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City Council


Special City Council Meeting Retreat Minutes

February 17, 2015


Mayor Roe called the meeting to order at approximately 2:06 p.m.


Present:        Mayor Daniel Roe and Councilmembers Lisa Laliberte, Tammy McGehee, and Jason Etten.


City Manager Patrick Trudgeon and Department Heads: Police Chief Rick Mathwig, Fire Chief Tim O'Neill, Finance Director Chris Miller, Public Works Director Duane Schwartz, Parks & Recreation Director Lonnie Brokke, and Community Development Director Paul Bilotta.


Facilitator Craig Rapp


Mayor Roe announced that Councilmember Robert Willmus would be arriving at approximately 4:00 p.m. due to scheduling conflicts.


At the request of Mayor Roe, City Manager Trudgeon introduced Retreat Facilitator Craig Rapp, who provided an overview of today's program.


  1. Overview of Retreat Presented by Facilitator Craig Rapp

Mr. Rapp provided a brief summary of his background and career in local government, consulting, work with the Metropolitan Council, and leading various public meetings.


Mr. Rapp asked each participant around the table to introduce themselves and provide their experiences to-date with strategic planning, whether good, bad or indifferent; and their one hope and one fear for this process and retreat over the next few days.


Mr. Rapp reviewed the structure for the next few days, and reiterated the desire of those present that this effort be effective and not some report that would sit on the shelf or contain non-actionable items.


2.            Who We Are - Organizational Culture and Value Proposition (including Presentation/Results/Discussion)

Mr. Rapp reviewed various value propositions and culture of the organization to address TODAY: who we are and who we want to be and where things were currently at as far as strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT); TOMORROW: what's important or what are our priorities, key outcomes we want, and how we'll define those targets and address accountability to achieve them.


Mr. Rapp referenced the previous SWOT quiz completed and submitted by participants prior to this meeting; and advised that there would be another one today as a group.  Prior to that exercise, Mr. Rapp presented various tools he'd use throughout the retreat.


City Council /Staff Roles

Council owns: purpose, direction success definition, accountability

Staff owns: action plans, methods, performance

Council and Staff share: perspectives, creation, mutual accountability as a team, with staff accountable to the City Council and the City Council accountable to staff through deliverables based on decision-making by the body or through providing a clear direction to staff.


Mr. Rapp provided his synopsis of strategic planning as a four-part model structured in two parts with four main questions:


Strategic Plan

Where are you?

Scan the environment; conduct internal/external analysis (SWOT); develop a strategic profile; and identify strategic challenges.


Where you're going:

Define your mission; articulate core values; set a vision; establish goals; and identify intended outcomes.


Business Plan

How you'll get there: Develop initiatives; define performance measures; set targets and thresholds; and cascade them throughout the organization.


What you'll do: Create detailed action plans; and establish accountability (who, what, where).


Mr. Rapp suggested it was important to start with "WHY," not "WHAT," as addressed by author, Simon O. Sinek, best known for popularizing the concept of "the golden circle" and as described by TED Talk and providing a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership.  Mr. Rapp noted that most business models started with WHAT and migrated to WHY, but outstanding organizations with outstanding products started the other way, providing a more emotional appeal making people want to come, to stay and invest by thinking with their heard, not their head.  Mr. Rapp applied this specifically to Roseville as a community and its leadership as staff and Councilmembers delivered core services (e.g. promises) and starting from a different place than typically done. 


Mr. Rapp reviewed some of Roseville's WHY's, including its Mission Statement and Community Aspirations, and asked if that encompassed the entire WHY. 


Discussion included individual perspectives on that concept, with the consensus being that the concept may be close, it needed a vision statement that went beyond that mission and aspirations, while being short enough to be effective while not simply being a checklist. 


Further discussion included why people liked Roseville; examples of other communities and their images for promoting growth and accomplishing things; and how a community could be guided by such a vision that clearly defined Roseville. 


Mr. Rapp suggested the vision should be easy to articulate and allow aspirations molded to fit it, with a clear understanding going forward of the WHY of and for the community as a whole.  Mr. Rapp reviewed the mandated leadership role of local government in delivering great services (internal) and creating great communities (external) based on larger policy choices, and determining how and when those policies serves to help or hinder achieving a great community.  Mr. Rapp opined that the City Council and staff are responsible for both results.


