Archive for the ‘Farmington’

Farmington to Spend $30k on Marketing Consultants

According to this article in SunThisweek, Farmington is at it again trying to drum up business for the small town that few know exists. This time, instead of the soybean festival and drunken snowmobiling, they’re going to spend up to $30,000 to hire a marketing consultant to help them bring in commercial and industrial businesses.

From the article:

“We’re really at a starting point to let people know about Farmington,” she said. “I’m hoping the consultant packages that plan. … We’re not marketing professionals at city hall, and we shouldn’t be. We need professionals to help.”

The money for this project will come from the community development and block grant fund, and the $30,000 figure was taken from Lakeville’s costs of hiring a marketing team a few years back.

While Farmington is using CDBG funds to pay for the marketing consultant, the city is restricted from using these funds to actually implement the marketing strategy.

There are two key parts to this:

    1. They are paying $30,000 just to hire the marketing company. This $30,000 is not going to go towards implementation which will likely cost even more.

    2. They settled on the $30,000 because that’s what Lakeville spent several years ago.

While the City of Farmington may not remember what Lakeville’s marketing consultants came up with back in 2012their city council should probably either abandon all hope for Farmington or at the very least steer completely clear of whoever Lakeville chose because Lakeville’s “Positioned to Fail” campaign isn’t exactly a stroke of genius.

Farmington had to fight to bring a grocery store to town and they want to hire a marketing consultant to develop some sort of marketing campaign for them? Seriously, the City is in a lot more trouble than a simple marketing firm could ever possibly help them to fix. While any smart private sector company is going to chew through that $30,000 like it was nothing, no one is going to be able to alter the perception that a quick tour of Farmington will provide to any prospective company looking to setup shop.

What do you think about this one? Is Farmington just throwing grant money away at something which cannot be saved? Do you think the City of Farmington did any research into Lakeville’s marketing campaign when they set the $30,000 amount? Should they do more to at least see the poor quality before they think that it’s worthwhile? What do you think the potential slogans for the City should be? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.

What Makes You Attached to the MSP Metro?

According to this MinnPost article which discusses what makes people attached to a particular city. The article discusses with Katherine Loflin, a placemaking expert and lead consultant for a Gallup and Knight Foundation study on what drives attachment to a city. While the results of this study are interesting, most people may disagree with the findings.

From the article:

If people can find jobs and reasonable places to live, they’ll be attached enough. Worrying about quality of life, amenities, public spirit and all that squishy stuff seems a bit trivial in an economy that still recovering from one of the worst recessions ever.

But Loflin makes a business case for love of a place. These days, those people most likely to drive the growth of a city, namely young people between the ages of 25 and 34, have reprioritized. Quality of life registers high on their list of necessities. Corporations are finding that increasingly they have to sell talented recruits on the place where they would be relocating as well as the job.

As a hiring manager working in a field which is showing rapid growth and high competition during the turned down economy, I have been fighting to both recruit and retain people for my teams. While my experience is limited and certainly not as wide as the number of people looked at by this study, my experience in no way mirrors what Loflin has said. Talented recruits just out of school or with less than 10 years experience have just as much desire for high salary, regardless of their current location in our outside Minnesota, as anyone else I have talked to recently. You can sell them all you like on the greatness of the MSP metro but they know two things: money talks and it’s freakishly frigid here. When recent grad students are requesting six figure salaries without more than a few months of relevant real-world experience and getting offers from elsewhere with it, I can give you a 99.999% guarantee that this study is bunk.

What do you think about this one? Would you pass over a much higher income elsewhere just so you could stay where the people are? Are you surprised that recently minted masters-level students without much relevant experience are receiving such high offers when you hear in the news that this group is so hard pressed for cash lately? What attaches you to the MSP metro? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Farmington Residents Upset About Parking Lot

According to this Farmington Independent article, residents of the city are up in arms over the Planning Commission’s approval of addition of a parking lot in an area zoned for ‘heavy business use’ in their neighborhood. While the owner of the lot plans to park vehicles related to his business there, many of the arguments include “Not In My Backyard” and “Think of the Children!”

From the article:

Although it abuts a residential neighborhood, the property has been zoned for heavy business use since Farmington started zoning property in 1969, according to planning commission chairman Dirk Rotty.

Garvey approached the planning commission in January to request a conditional use permit to locate a truck repair shop at another property he owned on Fifth Street. He received approval for that business. At the same time, Garvey asked the commission to allow him to use the land he owns between Third and Fourth streets as a parking lot for some of the vehicles associated with his business.


“You can understand, this is our neighborhood. This is where we live. This is where we carry out our day to day activities of families in our back yards,” Joseph Gentry said.

Gentry said neighbors are concerned for the safety of the children in the neighborhood, particularly if there are going to be large trucks on the otherwise residential street.

The city has mandated he not conduct any repairs there, clear the remaining brush by June 1 (a challenge considering the weather lately), screen the lot to block the current residents’ view, and keep lighting pointed away from the surrounding homes. The owner has agreed to these items and has noted that no one has approached him to speak about the plan and have instead resorted to rumor mill and the spreading of “lies” to get other’s hackles up.

What do you think about this one? Is this simply your typical NIMBY thinking coupled with lack of understanding of zoning regulations going back 45 years? Do you think the neighbors have a point? Should everything they say be immediately invalidated when they resort to “think of the children” arguments? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Should All Lights Be Right Turn on Red?

A couple of red traffic lights against a blue sky originally uploaded by Horia Varlan

According to a recent SunThisweek Letter to the Editor from a Burnsville resident, the lack of a modern traffic signal coupled with a sign forbidding right turns on red has created a situation where lengthy delays for no good reason are frequent. One has to wonder whether most, if not all, traffic signals should be upgraded and have right turn restrictions eliminated.

From the Letter to the Editor:

Isn’t it time to rethink the no-right-turn sign at the foot of the southbound exit of I-35E as it controls traffic entering County Road 42?


Currently, I estimate that one out of every five drivers disregards the no-right-turn sign and I can completely understand their frustration after waiting, in some instances, as long as a minute and a half, while no westbound cars are even visible at this intersection.

How many times are you sitting at a light about to turn right and realize you’re forbidden to do so by the tiny little sign that mocks you as no traffic approaches? This is often the case at many lights in the state, especially those that ignore or simply do not support detection of cars at an intersection with no cross traffic. It’s not only frustrating but increasingly irrelevant now that we have the ability and, in many cases, the built-in support for smart signals which simply are not doing their jobs. For once I agree with a Letter to the Editor writer entirely. This, and most other SOTR signals, need to be reevaluated for right turns on red and have the smart technology installed or utilized as intended.

What do you think about this one? Do you agree that forbidden right turns on red is generally useless? How often do you see people ignore the tiny signs suggesting they do otherwise? Do you think more often than not signals should be detecting cross traffic presence and changing the light to alleviate stacked traffic in the other direction? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear what you have to say.