Mayor and city manager present their goals

Published 7:54 am Sunday, February 5, 2012

Albert Lea Mayor Vern Rasmussen and City Manager Chad Adams spoke about goals for the next year during a State of the City address Thursday afternoon.

Adams discussed the 2012 budget and projects and goals for the year. These include a fire service delivery review, a new financial management plan, work on the Broadway Avenue Streetscape, neighborhood meetings, a shared services/collaboration review and a community survey and strategic planning.

“I think we know for sure, one thing, is we cannot continue to deliver services the way we have in the past, and this is one of those ways that we’re looking at trying to still provide the services that we need as a community but yet look at ways that we can do it more effectively and with less money,” Rasmussen said.

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The mayor concluded the address by emphasizing to the residents of Albert Lea that their input is a vital part of planning for the future of the community.

“An important piece of that puzzle is you — the citizens — and we need you to be involved and engaged in the things that we do and also input as to what you think may work or may not work,” Rasmussen said. “The only way that we’re going to be successful is that all of you be a part of this.”

The mayor and city manager also recounted highlights of the past year, including hiring Adams, the conversion of the Broadway Ridge Renewal Fund from a loan to a grant, the distribution Economic Development Revolving loans, passing an amendment to the sign ordinance and being designated a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Community, among others.

Adams highlighted internal changes made at City Hall including the introduction of Process Improvement Teams, also called “PIT Crews,” short term committees that look at specific areas within the city and work to improve efficiency and customer service to the public. The groups will focus on customer service, employee recognition, building maintenance, development review and liability insurance claims.

The address will air on Albert Lea’s Government Access Channel in place of the regularly scheduled Council meetings, Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings at 7 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 9 a.m., as well as Saturday and Sunday until the next Council meeting on Feb. 12.