Councilmember McGehee opined that she saw that as the "HOW," in developing great communities and delivering great services, noting that was what she hoped to get out of this retreat.  Councilmember McGehee opined that the City already knew how to deliver great services, but it didn't know how to create a great community.


Mr. Rapp responded that it would be interesting to see how that came out at the end of this retreat based on his perspective on strategic planning service programs analysis.


Mayor Roe stated that he didn't want to be super great at delivering a service that didn't serve to create a great community.


Culture and Value Proposition:

What is our city? (unique selling point or value proposition)

What do we want it to be? (as a place to live and as an organization charged with the responsibility to serve its citizens, guide development and regulate laws).


Mr. Rapp defined "core culture" as the way things really get done, with culture what you spend time doing: how you're rewarded, how you make decisions, how you talk to each other, how you treat citizens, and how you deal with stakeholders.


Mr. Rapp defined the "core value proposition" as the primary benefit of an organization's service or product, how that organization differentiates itself, what values it delivers, and which of the three disciplines or value propositions the organization would choose:

·         Operational Excellence-Customer adjusts to them (command and control)

·         Product/Service Leadership-Customer oohs and ahs over our services (competence)

·         Customer Intimacy-We get to know customers and solve their problems and satisfy their needs (collaborative)


Four Core Cultures:

Control culture (military - command and control)

Competence culture (research lab/u - best and brightest)

Collaboration culture (family - teams)

Cultivation culture (church - mission/values)


As part of the upcoming exercise, Mr. Rapp advised that the questions should consider who the City is and who they wanted to be without constraint as they considered which of the four core cultures were appropriate in each area.


At the end of the exercise, Mr. Rapp and participants reviewed survey results and those results specific to the City Council, those of staff, and the combined value for each.  Mr. Rapp summarized the results indicated participants wanted to have a "cultivation culture" seeking "customer intimacy" in a collaborative environment.  Mr. Rapp advised that this is a common desire in most organizations, and the next step would be to reconcile whether it could be done, and if done, what it meant to the organization known as the City of Roseville.


Reactions from Participants

Councilmember Etten opined that you didn't need to spend money or find more money resources to be customer intimate, while you may decide to spend available money differently or approach people differently.  Based on his experience in serving on the Parks & Recreation Commission and development and implementation of the Parks Renewal Program, Councilmember Etten noted that significant amount of time spend deciding what to do and the details involved, with the result being a process not just to build, but to build it in the best way to address community interests.  Councilmember Etten noted that sometimes that meant spending more, but sometimes less, and sometimes not having any dollar increase. 


Mr. Rapp summarized that as figuring out what we're trying to achieve and the level of service to provide.


Councilmember McGehee seconded those comments, and chose to look at it from the development context.  Councilmember McGehee opined that it was important for residents to maintain existing amenities through the City Council's maintenance of its tax base while not hurting existing residents and when considering development. She opined that we need to figure out why we wanted to do a development and get a community consensus of the goal to raise the City's tax base.  As another example, if the decision is for a community center, Councilmember McGehee opined that this was a different process in which one should first go to the community to see what they wanted and how they proposed to get, thus establishing what the priorities were in the community being served by the City Council.  At that point, Councilmember McGehee opined that the City Council could then come back to make things work within a framework of consultation, cooperation and collaboration within the community, which she saw as the HOW.  Councilmember McGehee stated that she strongly supported this type of process rather than the way the City regularly did things, taking ideas from a development and trying to implement them by forcing the ideas on a community that did not support them.


City Manager Trudgeon opined that his interpretation of why customer intimacy is desired is that, at the end of the day, staff and the City Council is serving people in the purest sense of the form, not customers per se, but its residents.  Since he viewed that job as serving individuals, Mr. Trudgeon opined that it only made sense to approach it that way; and form a selfish point of view, noted that it felt good to help people and solve problems, not just meet goals.


Finance Director Miller opined that he saw a difference between providing a high level of service to all customers, but as a reality check, staff and the City Council was also here to provide service to all customers, even those who never came forward.


Mr. Rapp noted that staff had responded on the survey highest for customer intimacy and the next response being for all of the above.  From hearing staff's opinions so far, Mr. Rapp suggested he was hearing questions about what staff should be doing; and while there were unique solutions for each person, it was typically hard for staff to discern value propositions.  Rather, Mr. Rapp opined that the reality of value propositions were usually one primary and some modest set of standards for the other two.  Mr. Rapp further opined that this was the importance of a value proposition exercise, for staff to hear the City Council say they supported the primary value proposition rather than expressing confusion about which was the most important.


