Letter: Gjersvik has skills to lead Albert Lea area into the future

Published 11:02 pm Monday, September 10, 2018

I did not grow up in Albert Lea, but my husband and I have now lived here for 40 years. We have seen many changes in our community over the years. Unfortunately, many of the more recent changes have not been good:  plant closings, store closings, hospital services eliminated and jobs lost.

On the bright side, Albert Lea is a beautiful town. It has beautiful city parks, several area lakes, a lovely historic downtown, beautiful churches and good schools. I live near the hospital and I see many young families walking to the new splash pad with their young kids. I see hundreds of people enjoying the Thursday concerts in the park. Wind-Down Wednesdays are fun.

However, make no mistake, Albert Lea is struggling.  There are many forces working against rural Minnesota, strong forces such as globalization. So, what can we citizens of Albert Lea and the surrounding area do? What we are doing does not seem to be working. I believe what we need right now is new leadership representing us in the House in St. Paul. I think what we need is someone who understands our community, who has a wide range of life experience and has some understanding of how effective rural economic development works, someone to strongly advocate and legislate for us. In short, we need a leader, not a follower.

That’s why I support Terry Gjersvik for 27A and will vote for him Nov. 6. As a third-generation farmer, Terry has deep roots in the community. Terry grew up here, graduated from Albert Lea High School, taught in Albert Lea and his three children graduated from Albert Lea High School. He has lived here all of his life.  He has been involved in many community organizations, including the advisory board to Mayo Clinic Health System. He has a degree in economics, a business background and experience in working with challenging youth as a teacher.

Also, I know Terry on a personal level, as I taught with him for several years. In every instance in dealing with students and colleagues, Terry was honest, thoughtful, kind and willing to look at all sides of any issue to figure out the best solution to problems that arose in the course of a school day. Everyone respected him and his insights.

Terry has the skills to lead Albert Lea and the surrounding area into the future and will represent us well.

Yours truly,

Mary Hinnenkamp

Albert Lea