To say I was completely in the dark about why the City Council election is critical is an understatement.
I had no idea seven new City Council members will be elected out of 13 wards. It's a fact that sounds so matter-of-fact that it's worth re-stating in a different way: 60% of city council members will be serving for the first time.
Yet, this may be lost on you as it was on me. So what? To answer I first had to come clean. I really didn't know what the council even did. Did you know?: This group of 13 has primary control over a 1.2 billion budget.
They influence things like how revenue is raised and spent. They vote to pass city taxes, licenses, permits, and other revenue sources. And they determine how that money is spent for public infrastructure, city services, police and fire departments.
In short, they hold the purse, the strings, and everything in between. Many think the Mayor has final say on their decisions (like I did). Not true. The Mayor must work with and through the Council to get anything related to items above passed.
OK, so much for being in the dark. Here's the point: Given this year's newly elected Council will be a "startup" of sorts, we need someone in Ward 13's City Council seat who has the ideal qualifications to meet the challenges and needs of Minneapolis. Right now. Matt Perry may have a zoning and small business background and Linea Palmisano may have some community organizing background. Both are viable, very respectable candidates.
In any other year, I would fully support either one of them. Hands down.
This year I can't. It's clear Missy Durant has the skills we need now. Here's why: Missy has deep experience working with large multi-million dollar budgets. She merely doesn't understand what it takes to come to consensus, she's done it, many times while working to bring high-level leadership layers of a 150,000 person company together to find common ground.
She merely doesn't understand how to plan and prioritize, she's done it, successfully many times in volatile business situations. Situations that demanded data-driven trade-offs.
In other words, budgets and growth-planning were based on actual need vs. ideological rhetoric. She merely doesn't understand leadership, followership, finding common ground, and solving critical problems, she's done it for over 20 years in both business and nonprofit worlds.
Let's get someone on the Council who actually has the exact skills it needs to further the success of our great city. Today.