On paper, going paperless in government makes sense. Staff armed with iPads can significantly reduce the time spent entering duplicative data for participants in government programs and increase efficiency in providing services, theoretically saving taxpayers.
Yet Winona County is paying dearly for being on the cutting edge of implementing an electronic data management system. What started out as a promised profit center based on selling EDMS software and services to other counties turned into a money pit that may never break even.
“We’re into it for multiple millions, and it was supposed to not be a burden on our taxpayers. It was supposed to be a blessing to our taxpayers,” said Steve Jacob, Winona County Board chair.Read More →
The ink has hardly dried on lethal legislation eliminating a powerful state pollution panel dating to the activist ‘60s.
But after having the final say on contentious environmental issues for nearly 50 years, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Citizens’ Board has already, essentially, gone dark.Read More →
A group of residents have gone to court for the right to decide who dumps their trash.
“We want the people to have a voice in the process,” said Joel Jennissen, a day trader who founded the citizen-led Hands Off Our Cans campaign. “Every step of the process, where they’ve had citizen input, the majority says they don’t want this. The city keeps going down this path, ignoring that voice.”
The controversy amounts to nothing more —or less — than a bunch of garbage, as the city moves to trash the current system and discard that option for residents.Read More →
Sonoma wine maker Vance Rose admits his timing was bad and isn’t happy that taxpayers are left paying the debt.Read More →
The answer’s not blowing in the wind anymore for 70 or so landowners waiting to cash in on the proposed Paynesville wind energy project on the table since 2008.
Dairy farmer Ken Schefers used to be one of the planned 60 turbine wind farm’s most reliable supporters, but the return on the lease he signed with Geronimo Energy five years ago no longer seems like a sure bet.
“This isn’t as good a deal, as it once looked for us. We’d still really like to contribute to green energy, if things could work, but this particular project, just doesn’t look very good for us,” Schefers said. “And that’s kind of the feeling of the bulk of the landowners for various reasons.”Read More →
There may or may not be a secret handshake at the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency’s monthly meetings. But then again, how would you know?
The power agency’s board meetings have been closed to the press and public for years. There’s a blackout on making even routine documents, often stamped “confidential,” available to the public. The secrecy has spurred lawmakers to introduce legislation to change the practice.
One city official describes a “secret decoder ring” mentality at the electric agency’s board meetings.Read More →