ST. PAUL -- On a scale of one to 10, Gov. Jesse Ventura's administration received an overall score of just under 7 on accomplishing its goals, according to an evaluation released by his administration.
"I'm especially pleased with our success on tax reform, light rail transit, tourism promotion, affordable housing, trade development and engaging citizens," Ventura wrote in a letter released Monday.
Those were some the areas for which he received the highest marks. On other key issues, he fell far short of what he'd hoped to accomplish.
The lowest scores came in the areas of improving telecommunications to help economic development, passing a single-house Legislature bill and "reforming politics as usual."
The evaluation, dubbed the "Big Accounting," was prepared by groups of people familiar with each issue, including legislators, professors, representatives of trade groups and citizen lobbyists as well as people inside the Ventura administration.
Three years ago, Ventura released a strategic plan for about 250 issues connected with state government -- his so-called "Big Plan." The plan was broken down into four main parts: Healthy, Vital Communities; Self-Sufficient People; Service, Not Systems; and Minnesota: World Competitor.
The highest average score came in the "Self-Sufficient People" category, but two of the subcategories (Insisting that Parents PARENT and Assuring Lifelong Learning for Work and Life) weren't evaluated because they didn't develop into program initiatives..
Some of Ventura's highest priorities such as allowing citizens to vote on whether to pare the Legislature down to one body failed -- something he addressed in the letter.
"Unfortunately, reforming politics as usual and letting the people decide on a single house will take more political courage than we've seen to date," he wrote.
Ventura sees the building of the state's first light rail line as one of his major accomplishments. He did push it through, but former Gov. Arne Carlson and Minnesota's congressional delegation really started the initiative.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.