PLATFORM

Julie and I have loved raising our family in Birchwood for the past 26 years.  Birchwood is a great city and a great place to live.  With its' small town warmth, abundant parks, and the natural beauty of wetlands, trees and of course the lake, it is one of the best kept secrets in the Twin Cities.  I'm now at a place in my life that I'd like to give back and try to help Birchwood become an even better place to live.  I've designed my platform to focus on three areas I think will improve life in Birchwood: Sincere, Sensible, & Strategic Leadership.
Sincere Leadership
  • City Council/Mayor/employee code of ethics.

  • Mayor and council persons' biographies on web page including past service on council.

  • Use face to face meetings to resolve issues before they become a council agenda item.

  • The council should always look for a way to “say yes” to resident’s requests, look for “win/win” resolutions, and err on the side of giving the benefit of the doubt to residents.

  • Find a balance between a small town personal approach, and a more professional & systematic organization.

Strategic Leadership
  • Re-constitute citizen advisory committee system providing them with clear directives, parameters and power to make decisions; then honor those decisions.

  • Gather resident data on important or expensive initiatives through flexible formats; paper and electronic formats, eg. Google Forms or Survey Monkey.

  • Spend money strategically, using experts when needed.  

  • It costs money to run/upkeep a city, but smart spending saves money in the long run.

  • Focus on improving the quality and maintenance of current city assets before making new commitments.

  • Maintain or eliminate city assets instead of allowing them to degrade.

Sensible Leadership
  • Simplify council meetings to streamline them and encourage residents’ participation and knowledge.

  • Post a time stamp for every agenda item on the council meeting recordings so people can view specific agenda items encouraging easier community knowledge and input.

  • Institute council “talking” sessions to gather input and inform residents. 

  • Encourage sensible property improvement and growth to support city renewal and improve our tax base.

  • Write city codes in plain English to improve clarity and adherence. 

  • Take advantage of city domain name/emails and run all city business/correspondence through official email.

  • City emails are archived for institutional memory and accuracy.

© 2020 by Michael McKenzie, 509 Lake Ave. Birchwood, MN 55110-1631 

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