Letter: People are city’s most valuable asset

Published 7:21 pm Friday, July 20, 2018

It has been my pleasure serving Albert Lea, our home, for over 25 years. We live in a beautiful community filled with wonderful people. We have many great assets, but none more valuable than our people. They are what makes this city. I care about you, and it’s why I desire to serve you as your next mayor.

I care about our seniors. Seniors are one-third of our population, many on fixed incomes. I care about helping preserve what they have worked hard for all their lives. I’m not comfortable forcing a choice between buying food and medications, or paying taxes, assessments and fees. That is reality for many seniors. Cost of living is increasing, expenses of the city, county and schools are rising, and much of this burden falls on those who simply want to live out their lives in peace. Seniors aren’t against paying their fair share, but when costs continue to rise, and the city’s priorities don’t take fixed incomes into account, seniors are adversely affected. The loss of our full-service hospital affects the most vulnerable, and I strongly support recruiting alternative health care providers.

I care about our youth. My wife and I mentor youth weekly. I want to foster pathways whereby youth can remain to build our local workforce. Communities who invest in their youth secure their future. I envision a future including our youth. This takes strategic planning to mentor youth to learn trades and help stabilize our economy. We can attract graduates who have left for education and careers to return and pursue their successes here. We appreciate entrepreneurial graduates who have established local businesses.

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I care about our families. I worked five jobs simultaneously to support our family, and my wife worked. I understand struggles of young families working to make ends meet. It’s harder every year for parents to support a family working within our city, and many parents must commute elsewhere. When parents have to work so many hours, the family structure can be stressed.

I care about our businesses. Local business owners should feel supported and appreciated for their investments in our community. They choose Albert Lea over other locations. Their success is important, and we can assist them to grow, expand and develop. It’s also important to continue aggressively pursuing new companies to locate here, which will bring needed jobs, boost our economy and increase our tax base.

I care about our neighborhoods. Distressed properties are increasing, which affects quality of life. People want to live in a city that is beautiful and takes pride in itself. Staff needs full council support to enforce existing ordinances.

Each of these community segments is important to our success, and I offer common sense approaches. I will work hard to represent you, ensure your voice is heard in City Hall and ensure the wishes of the majority of our constituency are followed. I will be the voice of common sense for the common hardworking citizens of our great city.

George Marin

Albert Lea