In other words, Mayor Roe stated that the City Council needed to own the value proposition and not keep giving staff different directions.


In hearing budget discussions before starting today, Mr. Rapp suggested the value propositions should guide the City's budget as well.  But in the long run, Mr. Rapp recognized that it cost money to tailor things in the long run, and while money can be reallocated to provide higher service levels in some areas, uniformly the entire budget may have to be notched up.


Mayor Roe opined that there needed to be community buy-in as well; and as stated by Councilmember McGehee, there should be no disconnect between the desired customer intimacy model and having the community state they only wanted an operational budget; but to somehow find the best of both.


To build on that, Councilmember McGehee opined that the transparency piece would be to provide citizens and the public with education, background and facts about each issue in order for them to help the City Council make the right choices to meet their expectations.


Mr. Rapp noted that, in a government model, that approach was more complicated and also took into account locations of various agency operations, languages spoken, special needs, one-on-one needs and other unique citizen and customer needs to accommodate, and how to organize to become or remain effective in that way to fulfill those needs.


Mr. Rapp continued with results of the individual surveys and City Council, staff and collected information based on the current culture and differences in those responses.


Mr. Rapp reviewed some questions these responses may create in determining why people work for government versus private, in the desire to serve (cultivation culture concept), which he observed in responses, while the reality was that they were living in a control culture similar to that of the rest of the world.  Mr. Rapp reviewed the connection in a control culture and operational excellence as a value proposition that provided a good fit since they overlapped but provided no variation or allowed any "coloring outside the lines").  In moving toward a customer intimacy role, as apparently the overriding desire, Mr. Rapp noted that the control model didn't fit as well as the chain of command continued to fight against freelancing to solve problems.


Mayor Roe suggested different models in different roles within departments, such as with public safety staff when responding to fire, EMT, or police calls in a controlled environment with controlled responses versus doing community speaking or education or one-on-one training within an entirely different culture context.


Councilmember McGehee opined that the part controlled by the City Council was in setting policies, which was her main goal she hoped would result from this retreat: being sure to engage the community and citizens at the outset of major planning, projects or initiatives, with periodic community surveys providing the community an opportunity to submit their ideas for what they'd like or where they think we should go as a community.  From that standpoint, Councilmember McGehee suggested that there were changes the City Council could make in its HOW.


Mayor Roe asked to hear from individual Department Heads on the control versus cultivation models.  Mayor Roe asked if the Police Department could have a cultivation culture in its role, while noting the Parks & Recreation Department naturally fell into that model through its intensive interaction with customers and basic job requirements.  However, Mayor Roe expressed his curiosity in hearing from other Departments how and if they shared the customer intimacy model desire, and if so, how they felt that could and would work best in a cultivation culture within the organization of the City.


Community Development Director Bilotta stated that he had formerly worked in a community that was good at that culture within a highly team-based, decision-based, and cross-functional arena.  Under that model, Mr. Bilotta opined that it was hard to go back into the silo mentality; but when adding in outside people and/or associations, it became messier.  Mr. Bilotta advised that this previous organization had ongoing exercises to keep things on track, with annual details and the City Council and staff both on board and staff on board with neighborhood organizations.  Mr. Bilotta noted that a typical silo mentality worked well from the top down, but led to problems as well.


Police Chief Mathwig stated that 70%  of his department's responsibility fell into the realm of core services (e.g. arrests, report writing, etc.) while the remaining 30% involved officers working with neighborhoods, individual citizens or organizations, with various building tenants or other ways using different paths intended to obtain the same results.  Chief Mathwig stated that his goal was to have his Sergeants and other officers find meaningful purpose in their jobs as well as in figuring out to solve problems, while a Lieutenant may have gotten into the law enforcement business for some other reason, but they all shared those different paths to the same result.


Public Works Director Schwartz opined that the difficulty was trying to move from that control top down in an outcome-based, lean organization charged with achieving efficiencies while meeting the programs/services provided.  Mr. Schwartz noted that this didn't leave a lot of time to move outside that structure to get things done, at least not in the Public Works Department while it may be applicable in other departments.  Within their day-to-day operations, Mr. Schwartz opined that they didn't have 30% down time to develop intimacy with customers.


