Archived Story

Sparks works hard for Albert Lea

Published 9:03am Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I was surprised by the harsh criticism leveled toward state Sen. Dan Sparks based on just the initial Senate bonding bill. It showed a general lack of understanding about the legislative process and not much faith in a legislator who has been a strong advocate for Albert Lea.

I had the honor of serving in the Minnesota Senate, including 10 years as leader of the GOP caucus, representing southern Minnesota and portions of Freeborn County. I served for five years alongside Sen. Sparks and have continued to work with him now on several issues.

He is a rare breed at the Capitol these days who can work closely with members of all political elegances and walks of life. It is that approach that has helped him be an effective legislator on matters of statewide importance and local significance. This session alone, I see Albert Lea is a part of three major bills: taxes, Legacy funding and bonding.

Sen. Sparks did his job. When the bonding proposal was laid on the table, he set to work with the author, leadership and colleagues in both bodies to see Fountain Lake receive full funding in the final bill.

He has been invested in seeing this project through since his early days in the Legislature obtaining funds for much of the upstream and surrounding cleanup efforts, including the Edgewater Park landfill project and obtaining the local sales tax authority.

I have been there and know that you don’t do it alone. Countless hours go into multistage efforts like this. I am sure if the Editorial Board had reached out to some of the stakeholders in the community working on this project they would have known that Sen. Sparks is in town more often than is announced and that he has been a strong voice for Albert Lea in St. Paul.


Dick Day

Republican state senator 1991-2010