Everyone can find someone to dislike

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 20, 1999

This is a community of undesirables.

Monday, September 20, 1999

This is a community of undesirables. It seems everyone can find someone who wants them to leave.

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While industry and businesses are begging for workers, alleged supporters of capitalism don’t want the low-to-middle-income families needed to fill the jobs.

As others in the community work to build tourism and promote special events, other residents say it causes too much noise and traffic congestion on weekends.

It’s not uncommon for people to want to rid a city of politicians or other leaders – or even lowly reporters struggling to offer an opinion or two – but it seems odd that there are so many wanting to rid the city of one group or another.

Maybe I’m coming from some rainbow fantasy world where low-, middle- and upper-class families live together and at least share some common experiences based on having the same community.

Perhaps I need a healthy dose of reality as some would suggest and need to wake up and realize we aren’t all meant to get along.

Hopefully, that’s not the case.

I know everyone isn’t going to agree with each other. That’s obvious.

In fact, if that actually happened, I’d likely be the first to start screaming and running for the hills.

But, while everyone may disagree about a thing or two, it’s frightening when people won’t tolerate that disagreement.

Unfortunately it’s also time consuming.

All the time people spend bickering about &uot;undesirables&uot; and things they don’t want in their town is time spent not accomplishing anything positive.

Take those who would prefer to run the underpaid out of town. Chances are they’ll say, &uot;We don’t need more minimum wage workers. We need higher paying jobs.&uot;

It’s been repeated at City Council meetings and county board meetings time and again, yet rarely is there a suggestion on how a city such as Albert Lea can attract only high paying jobs.

Even if a plant paying $20 an hour were to move to the city and bring hundreds of jobs, several other supporting businesses would likely bring lower paying jobs.

More restaurants would hire cheaper help. More service providers would be paying $6 to $8 an hour.

So, with the desirable jobs come the alleged &uot;undesirables.&uot;

The only other option would be if Freeborn County were to be as fortunate as an area like Vail, Colo., where tourism drives everything and pay rises.

But, like everything in life, be careful with what you wish for.

Granted, higher salaries come with more business, but so do high prices.

In Vail, few people who work in the city, including police officers, firefighters and other city employees, can actually afford to live there. In fact, the city is currently in a battle surrounding a proposed affordable housing project.

Sound familiar?

Think again. This project would be condominiums for town employees who can’t afford to live within 30 miles of their work place. These employees include some doctors and lawyers.

Just another town filled with undesirables.

In Vail, the elitists living in $1 million homes don’t want to soil themselves by living next to the people who run their city.

In Albert Lea, some of the same can be said for living next to the people who help keep the city growing.

Without newcomers, Albert Lea will dry up.

Perhaps it’s time to start looking at options to better the situation instead of complaining and trying to reverse the inevitable.

There are really two options: Keep complaining about the &uot;undesirables&uot; or work to help make more people &uot;desirable&uot; by offering them even footing and a simple chance to succeed.