LMC/MCMA Civility Task Force

In considering the emerging needs of Minnesota cities, the LMC Board of Directors identified “improved civility” as one its highest three priorities in 2012. At about the same time, the Board of Directors of the Minnesota City/County Management Association (MCMA), the professional association of the appointed chief executive officers and top assistants working in Minnesota’s cities and counties, independently identified the same priority. Consequently, LMC and MCMA formed a joint Civility Task Force, to study and make recommendations to both organizations on ways to pursue this sometimes elusive goal. While the focus has been on cities and counties, it is the Task Force’s impression that civility issues are of concern in school districts, townships, and other units of local government as well.

Task Force members
Members of the Task Force were chosen to represent a wide range of perspectives from local elected officials, staff, and the staff of local government associations who have personally dealt with specific, pronounced, and sometimes prolonged instances where incivility has essentially immobilized, or at least seriously compromised, the ability of a local government to act with confidence.

  • Shaunna Johnson, city administrator, Waite Park (Chair)
  • Chad Adams, city manager, Albert Lea
  • Chuck Ahl, city manager, Maplewood
  • Sara Carlson, mayor, Alexandria
  • Phil Gartner, councilmember, Lake City
  • Troy Gilchrist, city attorney, Kennedy and Graven
  • Craig Klausing, former councilmember and mayor, Roseville
  • Rhonda Pownell, councilmember, Northfield
  • Kathy Quick, assistant professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
  • Bob Thistle, LMC ambassador/MCMA range rider
  • Dan Vogt, city administrator, Little Falls and consulting city administrator, Crosslake
  • Mark Voxland, mayor, Moorhead

Report
The Task Force Report details the group’s findings, observations, and recommendations—to cities and to the League and MCMA. The report also details common contributors to incivility and the costs associated with incivility.

The League, MCMA, and League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust have all discussed and accepted the first six recommendations in the Task Force Report. The League will be implementing the recommendations over the coming months.