Friend of this blog and fellow KAXE contributor Chuck Marohn is the director of Strong Towns, a sort of think tank/consulting agency that helps small towns adjust to the new world of the 21st century. Among other things, including running a pretty interesting blog, Strong Towns helps towns get by without hiring in-house developers or planners.
For a long time Chuck was a sort of Bizarro-world Republican version of me, loyal to the ideals that brought him to his party but also causing his party fits by not conforming to dogma. Now Chuck has gravitated toward the Independence Party and tonight hosts a Strong Towns “Curbside Chat” sponsored by the IP talking about independent solutions to the financial problems facing Minnesota communities.
I really respect what Chuck does and think that his work provides useful ideas challenging both DFL and GOP orthodoxy (and engineering orthodoxy, for that matter). Fact is, a lot of towns are trapped in impossible situations, thanks to a political system that has been slow or unwilling to commit to a stable long term plan. Waiting for the major parties to enact their supporter-targeted solutions will be an indefinite, likely disappointing wait for an outcome that won’t benefit everyone. Communities will have to do at least a majority of the work themselves.
So, Roseville-area readers, you may wish to check out the Strong Towns/IP future discussion tonight at 6 at the Ramsay County Library. And keep your eye on Chuck. Though the political world of northern Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District is pretty grounded in “GOP vs. DFL” mindset, Chuck would be a worthy public servant in a variety of capacities. He and I have a standing arrangement to run for Governor and Lt. Governor someday. That day will probably only come if our wives are abducted by aliens, but you never know.
Chuck recently participated in a MPR News discussion on whether Minnesota’s “exurbs” are dying due to the latent costs of their rapid expansion in the ’90s and 2000s. So even if you can’t make the discussion, you could listen to this:
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