State and Local Government Issues
OCDR works with cities, counties and school boards that seek to resolve community issues.
Belle Plaine, Minnesota
OCDR facilitated a dialogue between residents and the Belle Plaine City Administrator to reach an agreement in which both the City and the residents played a role in addressing flooding in a Belle Plaine neighborhood.
OCDR works with cities, counties and school boards that seek to strengthen relationship and improve collaboration.
St. Paul Public Schools
In the 2016-17 school year the St. Paul School community became divided over implementation of district policies to address equity issues. The division led to significant turnover on the school board, the removal of the superintendent, the resignation of many top administrators and a highly contentious contract negotiation between the teacher’s union and new school board. OCDR, in partnership with the Dispute Resolution Institute at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law, facilitated a series of conversations with the school board to assist them in building the strong relationships and communication necessary to address the equity challenges facing the district. Topics included developing norms for working together, setting shared priorities, and co-developing a superintended search community engagement process.
OCDR assists state agencies in working through contentious issues that occur within an agency, between an agency and stakeholders or between state agencies. These disputes may be over policy or workplace issues.
In 2014 Governor Mark Dayton threated to withhold a Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system funding increase after faculty unions representing all seven state universities and 24 two-year state colleges withdrew from participation in a major redesign effort known as Charting the Future which aimed to encourages more collaboration, online education and other innovations across the large system. OCDR facilitated talks between trustees, administration, and union leaders which resulted in resumption of revised redesign efforts and allocation of the full funding increase proposed by the Governor.
OCDR works with stakeholders to develop solutions to matters of public interest.
Hamline University Neighborhood
OCDR worked with residents of the Hamline-Midway neighborhood and Hamline University to address neighbors’ concerns about campus boundaries (including tear downs) and general engagement with the neighborhood. The process led to the creation of the Hamline University Neighborhood Advisory Committee, which is a forum to address university-neighborhood relations.