Friday, September 21, 2012

Thoughts on Public / Private thinking

A good example of how Public/private thinking are different became clear today at a Mississippi River Master Plan committee meeting as many Mississippi River advocates made comments on the committee's master plan.  The committee sitting in the common 'U' shape.  The public in seated rows to the 'U's opening.  An assortment of coffee and scones sitting on a side table.

Before the meeting started, I picked up a scone and found a seat among some of the twin cities finest river advocates.  The meeting continued to outline some of the greater aspects of the master plan, and then the floor opened to the public for concerns, thoughts and praise to be shared.  I was inspired to hear the Executive Directors of the Mississippi River Fund, Friends of the Mississippi, and National Park Service Rangers share their hopes and dreams for the corridor which connects two amazing cities.  Half way through this public hearing, I went to fill a travel mug with coffee and as I was about to pour a cup, a committee member came up to me, saying these snacks were only available to committee members because they had each paid into a fund which supplied the snacks.

I sat back down and thought what a waste that these scones and coffee would soon be thrown away.  I saw valuable resources that were soon to become waste.  This is one small example of how resources can be used more efficiently with private cooperation. If this happens on a scone level, what is happening with the millions going into this revitalization project?

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