From their perspective, Parks & Recreation Director Brokke opined that their continuing standard was to achieve customer intimacy in meeting community expectations.


Finance Director Miller opined that in the prevalently controlled environment of finance, there wasn't much discretion available, while staff tried to remain consistency from one circumstance to the next; with consistency and accuracy being huge in that arena.  Mr. Miller opined that an employee going about their own unique way to connect with individual citizens had a tendency to create problems for that employee as well as undermining public trust.  Mr. Miller also noted the need to be consistent with other cities with driving sensibilities and maintaining control, to avoid losing the department's accountability.


Mayor Roe asked if Finance Director Miller found that any different in the Information Technology (IT) or License Center business models.


Mr. Miller responded negatively, that IT was very structured and while having similar priorities within the department, opined that the License Center had even more structure.


Mr. Rapp suggested a comparison between the Finance and Public Works Departments and ways to think about their roles.  Mr. Rapp noted that Mr. Schwartz had hit upon an interesting point: with staff being so lean and continually performing the day-to-day workload, it was hard for employees to think about solving customer problems, let along having the time available to actually resolve them.  Also, from the perspective of the Finance Department, Mr. Rapp noted that their stock in trade is accuracy and transparency year in and year out.  Mr. Rapp suggested customer intimacy and excellence may come into play in determining the reasons for doing things, and trying to tailor things in unique situations (e.g. plowing cul-de-sacs for Public Works) and how those areas may be tailored, even if costing more money, but in presenting a new plan to the City Council to address them.  For Finance, Mr. Rapp suggested it may be in defining who its customers were (e.g. City Council and outside world) and how it can better support those customers through differently formatted reports, or how choices affected and made things better or achieved customer intimacy while not sacrificing transparency and accuracy; and then articulate those choices to the decision-makers to make policy.


Councilmember Laliberte noted an example of Mr. Schwartz and his staff providing options to the City Council last year to address the frozen pipe issue.


When talking about focusing on one value proposition, Mayor Roe suggested that it addressed the resource side as well; opining that if spending a lot of time and resources above the minimum in other areas, by using the value proposition model, it could free up resources for other areas; but it would take some analysis to figure out the benefit of doing so.


From her personal background in research, Councilmember McGehee stated that if operational expectations are strong and tight, an organization should be able to manage brainstorming at 30% of its time while meeting as a group to review policy ideas within that group and see the issues and ways to shift and change the culture.  Councilmember McGehee opined that there were times when the organization had to be controlled, but the rest of the time, cross training should work.


Mr. Rapp noted that, at the end of the day, the City appeared to still want to be operationally excellence (control), but also still wanted some customer intimacy, on opposite ends of the spectrum; and asked participants to define which way they wanted to move.


City Manager Trudgeon sought to focus on challenges, acknowledging that a lot of what the organization did was silo-oriented, with departments containing experts in their various fields.  However, Mr. Trudgeon noted that staff was finding that most solutions actually reach across departments and are multi-level in nature, and needed tailoring for each of those specific issues.  As an example, Mr. Trudgeon referenced the Karen refugee population and how several departments were working with them on landlord issues (School District, and Community Development and Police Departments, and the Housing & Redevelopment Authority) and breaking new ground to do it, with no standard operating manual.  However, Mr. Trudgeon noted that, while trying to break free of the silo approach to problem solving, it was still necessary to have some hierarchy in place, without falling back on department-specific solutions, but seeking a collaborative approach within the hierarchy.  Mr. Trudgeon opined that this was what he'd like to see and be used more broadly.


Mr. Rapp acknowledged that a collaborative culture most strongly supported a customer intimacy approach, and while being more complicated to manage, it was inclusive and achieved the end goal.  Mr. Rapp advised that in order to accomplish that objective, however, it would require change on two fronts: movement away from operational excellence value proposition and control culture, since it's hard to do both.  Mr. Rapp opined that as long as participants understood what was involved, it could work.  As an example, Mr. Rapp recognized that an incident command situation was not collaborative, but other areas were as long everyone understood the implication of making the shift.


Councilmember Willmus arrived at this time, approximately 3:48 p.m.


