Integrative Leadership in Action: Solving the St. Paul Budget Deficit
By Adam Faitek
Students from the Spring 2010 "Integrative Leadership: From Theory to Practice" course, taught by Professors Jay Kiedrowski and Paul Vaaler, will post their reflections on integrative leadership throughout the course of the semester on the Time to Lead blog.
One thing that has been apparent over the last six weeks of the integrative leadership class has been the degree of difficulty in actually achieving results. One example in which I saw success was last year while I was interning at the St. Paul Budget Office.
While facing a significant budget deficit and cuts from local government aid, the City of St. Paul was put into a position where it would have to make cuts across departments that would almost certainly mean a reduction in city services, including the parks department. Faced with
such a decision, the Mayor reached out to neighborhoods to find out if they could move some operating functions to community groups.
The result of this outreach was the creation of an where the Baker, Griggs, Margaret, South St. Anthony, and Wilder recreation centers would be taken over by neighborhood groups. The property and maintenance of the facilities would be maintained by the city while different groups
agreed to take on the operations for the centers. The result of this innovative partnership helped to make the needed service reductions for the parks department while still maintaining the same level of service that was demanded from constituents. This partnership was an excellent
example of integrative leadership in action.