The Burnsville Breakfast Rotary Club welcomed our very own Mayor of Burnsville Elizabeth Kautz as our guest speaker at our club meeting today. She was joined by our new city manager Gregg Lindberg. The title of Elizabeth's presentation was "Burnsville Now & In the Future!" Elizabeth said that Burnsville is a city that is vibrant and welcoming to all and that it takes all of us (city residents) to ensure that we make it a great place to live! She said that Burnsville is in a strong financial position and that we maintain a AAA bond rating, and that we also did through the recession that we experienced a decade ago. Some of the success factors she touched on were the following:
- Burnsville is a safe community
- We have a state-of-the-art police & fire department/rescue squad that is dedicated to the City of Burnsville. The department handles 1000's of calls a year with an escalating number related to health calls due to Burnsville's aging population
- Burnsville was one of the first communities to add Behavioral Health personnel to their police staff who aren't responsible for enforcing the law but to help people through crises that are impacting their lives. They recently won an award from the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce for their work in this area.
- Burnsville has been progressive in the use of body-worn cameras in their policing for about ten years which has helped capture situations that have helped in court cases and bring total transparency & accountability to the police force
- Burnsville is currently looking to purchase drones to assist police & fire to help give them information that they don't have on the ground during major public safety events
- Training is a huge and ongoing part of both the police & firefighters. It's important for all to have "muscle memory" so they can react quickly and appropriately in crisis situations
- The city is offering Opps 101 & Citizens Academy for residents so that they can experience hands-on training in simulating real-life situations that both police & firefighters go through on a daily basis
- The City of Burnsville works hard at community engagement to help residents understand any projects that would personally impact them and to get their input before projects begin. This has been well received by residents so they feel involved in the process
City Hall
- Elizabeth said it's very important that they pay attention to the culture inside City Hall, that it's the "Peoples House" and that it's all about service!
- The only product that they provide is water, and that pays for itself! Everything else in the tax budget is about service!
- The people who work at City Hall are public servants and are passionate about what they do! They have access to continual training through the Burnsville University which has had over 600 participants via 53 training classes so far. This provides an opportunity for them to grow and be better in their jobs!
Elizabeth's closing comment was that all of us (residents) need to participate in making Burnsville a vibrant & welcoming community!