Archived Story

Serving has been an honor and a privilege

Published 10:02am Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Column: My Point of View, by Rich Murray

I’ve been blessed with many things in my life. Along with family, a good business and a great community to live in, one of the greatest honors I’ve had is serving as your state representative for District 27A. As my term comes to an end, I would like to share some thoughts as I reflect on the past and look toward the future.

Rich Murray

It has become very clear to me over the past few weeks what I will really miss. The people and all the great organizations I got to visit with, learn more about and help where I could. I enjoyed working with our young people including visiting students and teachers in our classrooms, meeting with 4-H groups, discussing the legislative process with the Youth in Government group at the Albert Lea Family Y, along with many other opportunities I had to interact with a lot of wonderful youth in our communities.

I also had the opportunity to interact on a regular basis with local government leaders from township boards to county commissioners, city council members, mayors and school board members. What a great group of people really working to make this area a better place to live. You may not always agree with everything they do but they really are trying to do what’s best for their constituents.

Get involved and help them. They would welcome your input. Working with many of our county and city employees, police officers and firefighters was an honor also. We have a great group of people keeping us safe and making things work every day.

We have a lot of great businesses in the area, and I got to visit a number of them, learning about what they do and listening to their stories about how we can help improve the business climate in Minnesota.

Our Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce was a great partner in keeping me informed of issues important to their members. In addition to all the businesses in our communities, we are blessed to have all the agricultural business throughout this area. I have enjoyed working with them and learning more about these groups through meetings with the corn growers, soybean growers, the ethanol and bio-diesel industry groups, the Farm Bureau and individual farmers across the district.

I also had the wonderful opportunity to meet with our seniors with numerous groups they’re involved with along with those in our nursing homes and high rises. There are sure a great number of our senior citizens giving back to their communities by volunteering with many different organizations. Speaking of great organizations I would be remise if I didn’t mention all the work done to help others by the United Way, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the American Legion, the VFW, the ARC, the Fountain Lake Sportsmen’s Club and all our service clubs and many other groups too numerous to mention throughout the area.

I know there are many more examples, but I think you get the point. I knew before I went to St. Paul there are many things going on in the area we take for granted or may not fully understand how they work or what they do. Well, for the past couple of years, I had the privilege to learn many things about our communities and the surrounding rural area. As I door-knocked throughout the district, I was able to discuss local and state issues with many area residents.

So where does all this take us? Our families and businesses are working hard to succeed. Most believe we could do with less government in our lives. There is too much burdensome regulation, tax codes are too complex and special breaks for certain groups create a real feeling of there being an unlevel playing field.

If we are to help people in this state succeed, we need to make our state more competitive with the states around us. To address this, we need to look at several factors.

A good place to start is with a reduction in current regulations and the number of new regulations that are being created. Our state agencies continue to make new rules for us to follow every day. Small businesses cannot keep up with the rapid pace of rule making.

We could make the tax code fairer and simpler by eliminating special tax breaks and loop holes for certain groups and lowering rates with the savings which would benefit everyone. We must continue to work toward providing our youth with the best education possible to prepare them for the future. We must also make sure adults have education and employment training opportunities so we can continue to provide business with well-educated employees.

The games at the Capitol by both sides need to stop. We are elected to represent the people of our district not special interest groups. Republicans learned this year and Democrats will learn in the future we must work together and work for the good of all Minnesotans.

It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve as your state representative. I will stay active and involved in helping our communities grow and prosper and who knows what the future may hold. Thank you!

 

Rich Murray, R-Albert Lea, was the state representative for House District 27A for the past two years.