Before recessing for a break, Mr. Rapp advised that this accomplished the "big picture," and next was reviewing the environment and results of the SWOT exercise to identify strategic challenges, with participants broken into groups to identify 4-5 strategic priorities, then moving on to identify 2-3 key outcome indicators or priorities, and finally 3-5 strategic initiatives or priorities.



Mr. Rapp recessed the meeting at approximately 3:49 p.m., and reconvened at approximately 4:03 p.m.


3.           Where We Are -SWOT Analysis (including Presentation /Results /Discussion)

Before breaking into groups for this short exercise, Mr. Rapp reviewed the three-step process to be used based on the SWOT handouts: (S=strengths, W=weaknesses, O=opportunities, and T=threats).  Each group was given a category for the purpose of correlating and combining similar items into priority statements.  Results reported by each group are listed as follows:



1)    Financial health - city and broader community

2)    City staff

3)    Caring and engaged citizens

4)    City services provided

5)    Location in Twin Cities


Mr. Etten, in summarizing his group's report, noted that almost no one from staff brought up city financing as a strength, with that being the most striking difference in staff and City Councilmember responses.



1)    Looking backwards instead of forward on dialogue held

2)   Top-down public engagement process pushing information rather than listening first - development process

3)    City Council deliberation process - personal attacks and indecision during the process

4)    Concept between lean budgeting vs. willingness to cut or reduce programs in order to free resources for other programs

5)    Changing demographics and workforce - Councilmembers and staff all brought this up in both areas

6)    Housing was prevalent in the list (the lack of move-up housing options)

7)    Silo approach within the organizational structure or a lack of departmental collaboration

In summarizing the list, Mr. Miller and Councilmember Willmus concurred that there appeared to be Rapp agreement on those issues from both the Councilmembers and staff, and no particular order to the concerns.  Councilmember Willmus noted that Councilmembers called out changing demographics and workforce issues, but staff flagged that item related from a demographic support context.  Councilmember Willmus opined that it seemed applicable to the community becoming more aware of broader changes I demographics in the community and the City's response to that change.



1)    Redevelopment sites

2)    Engagement/collaboration - people are or want to be engaged (volunteers) and Police Department interested in collaborating in other communities/neighborhoods (e.g. Southeast Roseville), also with other agencies (e.g. Metro Transit, Ramsey County) on shared interests

3)    Situational advantages

4)    Organizational evolution efficiencies, technologies, increasing revenue sources


At the request of Mr. Rapp, in her summary Councilmember Laliberte noted nothing more representative of Councilmembers or staff.



1)    Politics - staff concern expressed was that the City Council seemed to be attack-oriented

2)    Development - competition - tension between neighborhoods/developments and business community with few or no independent stores; more chains and a decline of smaller stores

3)    Crime - bigger issue on staff side than Councilmember side, but still there, but more strong on staff's list

4)    Demographics - much more or a concern on staff side; interesting demographic - see us losing older people in community who care about community and volunteering; losing that valuable resource - some replacements not filing that gap

5)    Housing - declining housing stock and not having move-up stock

6)    Location - strong positive, but strong threat to lose out to competition (e.g. TCAPP); concern that Roseville didn't become a dead zone between the City of St. Paul and TCAAP

7)    Resources - needed to do what we want to do


Councilmember McGehee concluded her group's report.


4.            Identifying Organizational and Community Challenges

Using the information gleaned from the last exercise, Mr. Rapp advised that the next group exercise would be to match strengths with opportunities to find strategic challenges or issues to maximize.  Mr. Rapp noted a parallel exercise would be to match weaknesses and threats to define strategic issues to minimize.  At the conclusion of this break-out exercise, Mr. Rapp advised that the groups would again combine and report their findings.  Mr. Rapp opined that this should provide a clear picture of things right in front of us that tended to trip up our goals or keep us from achieving objectives.


The STRENGTHS/OPPORTUNITIES groups combined (Mayor Roe, Councilmembers Laliberte and Etten, City Manager Trudgeon, Police Chief Mathwig, and Parks & Recreation Director Brokke).


The WEAKNESSES/THREATS groups combined (Councilmembers Willmus and McGehee, Finance Director Miller, Public Works Director Schwartz, Community Development Director Bilotta, and Fire Chief O'Neill).


As an example, Mr. Rapp clarified that the intent of the exercise was how to leverage strengths and opportunities that represented inherent things in the organization or community; and strategic issues to maximize and issues to minimize as well.  Mr. Rapp advised that step three in the exercise would be to combine all four SWOT again as a full group to determine any crossover items and determine what strategic issues or challenges emerged.


