With Destination Medical Center efforts emerging from planning stages and entering a new phase, the board that oversees the progress is changing strategies as well.
The DMC Corp. Board approved its meeting schedule for 2016, scaling back from monthly gatherings of the eight members to a total of six regular meetings aimed at addressing key deadlines. As a result, the board isn't scheduled to meet again until late March.
That doesn't mean the group needs to wait three months to get together. The members can call a special meeting with three-days notice, if needed, and they also discussed the possibility of scheduling joint meetings with the DMC Economic Development Agency Board or the Rochester City Council. "There is so much we can work on together," Lt. Gov. Tina Smith said in her role as DMCC Board chairwoman.
We'd like to see them take advantage of the upcoming meetings gap to do just that, especially in an effort to connect with Rochester City Council members who do not serve on the board or routinely address the board.
While Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede and Council Member Ed Hruska serve on the DMCC Board and the city council, other members of both bodies frequently ask questions about the intent or plans of their collaborating entities. It would be nice to see those questions addressed in person.
Thursday, DMCC Board Member and former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said he'd like a chance to ask the council to address transportation issues, and during a meeting earlier in the week Rochester council members voiced a desire for more input from the DMCC Board.
As Rybak noted, a joint meeting offers a chance to move forward and make sure both bodies are headed in the same direction. "If we get this right, in the next six months we will all know what our roles are and what our values are," he said.
Additionally, a joint meeting will allow the public a chance to address both bodies at the same time. As it stands, messages can change slightly from meeting to meeting, and shifting circumstances can shape how public comments are perceived. By providing a single meeting where the public can voice concerns or propose goals, the messages will be clearer and open potential options for the two bodies.
Tuesday, Smith said she plans to take steps that will ensure that opportunity. "I think it is incumbent upon us that we are strategic, as well as responsive," she told her fellow board members.
By taking the opportunity to work together, we expect questions will be answered, concerns will be voiced and progress will be made.
2016 DMCC Board meetings
The Destination Medical Center Corp. approved its schedule of regular meetings in 2016 on Thursday. All are scheduled to start at 9 30 a.m. in the Mayo Civic Center.
The meeting dates are:
• March 24
• May 26
• June 23
• Aug. 25
• Oct. 27
• Dec. 15
Special meetings of the board can be schedule throughout the year with three-days notice.