Letter: Rasmussen has played a role in recent successes

Published 7:31 pm Tuesday, October 30, 2018

What do you think of when you consider who should be the mayor of a community? Some things that come to mind for me are being collaborative, thoughtful, professional and accessible. Vern Rasmussen has been all of them. Vern has a proven record of being able to get along well with others. He does not grandstand. He does not persistently accuse everybody in local office of doing a poor job in a way that only breaks down relationships, causing strife. He does not engage in political-speak to back out of positions later found to be unpopular. My experience with Vern is that he’s accessible and frequently at community events and praising others, whether it’s election season or not.

A few years ago, there were a couple social media sites dedicated to exposing perceived wrongs in the school district. While George and Jill Marin refused to explicitly claim or deny involvement in the sites, Jill’s position on the school board and her inability to gain traction to her claims via legitimate methods that are accepted in our form of government, along with recording meetings that were not allowed to be recorded, leave a strong suspicion of their role as administrators. These websites, while the claims that they addressed may have had some limited merit, only added to divisiveness in our community, slinging mud, and making our community look petty and incompetent.

A mayor needs to be somebody who will communicate openly. If they see something wrong, they need to be able to maneuver the issue to justice using the tools in their toolbox, not using backdoor channels and secretive or possibly illegal means. Nor should a mayor use their position to wag their finger at everybody they disagree with.

Over the past several years, Vern has played a role in so much of the progress being made, including the downtown revitalization, the splash pad, working with the Shell Rock River Watershed District to get the lake dredged, continuing to improve our parks and more. Vern has been open and honest about his relationship with Mayo from day one, which I respect.

Being mayor is not an all-powerful position. While the mayor has a role in representing the community and ensuring local government runs effectively, the position is just one vote on the council and needs to collaborate to get things done. Vern is great at cooperating with others and thoughtfully steering the various members of the community and government, quietly listening and seeing all sides rather than behaving like a bull in a china shop. That is why I’m voting for Vern Rasmussen for mayor.

Brad Kramer

Albert Lea