Farmington mayor wants less talk, more action in 2013Farmington mayor Todd Larson has a pretty simple goal for 2013. His goal is to set goals. And not just any goals, either. In 2013, Larson wants to see the Farmington City Council really take time to set reasonable goals, and to develop sound plans to move the community forward in the new year.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
Farmington mayor Todd Larson has a pretty simple goal for 2013. His goal is to set goals.
And not just any goals, either. In 2013, Larson wants to see the Farmington City Council really take time to set reasonable goals, and to develop sound plans to move the community forward in the new year.
The city council meets annually to talk about goals and strategic planning for the city. And while they cover a lot of topics, Larson said, it seems like very little is accomplished to meet those goals every year.
“We talk and talk and talk, and two hours into it, we’ve talked about everything,” he said. “Everything gets talked about and nothing gets done.”
Instead of trying to cram every topic into a two- or three-hour goal-setting workshop, Larson wants to set up a series of workshops, each dedicated to one specific topic, and to spend two or three hours working through the details of each topic. He sees the group talking about things like a possible reorganization of city staff and duties, financial issues, or the city’s capital improvement plan.
“Even personally, one of the things I want to talk about is, should we replace the streetlights with LED lights. You see studies all over on how people are saving money using LED. We pay almost $200,000 a year for streetlights. I’d like to see if there are rebates or grant opportunities or something like that out there,” Larson said.
One of the issues Larson knows the city will face in 2013 is a proposal to include Farmington in the state’s metro transit taxing district. The proposal comes from Gov. Mark Dayton’s Transportation Finance Advisory Committee, and early indications are that, if Farmington becomes part of the transit taxing district, it would cost the city $250,000 to $500,000.
“The transit tax scares the crap out of me, but that will be a Met Council task,” Larson said. “But I don’t want us to go down without a fight.”
He’s looking forward to working with council member-elect Doug Bonar, who will be sworn in to office at the Jan. 7 city council meeting, too. Bonar has served on the city’s planning commission since February, 2011, and he has been an ex-officio member of the economic development authority since August, 2011.