me. It's the first time that I've been asked to appear as Knoll timer and reminisce about how things were way back then and I wasn't sure if I should accept the assignment or plead not guilty to be in at all being me an old-timer are we did? Dina's mention this we did that apply number of problems that were appeared us to be Metropolitan problems. And we came to the conclusion early. That's some form of Metropolitan structure was needed to deal with these problems. I think it's significant that one of the problems that we identified back in 1966 was the Dutch elm disease. So at least we were getting an early start on those problems. We had Metropolitan government in this area that time we had had it for quite a number of years in the form of these single-purpose District such as the airports commission the sort my thoughts or District mosquito control district, the Metropolitan Planning Commission. The basic problem is we saw it was with the legislature continue to build on this single-purpose type of solution or would it create a new form of governmental structure of a table of people this area to regain control of the problem solving. In this area dealing with these Metropolitan problems. We followed that the single purpose districts were doing by and large is satisfactory job of administering or delivering the services that they were charged with delivering but they were no help at all in solving new Metropolitan problems. The Twin City metropolitan service Sewer District for instance was adequately performing their job, but there are no help at all in deciding where the new sewer plant should be how they should be financed and questions of that nature. The basic need is we saw it was for a policy-making body for this metropolitan area, which will be based on a one-person one-vote form of government. As Dean mentioned we believe also that this should be a limited. Powers multi-purpose governmental unit other words, it would have only those Powers if a deal only those with those problems that was specifically specifically delegated by the legislature. We found that this form of government policy making body was needed to develop a metropolitan consensus in this area as to what to do about these problems that had been identified. We had a particular situation and I are you or buy it was almost it was necessary to have almost unanimous agreement. Whoever deal with the Metropolitan problem. This is because of the practice in the legislature of refusing to deal with local bills, unless there was local agreement on what should be done as a practical matter that said by all the legislation legislators and the area is a practical matter that was impossible to get the Sewer District or the sewer problem. I've been wrestling with since 1961 and no progress had been made. Secondly once or if you ever did get a solution arrived at and agreed upon in the legislature that it was necessary to get the local consent of every unit of government those affected by that legislation. And so the first was impossible II was even more difficult solos problems made it necessary that we create a policy-making body that could deal with these problems. Secondly, what was the experience in other areas where we didn't find too much that was helpful. They are the two main forms of Metropolitan structure that we saw were either these so-called super Connie such as Dade County in Miami Florida, which was buying large A administrative unit of government, but we didn't see that that was meet our problem. Here we are and we didn't see much possibility of getting it even if it would we were dealing with seven colonies with almost no possibility that they would almost there all be merged into one super administrative unit. And it didn't really meet the policy-making problems, which we saw the second form of government that was traveling at the time was the so-called Council of governments, which is really a debating Society more or less made up of representatives from various units of government and they were being used to provide local consent in connection with Federal legislation, but they didn't really again provide and effect. Unit of government on a one-person one-vote basis to solve Metropolitan problems. In fact logic sent there was a basic conflict of interest when a person who is a elected representative to one unit of government try to serve on an overall is a representative an overall basis and another level of government. You really had an inherent conflict that made it very difficult to serve. So we proceeded to create our own. Particular form of government which we thought would meet our problems here and finally what were the issues debated? Well, I think that we very early ride to the consensus on the need for a new unit of government. We need a ride to the consensus on a that it had to be a policy-making government main debate quickly or the other soon turn into what should the structure of this be rather than whether we should have it or not. And then the arguments turn the volume and what I should be elected or not, whether it should have 29 members or 15 members were they should be full-time or part-time but very early on it was a great there's a large consensus by most people who are considered in the area. That's what the need was the debate turn the questions of form and structure. 