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Cities look for opportunities to team up

Sometimes two heads are better than one. Or in the case of making local government more efficient, a bunch of ideas is better than none.

The High Performance Partnerships group, which was responsible for getting the Dakota Communications Center built, has set forth to get communities in Dakota County cooperating again.

"The DCC was a home run," said HiPP co-chair Peter Herlofksy, the city administrator in Farmington. "This time out we need to look at getting singles and doubles."

HiPP began in 2003 to identify opportunities for Dakota County and its largest cities to work together. The initiative identifies ways to work together that enhance service delivery, reduce the costs of delivering services, or both.

With the DCC in place, Herlofsky said the group hopes to find more ways for cities and the county to work together to save money and resources. But to identify possible partnerships the group needs the help of involved individuals.

Over the last several weeks HiPP has conducted five small focus groups throughout the county to get feedback.

Herlofsky said to get a larger sense of how residents feel, HiPP will host a work session in Rosemount that will involve up to 100 people.

"We want to get a larger group to have people talk about government and what it does well and what we can do better," said Herlofsky.

The work session will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Rosemount Community Center. The group has encouraged cities to invite involved members in their community to take part.

Herlofsky said they want knowledgeable involved residents who are engaged in their community to attend.

City administrator Dwight Johnson said Rosemount will send out a letter to commission members and some others asking them to be part of the work session on behalf of the city.

Individuals who attend the meeting will be given a clicker to answer a series of questions. Throughout the meeting a number of questions pertaining to various services will be asked.

"We want to get people together to get input on what things the cities and county could work together on," said Johnson.

Possible ideas for partnerships could include broadband fiber optic networks, building inspection, elections, code enforcement, cable access and juvenile service, among others.

The information gathered will help the group put together a plan for future collaborations.

"We're hoping to get ideas," said Herlofsky. "It's a good time to maximize resources."

For more information on the meeting call Rosemount City Hall at 651-423-4411.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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