EDITORIAL: States need to look at real ways to save
We applaud the governors of Wisconsin and Minnesota for reaching across state lines to look for ways to collaborate to save taxpayers money. If they need some examples on how this could result in real savings and responsible government, they shou...
We applaud the governors of Wisconsin and Minnesota for reaching across state lines to look for ways to collaborate to save taxpayers money.
If they need some examples on how this could result in real savings and responsible government, they should talk to mayors Dave Ross of Superior and Don Ness of Duluth.
Both Twin Ports mayors know that working together makes sense for their communities.
Mayor Ross shared his leadership expertise across the bay by serving on the committee that recently selected Chief Administrative Officer Lisa Potswald for the city of Duluth.
The two mayors have also worked together for the benefit of our shared port and shipping industries. They collaborated to help resolved an issue over residual dust on ship decks that could have threatened jobs, and together hosted a conference looking at short sea shipping, a visionary concept that could lead to more shipping activity in the Twin Ports.
Gov. Doyle and Gov. Pawlenty tasked their staffs to look for ways their two states could join forces and purchasing power was identified as a high-potential idea.
While buying salt for roads and food for prisons in mass quantities for both states might reap some savings, leaders should look seriously at combining DNR efforts, such as fish hatchery and tree nursery operations, where similar operations may be occurring within miles of our invisible state lines. And it makes sense to combine resources on specialized equipment, such as helicopters and patrol boats.
But with both states facing crushing deficits, Minnesota at an estimated $4.85 billion and Wisconsin at $5.4 billion, both state leaders would do well to take inspiration from Mayor Ross' aversion to public debt and pledge to align government to what states can afford.
Ross has put the city of Superior on a fiscal diet and has a plan in place to pay off the city's $20 million in debt in 12 years. Already, some of the city's bond issues have been repaid early. This will translate into real savings on interest payments and not burden our future generations with bills from unchecked spending.
Seeing Minnesota's Republican governor shake hands and pledge to work with Wisconsin's Democratic governor made great press conference pictures.
Seeing real savings for both state's taxpayers would be even better.
Do you have a good idea for both states to worktogether? Send us a letter and share it with Superior Telegram readers.