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County seeks public input on performance

When Ed Koch was mayor of New York City, he was famous for asking residents “how am I doing?”

Now picture the five Becker County commissioners, shoulder to shoulder, asking the same thing in unison.

How can you resist? The county needs feedback, and it’s asking residents to complete its website performance survey.

Google the county website, and under News and Announcements in the center at the top, click on the poetically named “Becker County Implements System for Measurement With Online Survey Available to the Public.”

Why is it important to participate? The county is glad you asked:

In 2010, the Legislature created performance measurements for counties and cities, and  Becker County has chosen to participate.

That makes the county eligible for a reimbursement  of .014 cents per capita in local government aid. Becker County has 30,000 residents. By our calculations that’s about $4,200. Not bad.

It is also exempt from levy limits (under sections 275.70 to 275.74, for those of you keeping track at home) for taxes payable in the following calendar year, if levy limits are in effect, which they currently aren’t.

In  order to receive the per capita reimbursement and levy limit exemption, counties must file a report with the State Auditor by July 1.

As part of the program,  it is suggested Becker County survey its citizens  Everyone is encouraged to participate in the survey.

Some examples of performance measurements:  How many hours does it take the road department after a snow event to plow the entire road system? In Becker County it is takes eight hours, a neighboring county takes 12 hours.

In child protection, what is the recurrence of maltreatment? In Becker County, it is 1 percent. In a neighboring county, it is 7.5 percent. 

The county hopes for a wide response from its survey, since 25 percent of the answers to date have come from a single IP address in Florida.