Mayoral term change is needed

Published 1:03 pm Saturday, April 30, 2011

While serving on the Albert Lea City Council, we saw a great surge in community involvement. We came together as a city and came up with good plans for the future, came up with a theme for the city and community objectives we could agree upon. It was a very exciting time. We saw some major changes in community leadership and the way we do business in Albert Lea. We saw various citizen groups form and discuss the past and present, but most of all, the future of our community! During that time, the first City Council/staff planning retreat came to be and is now an annual item for the council. These are just a few of the good changes that I experienced while serving as a city councilor. These good changes brought about opportunities for the community, City Council and staff to come together and learn. Learn about each other, learn about our needs and wants, learn about other communities and what they were doing, and learn about new and progressive ways we could move our own city forward.

Also, during the eight years I served on the council, our city had five different mayors. I believe every one of our mayors did the very best they could to serve our community well and to lead it forward; however, that is a lot of different leaders in a short amount of time. It is my opinion the time has come for another good change to take place in our community. That is for our community to come together and consider changing our city charter to reflect a four-year mayoral term rather than the present two-year term. In my opinion, two years is simply not enough time for a mayor to bond with the council, bond with the community, set a reasonable game plan and implement the course for the future. Like any other good organization, our community needs stable, constant leadership at the helm. The mayoral position is like that of the quarterback of the football team. They are the one holding the ball and making the passes to the right receiver to score the touchdown! It is difficult for a team to come together successfully if the leadership keeps changing. I feel it will be difficult for us to chart our course and stick with it, unless we make this change. It is a vital and good change for our community.

Many other communities of our size are making this progressive change for the sake of constant stability in terms of leadership for their communities. It is high time for this change to happen in Albert Lea. I urge you with this letter to contact your ward councilor and the mayor and request they consider moving this on to the Charter Commission.

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The Charter Commission meets only one time per year and that time is coming up this next week, the first week of May. This is something that can be placed on the ballot so all eligible voters of our community can weigh in with their vote and have their voice heard for the future of our great city of Albert Lea. Thank you for your consideration!

George Marin

Albert Lea