67 and has made substantial progress since that time probably probably the greatest need or Improvement. That should be made would be the direct election of the console. Thank you. I think Chuck that you represented the intellectual approach to these problems very well. I next Steph speaker on the agenda tonight is a John Boland John Boland is a former legislator and his had involvement in Metropolitan problems from that standpoint for quite some time. He's more recently, of course chairman of the Metropolitan Council that represents the 7 County area John finds himself now as a Frontiersman and another sort of way as he represents the Metropolitan Council going out across the country at the request of many other municipalities and and areas metropolitan areas to expound upon what's going on here what this idea holds for other areas, and I'd like to have John comment to for us tonight a little bit about what he's finding is he goes across the country and I He's traveling a lot about the interest that he finds there and and what he's doing and what the Metro council's doing the kinds of things that are going on in this metropolitan area. Thank you Rollin. I was privileged by 6 months ago to be elected to the board of directors of the National Association of regional councils, which is the National Organization that deals with this kind of thing and I'm coming to a conclusion slowly in somewhat painfully. I think that we may have something here. So unique it is probably not marketable in the country in the style and structure that we have. If I could elaborate on that for just a moment two weeks ago. I was in Cincinnati talking to the essentially Midwestern states and their elected officials. Most of them are mayors. That's an executive directors and so on cities in varying sizes and the question of how the Metropolitan council is structured came up and how we have support from the legislature and local officials and so on and I'm about halfway through my exclamation of that Mike Lucia Cruise executive director of SIM card to Southeast, Michigan Council of governments, which is the Troy that's the trouble is coming to these damn National Conference is all we hear about is the Twin Cities. That's nice you doing a good job. Now. Let's get back to the real world now. We got you. And you wasn't kidding. I figured it was it was a virtual impossibility for them to sit down and analyze and work out their problems by way of structure the same way that we've done it here. I sent your life. I think I point the three things that are different here and then I'd like to move on quickly and went out a couple other things. First of all, you've got three strong support of groups of the way. This thing is working in this. The first is a legislature and I appear before a couple legislators in the country and I talked to other officials and tried to do the same and legislators in Martin can address this later for the legislators at this point at least in the analyzation of urban problems or unwilling to even talk about a structure such as a consoles is for their areas and I think that the doctor strong support of our legislature and the willingness to do something about it has made a major difference you and I don't find that at least in my impressions of it and many other states so I can leave got the work of officials in the 7 County area who are basically supportive of the concept. There's a natural nervousness there. They're always going to be when you deal on a quality basis in trying to solve a problem because in the real world of politics is always a question of turf. And you got to analyze that you got to make some judgments about it and I think his analysis at least I'm sure the lamp Lending Act of the housing acting Parts bills and so on never would have been if we decided to head him on in and battle it out. And yet we made substantial progress on those areas with your cooperation. And that is also not totally true in many other parts of the country fairly. You got something like a bunch of the same structure in other parts of the of the country the citizens leave maybe Indians analogies intellectual Community, but I belong to it and a few other people who can keep it our money. And so there's a balance there. Then unfortunately when you get to other parts of the of the country and this concept is advantra dealing with the it'll do really works. Welcome to the university professors the newspaper editors and so on who are out front on the issue and haven't talked with the official to have to come at it from a different way. There is a growing concern of the Special Districts assuming too much power in the country. And again, we've got a pretty good handle on the way that ought to run and the umbrella agency. Whatever kind of agency that is should handle those kinds of things and wrong those special district as we do here and that they're in that kind of thing. They force you see rather than go out and say the structure is this and this is the way. Abby you can identify the problem that's pushing local elected officials into a Cooperative mood to try and maintain their own policy control and I think that that that's happening and I heard that again in Cincinnati and I heard it in Chicago near another places. I would hope that the federal government would As they say they do now continue to support the concept of regional urban planning. I think it's funny actor that was fast allowed Special Districts in essence to be set up with in their private or non private oil or whatever at this point 202 areas have been designated to function in the house service area and only 22 of them are governmental agencies in the form of or semi-private It Whatever the structure they fall into that's in my judgement allowed that to happen. And it's you know, I can give you don't have to protect you and take you to the night canceled by the way of our structure, but you certainly have got to protect the process of an umbrella agency in the play Anything. I think that. This is the approach that we had