Letter: Vern Rasmussen is right person for mayor

Published 9:40 pm Wednesday, October 31, 2018

I’m an employee of a worldwide corporation in Albert Lea. With responsibilities for a production facility and sales for one of our larger national corporate accounts, I’m forced to make tough decisions. Some of those decisions are not popular and may appear to lack common sense. In fact, they are well-thought out with the long-term welfare of our employees and company in mind. Without a long-term vision and plan, we will not survive. Not all policies make sense, and some may be outdated, but must be enforced until they are updated through proper channels.

I have now taken part and listened to two debates. George Marin is a good speaker and talks with all the buzz words pleasing to hear. Being mayor is more than just buzz words; it’s about working with the city staff, the council and having a plan for the betterment of everyone in Albert Lea. This is exactly what Mayor Rasmussen has done. In Vern’s eight years as mayor, tough decisions have been made; one example is the downtown area. If changes hadn’t been made to the downtown, it would not be prospering as it is today. During the recent KATE debate, George said he voted against the downtown changes as a council member because he didn’t want people to have to pay for it. This is another easy response, pleasing to hear but lacks long-term vision. George also made a statement about Albert Lea roads being worse than most third-world countries. We live in a cold climate that is very hard on our roads. I believe our mayor, City Council and city staff have done a very good job with our roads through the long-term plan they have in place. George also stated during the debate that the city should look at fixing roads going one direction in a neighborhood one year, and then come back years later and fix the roads going the other direction, to lessen the tax assessments to those homeowners all at once. Common sense tells me that the cost impact and the inconvenience in a neighborhood for the homeowners as well as the city would be greater when broken into two separate projects, versus fixing that neighborhood all at once.

Vern has dedicated 14 years of service to the city of Albert Lea. He has been a strong, fiscally-responsible mayor with a long-term vision and plan. Albert Lea has not seen an operating tax increase in the past six years, as a result of the long-term plan put in place by the mayor, council and city staff. Albert Lea is a beautiful, prospering city that needs a dedicated leader with a vision. A leader willing to make tough decisions is not always popular. That leader has been Mayor Rasmussen. Let’s keep the positive momentum going by re-electing a proven leader. Join me in voting for Vern Rasmussen Jr. for mayor on Nov. 6. There’s more work to do.

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Daniel Rasmussen

Albert Lea