Quick Take: Timothy Evans, Dakota County, MN

Posted on September 14, 2014

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Timothy Evans


Dakota County, MN – Local Government Management Fellow

Connect: LinkedIn

1. Describe the current state of local government.

Local government overall is in transition.  Depending on the size, location, type (e.g. township, city, county…) and demographics among other variables (e.g. high education opportunities, employment, transportation…) of local government, each transition can look different.  Based on the migration from rural to urban and even suburban to urban, communities are seeing an increase or decrease in their populations, which are creating new challenges such as providing adequate services, loss of taxpayer revenue, and city congestion.  Coupled with these challenges are the employment concerns of local government to transition from the baby boomer generation to the young generation with different needs and priorities.  Furthermore, local governments must compete for the current generation of talented employees who are ambitious, entrepreneurial, and being courted by private and public organizations. How governments respond with these challenges will impact the future role of government for generations to come.

2. During her presidency, Bonnie Svrcek encouraged ICMA members to do “Just One Thing” for the organization. What’s one thing we can do to strengthen local government?

Local governments can provide more opportunities for risk-taking that result in greater innovation.  As stewards of the taxpayer’s investments, local government must balance the obligation to deliver efficient and effective services with searching for new innovative methods to improve service offering and impact.  In order to strike this balance, local government cannot be overly risk-averse.  Innovation and growth cannot happen in a risk-adverse environment, instead over time depending  on the level risk-aversion a community can lose value.  Therefore, where appropriate, local government should seek to modulate between risk-adverse and a risk-taker, which will create more opportunities for innovation.

3. In keeping with the beer tasting theme, tell us what we’d find in your ideal six pack.

Corona, Blue Moon, Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Alleghash White

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