Letter: Rasmussen’s leadership has helped Albert Lea thrive

Published 7:33 pm Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Over the last 10 years Albert Lea has experienced an incredible transformation. Both our population and tourism are growing. Communities from all over America come to visit Albert Lea to learn about the Blue Zones Project, tour the city, enjoy our community amenities and experience our exceptional built environment. They take lessons learned from Albert Lea back home to enhance their own communities. We, on the other hand, get to stay in Albert Lea and enjoy the community we are building together. This incredible transformation has taken a strong commitment on the part of residents, worksites, community partners and city leaders. No one has stood stronger for our community then our mayor, Vern Rasmussen. While working on today, he never loses sight of our vision for tomorrow.

I have had the opportunity to work alongside Vern for many years. I have listened to what he says and watched what he does. Most importantly, I have experienced how he does it. He very rarely uses the word “I” and always thanks others for their contributions. He is clear in his belief that teamwork is how we will reach our highest standards. Patient, thoughtful and inclusive, he is always gathering information and weighing what is best for our city as a whole. By his actions, he inspires others, including me, to dream more, learn more, work together and work harder. These are the qualities I admire in a leader, and these are the qualities I admire in Vern.

Vern Rasmussen is a great ambassador for the city of Albert Lea. He is collaborative, dedicated, sincere and hardworking. Vern truly has integrity, and that is something a person has to build on piece by piece — by thought, choice, courage and determination. Vern never loses sight of the goal. He works and speaks to the vision statement of the city of Albert Lea: To create a community that we are proud to call home and others can’t wait to visit!

This month, Albert Lea was placed on 24/7 Wall Street’s list in USA Today of the 50 best cities in America to live. In their words, “there are several Minnesota cites included in our list, but Albert Lea is by far the most affordable.” Balancing economic affordability with a high quality of life is a fine line, and we have been recognized many times over the last several years for being able to do just that.

Vern’s strong leadership has played a central role in helping Albert Lea thrive. I am proud to call Albert Lea home. I love to welcome visitors and share our beautiful community with them. When I vote on Nov. 6, I will vote from the heart for the community that I love. I will vote for Vern Rasmussen for mayor.

Ellen Kehr

Albert Lea