Letter: Bettering Albert Lea will take working together

Published 9:47 pm Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Fifteen years ago, when I ran for the 5th Ward council seat,  I mailed my campaign flyers to all voters in the 5th Ward. 

My first statement on the flyer was “I believe in common-sense government. Don’t spend what you don’t have, and don’t ask the people to spend what they don’t have.”

I also stated that I believed in the cleanup and restoration of our lakes, combined with the Blazing Star bike trail, are vital to Albert Lea’s tourism future.

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I also made a statement that I believe business, industry, retail, tourism, our citizens, city government and county government all have to work together to ensure a positive future for Albert Lea and Freeborn County.

I won that seat.

I still believe if we can put this all together, our city will be a proactive and successful  place to raise our families.

The last 10 years, I’ve been active in being a board member on the planning commission. We brought up the idea of an RV park at the north end of Albert Lea Lake. Some of the city staff didn’t like the idea and we got shot down. When our guard unit asked the City Council to help their families when they deployed, I volunteered to work to organize the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon group, which is still going today. I’ve always been concerned for all the people who live in Freeborn County — that they all have a clean and safe and healthy place to live. So, three years ago, the City Council appointed me to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority. I’m the chairperson. The HRA board is making changes to become a more progressive HRA, and we are looking to partner with groups to make this city a better place that all ages will have a safe and healthy home to live in.

To me, better communication, a lot of partnering and everyone working together will get this done.

John Severtson

Albert Lea