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MN State Park Fear Mongering

 
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bflentje
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Joined: 29 May 2006

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:07 pm    Post subject: MN State Park Fear Mongering Reply with quote

I don't want a political debate here but it seems as if the DNR took a page from the school accounting playbook. Not only will your kids be walking to school because bussing has to be shut down, but they also won't be able to visit some MN state parks. The DNR is claiming in the Strib this morning that budget cuts may force them to close a number of parks.

If comments get out of control, feel free to move this to non-geocaching.
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LucidOndine
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 17 Jan 2006

Posts: 1931

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Government agencies that are cash-strapped do know that the most effective way to get people to complain about a lack of services is to take those services away.

On the other hand, if they don't have the money to keep certain parks open, then they don't have the money. I guess it depends on who you choose to believe.

I think its fair to suggest that you can't have your cake and eat it too. Those vying for smaller governments, less taxes and all the same resources might be overly optimistic. There are areas which you can probably trim waste from, but the natural tendencies for government agencies is to take care of their own, like any other business.

If you look at government efficiency as a function, where the dependent variable is funding and the independent variable is effectiveness at accomplishing their mission statements, the relation is likely not linear. Like any other business, what can be accomplished with an additional employee will not on average be more beneficial than adding the previous one, yet arguably some kind of job still needs to be performed and will require a certain number of people and financial resources to do it.

I don't think its fair for you or I to say how the DNR operates and how it chooses to do business. We are not privy to their financial statements and considerations in full; we are the peanut gallery who has to foot the bill, so we have something at stake.

We'd need to look at all expenditures, payrolls and income in order to suggest they're being greedy or honest. I do know that working for the DNR is not a lucrative endeavor, no matter how you tally tangible benefits. I'd say, unless you can prove to me that they're running a surplus or being paid exorbitantly that they're within their right to close down parks as their wallet is being squeezed.
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Boreal Walker
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Joined: 14 Aug 2008

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate to see State Parks close, especially with two in development.

Glad I finished the state park series already.
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Arcticabn
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Joined: 30 Nov 2003

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is called the Washington Monument Ploy. The US Parks service did this a couple of years ago. The US Parks service when faced with cut stated that the most effective cuts that impacted the least but covered the cost of the cut was to close the WM. The cut was never implemented.
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bflentje
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not suggesting that I have a solution to the state's budget woes but I found the news article comical. Let's target two of the most visited parks in the northern end of the state.. that'll really get people riled up. I could name 10 state parks that if were shut down, no one would notice.
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joboo
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bart,
I just read the article you mentioned, thanks for the laugh! Lol
I think the state won't have to worry about the operating budget for T. S. this year, the clean up bill will be high enough!!!
It would be a shame to lose any state parks!!

Peace
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spinowner
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Joined: 25 Nov 2004

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:17 am    Post subject: Re: MN State Park Fear Mongering Reply with quote

bflentje wrote:
I don't want a political debate here...


If that's the case it might have been better not to use the term "Fear Mongering".
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bflentje
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:20 am    Post subject: Re: MN State Park Fear Mongering Reply with quote

spinowner wrote:
bflentje wrote:
I don't want a political debate here...


If that's the case it might have been better not to use the term "Fear Mongering".


fear monger fear monger fear monger. Laughing Laughing
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spinowner
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:54 pm    Post subject: Re: MN State Park Fear Mongering Reply with quote

bflentje wrote:
spinowner wrote:
bflentje wrote:
I don't want a political debate here...


If that's the case it might have been better not to use the term "Fear Mongering".


fear monger fear monger fear monger. Laughing Laughing


Laughing
Yes, it's true that this can't not be a political discussion. Without taking sides, what it comes down to is the question of whether something is worth having and therefore worth paying taxes for. Among the legislators and the governor there are 202 different opinions regarding what programs should be funded and how to fund them. Let's hope that a compromise can be reached.
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bflentje
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:49 pm    Post subject: Re: MN State Park Fear Mongering Reply with quote

spinowner wrote:
bflentje wrote:
spinowner wrote:
bflentje wrote:
I don't want a political debate here...


If that's the case it might have been better not to use the term "Fear Mongering".


fear monger fear monger fear monger. Laughing Laughing


Laughing
Yes, it's true that this can't not be a political discussion. Without taking sides, what it comes down to is the question of whether something is worth having and therefore worth paying taxes for. Among the legislators and the governor there are 202 different opinions regarding what programs should be funded and how to fund them. Let's hope that a compromise can be reached.


State parks are worth paying taxes for. But I do not believe for ONE MINUTE that threatening the public that closing two (or ten) parks is the solution to the problem. Especially without first scouring every other program under DNR control. I deplore the approach that the Strib and the DNR took with this article and it has nothing to do with wanting to pay more or less in taxes.
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Arcticabn
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think that there is one of us that posts here that doesn't agree that we need to pay some level of taxes. But what gets me is the wastefulness of some of what the state spends the money on. And instead of cutting programs that are either not working, or controlling their spending, they just want more.

I just wish I could go to my boss and say, I've taken out more debt so either pay me more, or I'm just going to do less work. Very Happy
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bflentje
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arcticabn wrote:
I don't think that there is one of us that posts here that doesn't agree that we need to pay some level of taxes. But what gets me is the wastefulness of some of what the state spends the money on. And instead of cutting programs that are either not working, or controlling their spending, they just want more.

I just wish I could go to my boss and say, I've taken out more debt so either pay me more, or I'm just going to do less work. Very Happy


LOL. Nicely said.
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dornole
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:57 am    Post subject: wow Reply with quote

Wow Lucid that was really . . . lucid. I agree with you.
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bflentje
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In response to Lucid, I am not suggesting I know ANYTHING about the DNR budget but I guarantee that cutting state parks is not legitimately the best FIRST option. Nor would I imply anyone working for the DNR is over paid.

Found a study from the University of Idaho. Here's just a snippet. The point is to suggest that the DNR owns a heck of a lot more land than 72 state parks. That land at some level, has to be managed, or, could be released and sold to the public to increase tax base to some degree.

Quote:
Minnesota has a total area of approximately
217,400 km2, of which 8.4 percent is water and 91.6 percent is land. Minnesota is the twelfth largest state in the United States and ranks fourth in the nation for amount of water. Individuals and corporations own about three-fourths of the land surface. Governmental units own the remainder. The Federal government owns approximately 1.4 million hectares (7 percent) and the state/county governments own about 3.4 million hectares (17 percent). Federal land ownership is primarily concentrated in the Superior and Chippewa National Forests in northern Minnesota. The State, which owns a large amount of the area covered by water, is the largest landowner in Minnesota. State land ownership is more widely dispersed, but is also more concentrated in the central and northeast areas of the state where numerous State Forests exist (Minnesota DNR 2000).
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