Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles were developed at a two-day retreat of the Edina City Council, the City Manager and the Assistant City Manager in May 2009.

Working Together Effectively

We are all part of a team committed to the residents of Edina both today and in the future. To be effective we must come to meetings with an open mind, think strategically about City issues and delegate details of implementations to staff. We will strive to maintain a culture of trust, respect and candor as a Council and when working with staff.

Addressing Concerns of Residents

City staff is the first call for help for residents. We will refer residents who have concerns to appropriate City staff. If a resident has contacted City staff but is still not satisfied, we will refer the resident to the City Manager and inform the City Manager of the concern.

Meetings Called by Residents

  • If we are invited to a resident meeting about an issue the Council has decided upon, we will explain how the Council arrived at the decision.
  • If we are invited to a resident meeting about an issue that will be before the Council in the future, we will keep an open mind and explain that we are interested in their point of view, as well as others. We will make ourselves available to all parties on an equal basis, and we will not advocate for a particular point of view. We will be circumspect about how we participate in the meeting, and we will not prejudge the issue before the Council has had a change to deliberate.

Working with Boards and Commissions

We view our Boards and Commissions as vitally important resources to support out decision-making. We will communicate effectively with Boards and Commissions and ensure they have the tools to do their work. We will give clear direction and take adequate time to review the result of their deliberations. If we attend meetings of Boards and Commissions, we will do so only as an observer. If we attend a meeting, we will strive for good communication among Council members and between Council members and staff.

Effective Meetings and Decision Making

  • We will be consistent in policy and process.
  • To be effective, we may need to slow down the process at times, look at the big picture and consider the strategic implications of the decisions we make. We will encourage staff to focus on the big picture in their reports.
  • We will respect our staff as valued resources and members of our team.
  • We will honor our rules regarding public testimony and clearly communicate the rules to members of the public in attendance.