Dean announces new 'Office of Innovation'

Friday, April 26, 2013 at 1:58pm

Mayor Karl Dean has created a new Office of Innovation to “capture the entrepreneurial and creative energy of Nashville,” his office announced Friday morning.

Dean named former Councilwoman Kristine LaLonde as well as Yiaway Yeh, former mayor of Palo Alto, Calif., to direct the newly created office, which the Mayor’s Office said would work in conjunction with the Office of Economic and Community Development on business recruitment and job creation efforts.

It will also work with the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods to create opportunities for more efficient interdepartmental response to constituent needs.

Other governmental agencies have created similar entities recently in attempts to harness new technology and business practices to aid operations.

According to the Mayor’s Office, LaLonde, who also serves as the chair of the Nashville Poverty Council, will focus on “establishing innovative systems to help individuals and families with social service and economic needs achieve self-sufficiency.”

And Yeh’s job will be to develop ways for Metro agencies to collaborate between offices as well as to partner with “entrepreneurs on new approaches to budget, finance, technology and open government initiatives.”

Yeh has worked in municipal operations and financial management in Oakland, Calif., San Francisco and Los Angeles and public finance banker at Morgan Stanley. He also served in the Peace Corps in Burkina Faso.

16 Comments on this post:

By: Libertine on 4/27/13 at 7:16

What a waste of money, you can't legislate innovation.

By: Ask01 on 4/27/13 at 9:41

Perhaps I am a little dense this morning, but I thought all the functions described for the new office were already covered by existing agencies.

As far as developing collaberation and partnerships between offices, aren't those already employed mature and professional enough to "play nice" and cooperate without the addition of yet another office?

This action strikes me as totally ludicrous and a blatant waste of tax money. I thought from the wailing and gnashing of teeth preceeding the property tax increase, Nashville was teetering on bankruptcy.

I can't believe Nashville re-elected Mayor Dean and any Metro Council member.

By: pswindle on 4/27/13 at 10:25

Dean can find money for his creative ideas. BULL!

By: bfra on 4/27/13 at 12:56

Now people: Dean has to pay back favors somehow & surely you don't expect him to beg more of his wifey's money or "heaven forbid" use some of his own he has probably sconded anyway.

By: ancienthighway on 4/28/13 at 12:09

Welcome to the Office of Innovation, funded in part by a $25 million reduction of the budget for public schools.

And this from the mayor who says he supports education.

By: Libertine on 4/28/13 at 5:41

Shocking, it seems that all readers agree on this one.

By: bfra on 4/28/13 at 1:02

Hard to find anyone that will admit they voted for him! If I had, I wouldn't admit it either.

By: BenDover on 4/29/13 at 8:22

I've found that inventing new technology isn't nearly as important as applying existing technology in a new way. I hope these guys will go down that path rather than trying to build a whole lot of new systems from scratch.

By: bfra on 4/29/13 at 8:38

They aren't worried about technology or education, their main object is MONEY!

By: Vuenbelvue on 4/29/13 at 8:41

bfra "Hard to find anyone that will admit they voted for him! If I had, I wouldn't admit it either."
This is not surprising when no credible candidate with the finances ran against Mr. Dean and only 25% of eligible voters voted.

By: bfra on 4/29/13 at 8:46

Vuenbelvue - Right! There are over 200,000 registered voters & only 50,000 voted & then Dean's suckups touted how he won in a "landslide". It is pitiful that so few voters considered the Mayor's office as anything of importance.

By: Specter47 on 4/29/13 at 8:47

Amazing...a big-spender democrat who places his legacy all over Nashville like rabbits do bunny beans, opens another money-sucking project. And he's doing it with the former mayor of Palo Alto, California, who has experience bringing a town to near bankruptcy. Poor Nashville, a once proud Southern city, is completing 16 years of liberal democrat (Massachusetts) "leadership", and with a pinch of California wackoism. How sad.

By: bfra on 4/29/13 at 9:05

Dean has done a lot to bring Nashville down in his quest for his own glory! Plus we will be feeling his debts, after he is long gone.

By: atticus1215 on 4/29/13 at 10:15

Mayor Dean should be congratulated on recognizing that Metro government functions as a series of agency silos...some short, some tall...connected, or not, by the web of relationships of individuals and not of the agencies. Many of the agencies that need to participate in achieving a goal are led by independent elected officials and many others simply have a bureaucratic ethic that makes cooperation seem like deviant behavior. I had an opportunity to see this close up in the Environmental Court where Metro Codes violations are prosecuted. It was not unusual for agencies to have conflicting views of the legality of an action or condition of the property. Collaboration is the future of government as well as business.

By: bfra on 4/29/13 at 11:28

What codes? I see them going unenforced over & over everyday. Hispanics don't even know what codes are.

By: Jughead on 4/29/13 at 1:34

I don't want ANYONE form Palo Alto giving Nashville direction. And, all of those cities with which he has previously worked are dumps strapped with huge debt.