Reports from the groups were as follows:



(Summarized for the group by City Manager Trudgeon)

1)    Engagement/collaboration of citizens and staff - volunteering, connecting to neighborhood groups

2)    Redevelopment sites - financial health/citizens/location - get what we want, not just be reactive to what development wants to locate in Roseville

3)    Employees/new ideas?



(Summarized for the group by Councilmember McGehee)

1)    Minimize ineffective allocation of available resources

2)    Consider public safety impacts on day-to-day decisions

3)    Ineffective decision-making/politics

4)    Housing diversity/quality

5)    Ineffective public engagement


Discussion ensued as Mr. Rapp asked for obvious items participants observed:


Councilmember Willmus stated that weaknesses are opportunities (e.g. community engagement, housing, redevelopment efforts).


Councilmember Etten questioned what "ineffective decision-making" meant.


On behalf of their group, Community Development Director responded that it was meant as looking backwards versus forward through dwelling on issues that involved personal attacks and tended to delay decision-making.


Councilmember Etten questioned how that played into ineffective decision-making versus public engagement and if that delayed decision making came from ineffective, misconstrued public engagement.


Participants concurred that those were connected, but Mr. Rapp opined that to him they seemed to come from two distinct realms: ineffective decision-making in the governance realm (decision-making), and ineffective public engagement based on on-the-ground public deployment (community outreach).


Councilmember Etten admitted his struggle to connect communities and engagement and the difference in community engagement held upfront, paused, or completely destroyed and that ramification on decision-making, with a decision needed on how to do decision-making while still generally engaging the public.


Mr. Rapp suggested defining one of the challenges as: "ineffective/effective decision-making."  Mr. Rapp noted this could be broadened into the category of governance by making decisions as a governing body that determined the needs of stakeholders and expectations of citizens, since the group concurred that they seemed to be tied together.


Councilmember McGehee opined that from her perspective it was less politics than process.

Councilmember Laliberte opined that public safety also went into the engagement/collaboration category, since recent community survey information indicated that public safety mattered to citizens, and while there was no indication that the current status was wrong or bad, it was an important issue for the community.


Councilmember Willmus opined that it was an overarching concept, and he saw it as broader than just crime but incorporating all areas of public safety.


Community Development Director Bilotta opined that public safety needed to be a consideration in all decisions, since it was not done in a vacuum, and should enter into the discussion earlier in the process.


Councilmember Laliberte applauded the group for including that item, as she found it tying to many other things, including housing values that could be affected if not addressed.


Councilmember Willmus concurred, opining that was a good observation.


Mr. Rapp offered a list of challenges he was hearing and after more discussion, suggested refinement of that list.

·         Engagement

·         Housing

·         Redevelopment

·         Ineffective/effective decision-making

·         Public safety implications

·         Determining priorities/greatness

·         Organizational value proposition/service delivery premise

·         Service levels/quality


Mr. Rapp provided examples of strategic challenge such as:

Financial instability, tax base

Community unrest, services/taxes

Infrastructure condition/age/quality

Development/redevelopment, economic decline

Organizational effectiveness/efficiency

Workforce issues, replacement, performance, discontent


Councilmember Laliberte opined that it was important to keep the City's aging infrastructure and funding for it on the radar.


Mayor Roe expressed his surprise that didn't end up on one of the lists.


Finance Director Miller opined that one thing still missing was the decision point of what the City chose to be great at and what they only sought to attain a level of good; by setting priorities or somehow deciding what they wanted and subsequently how to allocate resources accordingly.


Councilmember McGehee suggested that reviewing the process to change engagement and collaboration among staff departments, coupled with proactive development, should provide additional time on the frontend that may not prove expensive or actually cost more. Councilmember McGehee opined that much more staff time and finances had been spent to coerce or ameliorate problems due to being reactive versus proactive.


Mayor Roe observed that, in the desire for customer intimacy versus organizational control, somehow that was going to need to be dealt with.


At the prompting of Councilmember Laliberte, participants concurred with the comments expressed by Finance Director Miller.


Councilmember McGehee questioned front-line staff if they saw things becoming more automatic as more engagement issues were fixed, and if that happened, whether one-on-one or in general, it was done without being more expensive.


