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For $59,000, Lakeville City Council Agrees to Hire 'Vision' Consultant

Lakeville's City Council agreed at a recent work session to hire a consultant—with a fee of $59,000—to develop a "vision plan."

Lakeville's City Council has agreed to hire a "community visioning consultant" whose job will be to help city leaders drill into where, exactly, residents want the city to go.

First discussed and agreed upon at a Nov. 19 work session, the consultant—and their $59,000 fee—are part of the $23.7 million 2013 budget that was presented at the Truth in Taxation hearing at last Monday's meeting. The budget will likely be formally approved on Dec. 17.

According to a Star Tribune report, roughly two-thirds of the cost for the consultant will be covered by a federal grant.

The report quoted mayor-elect Matt Little, who said the process needs to provide "specific, usable information that provides clear direction for the council."

The consultant will be tasked with conducting a survey of the community and hold a dozen focus groups, forums and education sessions over eight months, according to the report.

Despite wanting useful information, and being in favor of the consultant, Little also told the Star Tribune he was concerned over the price-tag.

Meanwhile, the Star Tribune reported a city staff memo said the whole process would "establish an informed, reasoned and cohesive picture upon which to build consensus."

ABSG December 12, 2012 at 01:30 PM
"... to help city leaders drill into where, exactly, residents want the city to go." ? As in what specifically ? That's a pretty wide open statement I guess.
Lakeville resident December 12, 2012 at 03:29 PM
I think it's probably a good idea. Especially if they are going to conduct surveys and hold focus groups, etc. I've noticed residents have all sorts of opinions on issues facing the City, and this would be their chance to speak up. Sometimes it takes an expert or just an outside opinion to gain vision. Hopefully it will be worth the cost.
Colin Lee December 12, 2012 at 03:52 PM
They say they have done this about every ten years. It is a goal-setting program for the city based on surveys and feedback. The price tag does seem a bit high, but collecting a useful sample of surveys can be costly.
ABSG December 12, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Agreed ... I am curious who else bid and what were their bid amounts ?
Lenny from Lakeville December 12, 2012 at 11:26 PM
I thought that when I voted I was expressing my choice for a vision of the community. All the candidates kept stating that they have a vision and they are going to show some leadership. Hiring a consultant is one way to say it was not my fault the consultant told me to do it! I guesss I am stating to see what the Mayor Elect meant by a "Little Leadership". I could not help notice how quickly he jumped on both sides of the issue. I am concerned about the cost but I voted for it!
Billy December 13, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Wait a second...Matt Little was preaching door to door that he was against the city spending this money on a consultant. Now he is FOR IT. A typical politician...tell the voters what they want to hear to get their vote and then switch once elected.
Harvey Simpson December 13, 2012 at 01:46 AM
I am almost certain Matt Little told all of us at the mayor forum that he was against the city spending money on consultants for this project....wanted to use internal people to conduct project....bait and switch?
Harvey Simpson December 13, 2012 at 01:47 AM
Glad to see I am not the only person seeing this switch
Harvey Simpson December 13, 2012 at 02:00 AM
This is after telling us before the election that he was against the city spending money on this.
jim December 13, 2012 at 03:49 AM
Maybe we need to recall the newly elected Mayor with this bait and switch.
In Lakeville December 13, 2012 at 04:32 AM
I'm confused. That would be like me spending $50,000 of my company's money to hire someone to tell me how to do my job.
Matt F December 13, 2012 at 11:20 AM
The study will show that residents want things that they really will only use once in a while but that the city should fund all year long. Everybody campaigned for this except Matt Little so you cannot fault them. He was against this. But post election he votes for this and once it passes he is in front of the reporters preaching.

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