No ball needed

Published 9:11 am Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Daily Herald Editorial

Why have a ball? It hardly seems like a good time for it.

Gov.-elect Mark Dayton’s staff announced this week that he will celebrate his inauguration with a “people’s ball” on Jan. 8 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. It’s going to be a low-cost event — $30 admission, only $15 for students — with a dress code that will range, Dayton said, from blue jeans to black tie. The no-frills approach is all well and good, and certainly better than a fancy dress affair, but it is far from clear that there need be any ball at all.

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Minnesota faces crushing government budget problems, hardly a cause for celebration. We wish the governor, who has otherwise done a good job of setting a let’s-get-to-work tone for his new administration, would have set aside the party for a time. If it is the governor’s desire to enroll the people of Minnesota in finding a solution to the various challenges ahead, more would be accomplished by increasing government transparency or by creating citizen forums during the legislative session. Maybe after a successful legislative session — that would be one where lawmakers do their jobs and the governor does his, emerging with some sort of plan to balance the state budget — it will be time for a party

Meanwhile, the business of state government ought to be business.