to take and trying to settle Regional priorities subtle. Look the concept of what's happening in the urban areas. And you know, I've learned by going on many parts of the country that as soon as you start talking about structure or turf you've lost the battle for the next several years in that area because you're out there trying to disturb things and if you let things move gradually and merge them occasionally people are going to find that you have to go to a different kind of structure to solve some of these problems. As far as the Met council is concerned at this point, but I think both the other speaker said the time has come for the legislature. And of course, I'm sure this for a long time and I have to admit to being bias cuz I was on the one of the bills at Fashion 1970s, but I think it's time to cancel be kind of like it we have gone almost in this evolutionary process about as far as you can go. I'm caught on the teeter-totter of either your credibility or not. Cuz you're not elected. Your constituency is one person or maybe two or something like that and you've really got to put it down either we're going to make it work so that everybody is happy and it's a credible operation and I think it comes down to making it elected. I don't detect as I did three years ago when I started out I might junkets into the far reaches of the metro area a great deal of hostility for the concert anymore. I maybe it's because those who opposed the council feel the only way they're going to get any voice into this when they get elected. But I really feel in all sincerity that that's the issue that remains to be answered for our own structure as far as again the issue of the national approach. I think we can we can do a lot of good for the country in the urban areas particularly if we go out and see how we have in fact handle some of these things without having to stand or tow it out on the issue of structure because if you do that, most of my willing to listen, I think most them to be very Cooperative. I know look-alike that officials appreciate that approach and that we may be in fact able to do something about it. Thank you. And thank you John. The next Gentleman on the agenda is a it's really an honor for me to have the opportunity to introduce him. I worked with him back in in those days when we were testifying for legislative committees on fiscal disparities and he would sit on those committees and ask the right questions in the probing questions that would help us develop those approaches. Its it kind of an honor to have him with us tonight also because as a republican office holder in Minnesota is part of a rare breed. Endangered species are part of a rare breed and another way to because he's become known as a congressman with a lot of courage and and a nose for what the real issues are. He's been a spokesman for good government spokesman for election reform. He's been a member of the Ways and Means Committee in the house. He's highly respected by his colleagues there and he's a source of Pride to his constituents in his district and all of us will know in the state of Minnesota. The question we're putting to Congressman frenzel this evening is from his perspective as a national elected official a member of Congress. How do we look at the approach to Urban problems now from the federal perspective? Do we continue to look at the federal role in solution to Urban problems is primarily a a money function providing funding for whatever experiments go on around the country such as we have here in Minnesota, or do we look at Federal involvement in a way that would get involved in the in the institutional organizational approach add to Urban problems would be interested in hearing his comments on that then perhaps his comments as to whether we're wrong and isn't fact Congress and the federal government interested in other than just funding programs presently. Do they have an Institutional Viewpoint at the present time will be interested in your comments on that and perhaps some perspective on your past involvement in this area bill. bill frisell thank you. It's a pleasure to be here and to be allowed to participate in this Symposium. It's one of the few Adventures of its kind in which the answer is more celebrated than the panel and it is it is therefore with some trepidation that again in a way the FED started this whole game. With the with the a 95 review probation and the predecessor privations of federal law and the literally forced the state to create the old Metropolitan Planning Commission and later really pushed us into the Metropolitan Council as I recall it with Chuck and Dean your excellent histories. I think we're exactly as I recall it the I never the last there was a feeling that the enormous power existed already under the federal law and we simply had to construct some sort of an agency to be able to execute that power with some good the scent. Federal government having started this sort of procedure certainly has provided little or no follow-up at all. And in fact, when I am asked as a part of this performance tonight is the federal government considering some sort of a of an incentive program by which other areas may be induced are persuaded our seaduced to produce the same kind of structure. The answer is the heavens. No, they are not as a matter of fact, we have to everyday we prove ourselves in Washington and literally we struggle to stay alive because each new bill it's fast or we have to modify in order that it can be handled by the Metropolitan Council as we have designated it rather than as some of God Unity Council of governments that translated is that's an organization designed not to get a Nothing