According to this StarTribune article, Lakeville is hiring a consultant to help them craft a vision for the city. While it’s not surprising for the public sector to leverage the services of the private sector, the price tag for this one seems a bit steep.
From the article:
Lakeville will pay a consultant nearly $59,000 to help city leaders decide what direction residents want them to take.
The council recently approved spending on a “vision plan,” about two-thirds through a federal grant.
Mayor-elect Matt Little said he voted for the measure but is skeptical of spending so much on a consultant.
The vision plan will come from a survey and approximately 12 focus groups and public sessions over the course of eight months. While the City of Lakeville hasn’t done anything of the sort in nearly 15 years, it appears the City Council feels this is the right time to do it. Mayor-elect Matt Little wants to ensure the process provides the council with some clear direction.
One has to wonder whether the Council is going to hold out paying $60,000 for a survey and a handful of public input sessions, something the City Staff should be able to do themselves. With the mayor-elect already questioning the cost and agreeing to move forward anyway, is he pandering to both sides or is he taking a wait-and-see approach to force the consultants to provide clarity before the city makes its final decision?
Being that public sector work is so heavily focused on taking input from the people already, do you think it makes sense for local cities to hire private sector consultants to do this sort of work for them? Is visioning something you think cities should be spending money on right now? Do you think mayor-elect Matt Little is fence riding and pandering to both sides and should be a bit more decisive? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear what you have to say.