Column: It’s time public officials grew up

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Isn’t it time public officials grew up &045;&160;at least for the sake of what’s best for the whole county?

Take last week’s county board meeting, for example, when the issue of the back taxes the county administrator allegedly owes to the state of Wisconsin was brought up a number of times.

One commissioner who kept bringing the issue up said it was tarnishing the county’s image and kept vying for control of the meeting. The argument over freedom of speech, parliamentary procedure and the back taxes issue in turn spurred rumors in the community that the county administrator had uttered expletives during the meeting. The administrator did, in fact, curse after the meeting during a radio interview.

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Where, when or how doesn’t really seem to matter. What does is the fact that instances like this one put our community in a bad light to others. And there are others who are watching.

Greater Jobs Inc. is always looking to attract businesses to the community. Albert Lea Medical Center is looking to expand. And the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce takes calls and sends out relocation packets out every day. But will anyone want to locate here with public officials who don’t seem to accomplish much except bicker?

The communities that attract new businesses have people in power with positive outlooks and a can-do attitude.

We can do better.

We need to do better.