done, and we normally do so by adding language to say that that it will be the Council of government type of organization or an organization, which has been designated by state law by the legislature to carry out this particular function or that particular function, but certainly there is no thrust in Washington at any level which I am aware. Eye to eye to forward the Minnesota experiment and to force its development in other parts of the country and in my judgment, that's probably all right. I think that however elitist we maybe and however proud We may be of our achievement. I don't think we should strive to do I export it by forcible overthrow means or you could send the Chegg guevarra out into Kansas City. I suppose a some gorilla training to put our system somewhere else. I think that really is a matter for the other councils regions and communities to determine for themselves. And if there is a government policy gets a policy of non policy and therefore leaves at least temporarily to those various areas the decisions as to how they will handle. Are there Regional problems and of course that gives rise to the question? Well if that's true. Then the national taxpayers are seeing some of their money squandered through inefficient forms. Are they not and the answer is probably true and it's probably been true since 1787 and lots of money has been squandered through an efficient forms of government and it's just that the that there exists no policy in Washington nor necessarily at this time any particular electorate or proponent group to move forward in this area. I am asked. Well, aren't they thinking about this in HUD? My guess is the last time they had an idea and HUD was Maybe a half a dozen years ago. May I have the next question is the aren't they thinking about this and OMB and the answer there is they indeed they are they like to eliminate all of it? So I guess in Congress haven't they got some brilliant ideas and don't we have committees charged with the Metropolitan development and and the answer is yes, but those committees and as you recall in concert with the with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and in concert with OMB have recently produced a program in which they have tried to return the the previous programs of Grant manship into the Community Development revenue-sharing and of course the as you go from grantman ship to block grants you change the name of the game. And while I are Metropolitan Council under mr. Baldwin's able leadership has has been able to react to this change the general nature of that change. It seems to me it defeats or tends to defeat the construction of new original groups and councils and and whatever and saw that instead of having current federal policy giving incentives for this sort of thing. It is it is providing less and less incentive. My guess is that we will continue to move in that direction. And again, I think from my personal standpoint, I believe that that's a healthy way to approach it for as we turn the more monies over to the local areas to spend in the way that they best see fit. We let them make the decisions and it's my personal help that the way we'll see an acceleration. That Trend rather than that then a return to the grantsmanship with with a very small carrot and a very big stick and we'll give you a few bucks. If you feel if you'll build your house in this way or structure your government in some other way. So I really don't see much of a trust in Washington. There are a couple of other things that I think are worth mentioning. There is a new Administration coming into Washington and hopefully there will be new ideas and despite the fact that the the new Administration that comes in carrying the wrong flag A change is always is always healthy in that you started fresh and and you are not chained to the last year's policies that stuff that may no longer be applicable. And so maybe in that the new Administration there will be a great new thinkers who will arise and I I can't I can't predict that only to say if the track record holds true unlikely and I don't mean this about mr. Carter. I mean about all the previous administrations. There's no problem about the about the development of our particular style of regional counsel. And that is that it has no Advocates other than those who have witnessed it here and have seen the fruits of that organization on the other hand the other forms of government Princess Leia the cogs. I have very strong and deeply entrenched Advocates of principally the mayors of the major cities of this country are they are the ones that they have their political aisle used in Washington and they are the ones who struggle to maintain know what John calls the sanctity of their own turf to protect their own perks and I and they do so with great skill. And therefore it. It seems to me that unless some totally different philosophy grows or some whole new thought process begins and Washington. It seems to me unlikely that we will get any hear anything other than the concentration or a continuation of of that particular way of moving you cancel and saying that that would give our system a credibility. I'm inclined to agree with him at dinner. If somebody was suggesting what would have happened if the ogdahl friends will bill has been passed in 1967 that of course called for an elected Council and a few other things and I suggested that they had that fast bowling probably would have a next Winnipeg by now. So maybe it was fortuitous that that didn't fast. I never the last I think his point is well-taken about the about the election of the officials. Many of us in this room thought that made sense that 10 years ago. I think it