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  • From: Strong Towns Podcast - Brainerd Council President Gary Scheeler
    I really enjoyed this episode.  I hope Chuck can have more guests that present conflicting views.  What I found most interesting was how well reasoned his conclusions were.  Mr. Scheeler's opinions are based on his experience of what works (in the short term), to achieve very specific goals (increasing the tax base?).   It appears that he views his role as fostering a positive business client.  He even mentioned that as his priority. This means fulfilling the metrics that potential new businesses require in order to relocate.  There seemed to be very little consideration of what happens in the long term.  And frankly, who could blame him.  As he describes it, the city government is in danger of not being able to sustain itself.   Not acquiescing to the demands of these companies comes with the threat of severe cuts to city services.  Since the future cannot be predicted, why abandon efforts to bring in money today even if those actions come with obligations that could possibly (likely?) be hurtful in the future?  Maybe I missed it, but I would have liked to have heard what his vision was for Brainard .   Vision is what allows us to think about the future.  Currently, it sounds Mr. Scheeler is making logical short term arguments to react to current economic difficulty.  If there is no vision to work towards, how could he be expected to move out of his current thinking.  Vision also allows you to justify short-term pain for longer term gain.

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