Community Development Director Bilotta noted that one of the major issues was one having a staff implication.  Mr. Bilotta noted that, often the lack of engagement was not due to a lack of desire on staff's part, but at least in his department and from his observation that of the Public Works Department, they were set up to process permits from one end of the assembly line's point A to point B, and that day-to-day operation took up their time.  While that wasn't what the community wanted from its city staff, unfortunately Mr. Billota noted that this was their reality and to achieve long-term efficiencies, it would take significant staff time and reorganization things to bet the objective metrics in place.  Mr. Bilotta noted that staff wanted to please, and would work hard to do so, but there came a point when they had to say "No," that they could not take on one more thing, even deemed minor or small.  Mr. Bilotta noted that the consequences of continuing to take on more and more over time was that they no longer saw their family and it added to their stress, creating struggles and dissatisfaction with the job, their life and general demeanor.  While the City's staffing was set up to be lean, Mr. Bilotta opined that the more this strategy could be put together and became more predictable with priorities established for departments, the better it became for everyone.


Participating staff members concurred, noting as prime examples the Information Technology and Public Works Department stresses noted in recent discussions.


Mr. Rapp advised that these challenges would be taken into consideration as these preliminary exercises were undertaking, and as an end result, identification of 4-6 strategic priorities from that initial list of challenges.  To frame that end goal, Mr. Rapp suggested consideration of a balanced scorecard as the best practice example.  Mr. Rapp noted this included from a financial perspective, how the city looked to its shareholders; from a customer perspective, how it looked to its customers; from a learning and growth perspective, how changes could be made to make improvements; and from the business process perspective, how effective the organization was internally.


Mr. Rapp reviewed public and private sector similarities, and internal and external customers, with those same considerations at play: financial, operations, citizen/customer, and workforce (employees).


Discussion ensued on any of the areas of challenge that could be combined as the list was further refined.


Councilmember Willmus suggested housing and redevelopment could be combined. 


Mr. Rapp offered his suggestion for combining those challenges as follows, recognizing that some of the items listed as challenges would become part of those broader categories as follows:

·         Engagement

·         Housing & Redevelopment

·         Public safety implications

·         Development/Aging infrastructure

·         Determining priorities/greatness


At the request of City Manager Trudgeon, Councilmember McGehee explained their group's definition of "public safety implications," (e.g. WalMart versus Target redevelopments and greater impacts on the Fire and Police Departments) and specialized training, such as for a senior housing facility.


Councilmember Willmus noted that the challenge initially started out defined as "crime" and had morphed into a broader public safety picture.


City Manager Trudgeon noted that public safety was also tied to development; and questioned why Mr. Rapp didn't include the initial challenge of i"nfrastructure/roads."


Mr. Rapp responded that the category "infrastructure/roads" was more of a "how" and advised that it would turn up at a later stage as participants defined what it meant for development initiatives and strategies, but at this stage, the intent was to clearly identify strategic priorities.


Under governance, Mayor Roe noted two issues: what we do and how we do it.  Mayor Roe questioned if that was also part of decision-making or needed a subcategory.


Mr. Rapp advised that during his observations of discussions in the weaknesses/threats subgroup, he heard that involve politics and how things were discussed (e.g. backward versus forward looking), and also considered that part of the engagement model, as well as the City Council as a governing board at the table.


Councilmember Laliberte opined that she found it to be two separate issues: effective/ineffective decision-making by the City Council, and how the City Council engaged its citizenry in its decision-making process.  Councilmember Laliberte asked that more discussion be held as the process continued.


Mr. Rapp clarified that from his perspective "effective governance" involved how the five Councilmembers did their business: among themselves, with staff, and for and with the community.


Mr. Rapp clarified that "civic engagement" and his suggested category of "engagement" involved a variety of settings: how to deploy into the community as well as what occurred in the City Council Chambers.


Councilmember Laliberte felt strongly that this not be eliminated from the list.


Councilmember Etten opined that "effective governance" should be a category, involving City Council decision-making, determining priorities, and which areas in which the City wanted to excel or be great, in defining its gold standard.  Councilmember Etten then suggested making subcategories of that challenge to include City Council decision-making, determining priorities and areas of greatness.


Mr. Rapp cautioned that there was a fine line between targeting too many challenges at a task or solution level, even though they were all valid.