makes much better since now if if our Pharma it here is to have credibility. I think he has to go elected. It's becoming more and more difficult for us in Washington to explain our system and not because the system needs needs a greater education and it's so far easier for us to do so and I think far easier for John to do so and and Martin in the constituency that he works in if we do if we're able to show that we have an elective group we ought to be able to show results. There isn't anything that will cause our form of government to be accepted quite as readily as the actual fruits of what it does its decision making it so whatever quasi-legislative decisions that it arrives after whatever executive decisions that promotes whatever cooperative. Results that it is able to achieve and and it seems to me that that's the best form of persuasion a rather than looking to the government to the federal government to say say that's a neat idea. I guess we'll inflicted on the rest of the world. It would be far better. If the rest of the world came in here and said say that is a neat idea and it works and I think that's so we have produced a vehicle that does work. And and I think that the rest of the world will eventually beat their way to our door to see how our mousetrap works but it may take some time because of it of the natural of political influences that are at work. I thank you Congressman that frenzel. All right are Anchorman tonight is Martin Sable? He's presently the president-elect of the National Conference of State legislatures. He's the past president of the national legislative conference. We thought it quite significant in addition to his past involvement with our metropolitan area as a legislator. That he now moves into a position nationally where his experience hear his ideas that he has shared with us here the things that we've been doing here can find some outlets and can perhaps find a spokesman in those National Arenas where he is now functioning. the question that has been put to Mark in this evening is How he perceives the Minnesota or Twin City experience on the national level in relationship to what he sees in his travels how he perceives the federal government's policy so far as Urban policy and reorganization of restructuring of urban areas. How important the restructuring of major metropolitan area systems are as related to nearly pouring more money through Federal programs into these areas are not merely but in addition to for a more money Martin. Thank you, Riley and members of the Citizens League. I guess if I were to answer the question that you asked tonight, there are simply I'd say no to the structural question Israelites the federal government and yes to the money. Let me expand on that a little bit. You know how fundamentally I think is one of you's a major problems of urban centers of this country. You need a structure may be a problem, but I don't think that's a fundamental one. Now I think there is a federal role in dealing with those problems that face our major urban areas and I'm not really sure that even when we talked about Urban problems there really are Urban from their National problems that affect all of the country but may have peculiar impact in urban areas. If I were to visit and give any advice the federal government what they should do about that would be trying to do a few things well, is our luck at their what I think the federal government can do with Some semblance of ability the first is raise money. Probably can do that better than any other unit of government in this country. Yes, I look at National policy in recent years. The only thing they do is cut. As a relates the revenue-raising ability tax cuts appear to be very very popular. We have difficulty with Revenue sharing. Getting that money redistributed in the broad sense to our state and local communities from this country and I will personally say thank you to Bill frenzel really to the whole Minnesota delegation, which was very very supportive reenactment of Revenue sharing that was a struggle to get re-enacted. I think that was an important bill. I think the ability of the Congress and federal government to continue to be a revenue razor is one of the most fundamental jobs that they can do and dealing with Urban problems are problems of this country. However, one might want to categorize I would think the second most important thing in the federal government to deal with us to the degree that the government can manage the economy. That's clearly something the Federal Government Can Do not state or local government? the impact of jobs in our large cities is Major the unemployment line use incredibly High. If there was one thing and a specific level of the federal government should focuses attention on the problem of jobs in particular that of youth unemployment again questions that are not particularly related to the structure of government in particular urban center. I would think that they should deal with the question of income policy in this country again something that is a clear nage and clear major national problem in a related from one state one reaching this country to another. I guess it would be my judgment. I would be willing to trade off the federal funding of many many categorical programs. They simply would deal with the policy may be in and out of uniform income policy. The one that understood the varying income levels from state to state and region to region this country. I think we also need an understanding in the federal level. the maybe there hasn't been a spoken Urban policy, but I think there has been a very dramatic unspoken. Urban policy Israelites their housing and transportation policy