Creating a smart, competitive, and intuitive regulatory environment.

At last night’s agenda session, I presented to the rest of the Duluth City Council an initiative of a Red Tape Reduction Task Force (this resolution is Co-Sponsored by Councilor Elissa Hansen as well). What this resolution does is establish a Red Tape Reduction Task Force (RT2) to provide the Duluth city council with information and recommendations that will reduce red tape and make it easier for entrepreneurs to establish businesses in Duluth. The goal of this task force is to produce recommendations which will promote business development and job growth in the city of Duluth.

What RT2 isn’t- RT2 isn’t a gimmicky initiative to say “for every new rule you must remove two” this is foolish and not practical. While we should absolutely examine and remove redundancies it’s not practical to tie your hands when addressing current problems, or issues we currently are unaware of yet. RT2 also does not compromise necessary environmental and worker protections.

Now; to outline what RT2 looks like. It’s a 7 member task force, members have some sort of connection to the business community, be it from the Chamber of Commerce, small business, a representative from the Trades Union, and four at large members (this will likely be defined slightly more in the next two weeks). Applications will be accepted until the Friday after Labor Day (September 8th), with the first meeting being in October and making first recommendations to council 6 months after. The RT2’s duties will include;

  1. Examining the city’s permitting and licensing processes;
  2. Identifying challenges faced by citizens wishing to do business with the city due costly or unnecessary contracting practices;
  3. Identifying duplicative review requirements on development project features and making recommendations to eliminate redundancies;
  4. Identifying ways to help small businesses navigate the city’s regulatory requirements;
  5. Identifying ways to make city regulations simple, fair and easier to enforce.

I like this idea a lot because it creates a public process, and a process that will be led by individuals who have experienced unnecessary red tape in dealing with our city. It also creates an accountability mechanism for myself and fellow councilors. I believe that we have a responsibility to create a smart, competitive, and intuitive regulatory environment to continue to position our city as a place to work live and play.

So if you’re a pragmatic business owner that wants to help the city do a better job keep your eyes open for how to apply soon!

This won’t solve everything, but I believe it will help continue the positive momentum that Duluth as created over the past 10 years and help improve us as a local government. I will keep folks updated on the process here in the future!