From staff's perspective, Mr. Schwartz suggested that effective government should be a separate item on the list of challenges as it affected the amount of time staff invested in bringing things forward to the City Council and public.


Councilmember Laliberte agreed that "governance" should remain on the list of challenges for now, whether or not it fell off after further refinement tomorrow.  Councilmember Laliberte opined that "determining priorities/greatness" would eventually edge out "governance" or they could be combined.


Mayor Roe agreed, opining that it better matched the organization with what participants wanted it to be.


Therefore, Mr. Rapp reclassified the final five as follows:

·         Civic Engagement

·         Housing & Redevelopment

·         Public Safety/Implications

·         Aging Infrastructure

·         Determining Priorities/Greatness

·         Effective Governance


At the request of Finance Director Miller, Mayor Roe and Councilmembers Laliberte and Willmus clarified that "aging infrastructure" was intended to incorporate city-owned infrastructure and its fleet.


6.            Public Comment

At 5:45 p.m., Mr. Rapp turned the meeting over to Mayor Roe who opened it to hear public comment.

Public Comment

Gary Grefenberg, 91 Mid Oaks Lane

Mr. Grefenberg clarified that he was speaking personally and based on his eight years observing Roseville government and community engagement experiences. 


Mr. Grefenberg advised that he had asked for an opportunity for public comment at this retreat; however, at that time he hadn't realized it was intended for televising.  Based on his past communication dialogue with Mayor Roe and City Manager Trudgeon, Mr. Grefenberg stated that he had received both of their assurances that there would be an opportunity for community engagement, and residents would be welcome at the table, not just City Councilmembers and  Department Heads.  Mr. Grefenberg opined that he was much more comfortable with this retreat and its intent than he had initially been.


Mr. Grefenberg advised that his only thing to add was to ask that when the final report is given by Mr. Rapp, another opportunity for public comment be given, with sufficient notice of that opportunity for community engagement.


Mr. Grefenberg opined that it may take a minimum of a few weeks to digest things being discussed and brought out by Mr. Rapp; and recognizing the numerous discussion points needing community engagement.  Mr. Grefenberg further opined that, when looking at Roseville's past compared to community engagement today, remarkable progress had been made, especially with other communication improvements, including the City's website and future efforts to make it more interactive and get citizen responses to the many issues being discussed at this retreat. 


For the benefit of all of those present and listening, Mr. Grefenberg expressed concern in his perception of growing politization and polarization of Roseville, noting his understanding that the DFL party was looking at an endorsement program for the City Council.  Mr. Grefenberg opined that disagreement didn't mean one side was wrong, but suggested this may be something else the City Council wished to address.


Mr. Grefenberg distributed copies of the City of Edina's budget process and their five performance standards and guidelines, of which one included communications/engagement.  Mr. Grefenberg noted their community's pride in the key performance indicators and inclusion of those in budget goals, and suggested a similar approach would be applicable to the City of Roseville in the future.  Mr. Grefenberg noted that communication drove engagement and suggested the City continue to reinforce efforts already taken to improve community engagement.


Mr. Grefenberg further suggested that, depending on the format of the final report, copies be transmitted to the City's various advisory commissions for their review, as well as allowing the community time to review the final report and make comments about those findings.  Mr. Grefenberg suggested including the final report on the City's website as well as in the newsletter, in addition to an open discussion at a future City Council meeting in the near future.


Sherry Sanders

Ms. Sanders expressed her favorable impressions with how everyone has come together to work as a group today to improve her City, and expressed her respect for the time and efforts taken by participants.  Ms. Sanders further thanked the City for allowing residents to observe the process.


With no one else appearing to speak, Mayor Roe concluded public comment at approximately 5:54 p.m., thanking citizens for observing this process.


5.            Wrap Up Meeting and Preview Wednesday Items

In conclusion, Mayor Roe wrapped up today's meeting and the intended outcome of this retreat, clarifying that this was not Mr. Rapp's report, but the City of Roseville's report, and wanted to make sure that was very clear to everyone.


As part two of this retreat to be held tomorrow, Mayor Roe advised that the meeting would further refine those items developed today and take them to the next steps.  Mayor Roe advised that his key take away involved developing measurable outcomes and whether the City is currently or can achieve those goals.


7.            Adjourn

The retreat for today was adjourned at approximately 5:57 p.m.