Editorial: Pawlenty deserves the real thanks

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 9, 2008

There have been a lot of congratulations handed out this week since the bonding bill was approved Monday with Albert Lea&8217;s $2.5 million request to clean up the landfill that today is beneath North Edgewater Park and is leaching into Fountain Lake.

People have thanked the mayor, the state senator, the state representative, the city manager, the lobbyist, the city staff, local organizations such as the chamber and all of the people of the region.

Way to pat ourselves on the back, Albert Lea.

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It seems one person deserves thanks more than any other, and that is Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Thank you, governor of Minnesota, for protecting Albert Lea&8217;s interests. When it came time to cut in a tight year, ultimately, the decision rested in your hands. You realized Albert Lea wasn&8217;t asking for a plus. Our city only asked, kindly and humbly, to erase a minus.

We didn&8217;t want an exorbitant tourist attraction or some fancy civic building. We didn&8217;t want the state borrowing capacity to pay for luxuries, as many cities did. No, we only wanted the state to cover the cost of an unfortunate squeeze we were in concerning the old landfill. Forcing that cost onto local taxpayers could have been problematic.

People often talk about what politicians ought to do, but it&8217;s important to thank them for what they accomplish, too.

So thanks, Gov. Pawlenty, for including Albert Lea when you used your line-item veto power to make cuts. Albert Lea was counting on you, and you came through for us.