over recent years promoted by housing programs in freeway programs and made it easy for people to travel here and fro I would suggest that major major concern should be to switch housing policy in a major effort to rehabilitating assisting housing supplies, whether they be in Central City or gradually aging Suburban communities and then dealing with the transportation policy on the national level that has been Road oriented and oriented towards developing exotic Transit plans that we desperately need to move to a federal policy of subsidizing the ongoing operation. I'm not such glamorous transit systems. I think those are some very Basics that are I think are very basic problems that affect urban areas in this country. I find the question that's raised up as federal government to deal with problems like this weather they at then at the same time should try and mandate certain governmental structure in our large Urban centers. I remain very very skeptical put it modestly and moderately. I'll touch your proposal. I think it's clear. It's Congressman friends will indicated that the original requirements original planning was a very subtle hint that was helpful to us in starting the Metro Council 1967. There was a very soft guideline which we had a great variety of approaches. We could use my observation of the details most other Federal programs that come along are the there are incredibly wasteful the ability of someone sitting in Congress to write a governmental structure that applies in our local communities is very slow. They don't do a very good job. I think I don't think they should be expected to do that. And that really should be the responsibility of those of us in state and local government. So if my judgment basic responsibilities of assigning the type of governmental structure that exists and the urban centers and other areas respective States this country that basic responsibility Falls and state government not on the federal government. Where will head there? I don't know where varying states are at varies immensely. You know, we share our revenues would local unit of government Wisconsin does also I was just another state in the last last week visit with a new legislative leader. Just been neglecting that stage of felt very strongly. The one that sings their state had to do was to provide a state sharing system of revenue for local unit of government next state next morning. I had breakfast with two other legislators in that state one from each party or boss is sending a talking about how they absolutely had should not get into this process of providing some of their revenues to local units of government is that was their problem and they didn't want any of that bag of dealing with the problems of the property tax in their local communities, but that was simply a local governmental responsibilities. I think they were wrong, but I think you'll find reactions varying around this country. I guess my experience and I've gone several communities around this country to talk about where we're at and the terms of regional governments and visiting about what we have. Is it the same experience a giant has found that generally the relationship and communication between the local elected officials are involved whether it's in a card or something else is not great for Thursday legislature, and I'm not certain of all those reasons but I have a hunch that one has been the the heavy emphasis of local officials going directly to Washington deal with their problems. Is there a rolly indicated I'm heavily involved with our national legislative organization ours is relatively new organization. We could clearly at this point. We visited times about creating some structures within our organization to deal with the question relationship between state and local government. We really haven't done that yet primarily because we're still so heavily involved in trying to get our national act together and I think what it says on the national level is clearly that the local units of government whether they be the mayor said the cities in general County have been much better organized in the states Weatherby. The governors are legislators and dealing with Washington and there's been a much heavier orientation those local officials going directly to Washington and I suspected work quite well for him when that pipeline a money seemed to grow year-by-year Sunrise that's changed and now that hold balance it somewhat changing. We're trying to increase our role in Washington. It's necessary for lots of those local officials to reorient. Some of their attention is constantly going to watch him to State Legislature both hazard lights the money and Israelites the basic structural question. I I think the basic card format of government exists many Regional areas is really very very bad. I am convinced that people work more closely with the legislature develop those contacts. They really try to come to grips year. So it's promising or individual state, but that will gradually change but that started getting grasp of something. So if I were to conclude I'd say that there is a vital Federal roll. It's the deal with major national problems the other hand. It's not a role of trying to tell respective urban areas our respective states in the state in this country how to structure how to organize. There's a heavy responsibility on state government and its responsibilities at scene with the varying Clarity in different parts of the country, but that my judgment if we're going to succeed in this country and dealing with the structural question that that responsibility blown state government. Thank you.


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