Management by Committee

The above phrase has been common in the workplace for many years, generally in a negative way. A committee is made up of people. When a problem needs a speedy decision, due to the time it takes to get the committee together, brought up to date on the situation, a decision made and communicated can allow the problem to grow beyond the decision. And then the committee needs to meet again.

Committee members can also have conflicting priorities. In that case, a decision may not be speedy or even possible. This has become the status quo in many of our governing bodies, both at the state and federal levels. 

              In my opinion, we must not let this become the situation in Minneapolis. The idea that the City Council can make appropriate decisions in a timely manner as it relates to public safety is misstated. A public safety crisis requires an immediate response. Whether the current City Council could demonstrate an ability to set aside their biases for the good of the City is not the question. What happens when the next election brings members to the council that are focused on other agendas?    

              Please keep the police department under the control of the mayor’s office. The buck stops there – at the mayor’s desk. He/she needs to make decisions based on input from others, but all residents will know who ultimately is responsible for the outcome. It is far too easy for City Council members to blame each other (or the voters) when changes within their purview can’t be achieved.

              Mayor Jacob Frey has shown his ability to manage a city during a crisis. More importantly, he has demonstrated coordination of public safety with St. Paul’s Mayor Carter and Governor Walz. We have seen what he can do during the worst days of Minneapolis.  Let’s see what more he can do as we heal.

Linda Stewart,

Lind Bohanon