Can't we all just get along? Commissioners and city council meet to learn about trust and SCALEPublished by on
WORTHINGTON – Worthington Regional Economic Development Authority Manager Abraham Algadi on Friday spoke with Nobles County Commissioners and Worthington City Council members about a new initiative called “Nobles Home,” a multi-prong approach to encourage investment in all segments of the housing market within incorporated areas of Nobles County. According to Algadi, about 500 new housing units are needed to meet the expected demand in the area by 2020.
The initiative, still in its planning stages, needs cooperation from all of the Nobles County entities, Algadi said, because housing is critical.
This isn’t the first time in recent history a housing plan has been addressed in the area.
“The most dangerous thing we can do is do is to claim that we know the solution and get out there and share it with everybody else, only to fall flat on our face,” Algadi said. “It will not help us to do that, so we have to ensure success. The only way to ensure success is if we mean what we’re doing, if we have some intent behind the things we do. In other words, do it with a little more vigor than we have done it before.”
The Nobles County Commissioners and Worthington City Council met jointly with the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce and the Worthington Regional Economic Development Authority Friday to hear from Scott County Administrator Gary Shelton about a collaborative group called SCALE, the Scott County Association for Leadership and Efficiency.
The mission of SCALE is to explore ways in which government entities can work together to provide services while making the most of limited resources. According to Shelton, people don’t really care where they get services from, as long as they get them. When entities work together, sharing resources and information, developing unified economic development, land use and transportation plans, more gets done, Shelton said. Most importantly, entities are not redoing work. In other words, a dollar gets spent only once, instead of through each entity on the same project or information.
Worthington Mayor Al Oberloh expressed disbelief that so many projects and development happens without a multitude of joint power agreements and contracts, but according to Shelton, SCALE does not use either. An occasional memorandum of understanding is issued, but the biggest part of making SCALE work is about trust and relationships between the entities. Getting to that point meant the entities had to get to government without borders, Shelton said.
The officials in the room seemed very open to the idea of a similar group, nodding when Commissioner Bob Demuth said he sensed a willingness in the room to move forward. Shelton even volunteered the expertise and time from his staff to help them get started, adding that all parts of the state succeeding is good for Minnesota.