Letter: Rasmussen is right choice for Albert Lea mayor

Published 8:52 pm Friday, November 2, 2018

After graduating from Albert Lea High School in 1982, we moved, returning occasionally for reunions and special occasions, but we’ve kept up with the city’s accomplishments and struggles.  Most recently, we were saddened with Mayo Clinic’s decision to relocate hospital services to Austin, creating unrest to citizens of Albert Lea and surrounding communities. With the upcoming mayoral election close at hand, we wrote a letter to Mayor Rasmussen to applaud him and the city for how the community handled such a delicate situation. We commend him for staying positive and for challenging himself and the city to “have a vision” to build the community and revitalize it, even though a big economic influence altered the community’s economic make-up.

Being a Mayo employee and Albert Lea resident, he has unique perspective and understands the impact of Mayo’s decision to restructure the health care available to the community. Knowing Mayor Rasmussen like we do, we know he will continue to fight for what will best serve Albert Lea. 

Positive changes we’ve noticed on our recent visits to Albert Lea:

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• Revitalization and investment downtown.

• Dredging Fountain Lake to make it more user-friendly for recreation and environmentally sound.

• Promoting growth by providing incentives (property tax exemptions) to homeowners and businesses that encourages moving into and living in the community with more affordable housing. What a great way to encourage growth.

• City and parks look cleaner and better manicured than in the past.

• We love the “friendly rock” program initiated throughout the city.  It’s great to see, hear and read about promoting a strong sense of community.

• Community gardens — wonderful program for encouraging community interaction!

• Albert Lea was recently ranked as one of the top places to live, not only in Minnesota but the country. This is something to be very proud of and a wonderful thing to build upon.

• We love Thursdays on Fountain — free live music for the community at a beautiful venue.

When my wife and I heard that Vern was running for re-election, we asked him why he would go through all the time and energy to campaign.  His answer: “We have initiated some positive changes (in the city) and I’d just like to see some of those changes through. With Albert Lea’s proximity to two major interstate highways, there are a lot of new and exciting opportunities for Albert Lea in the near future with potential outside groups wanting to invest money and energy in Albert Lea’s downtown and the city.”

Finally, I have known Vern for over 40 years and value his friendship. He has excitement, energy, vision, leadership qualities and great family values. Most of all, he has a caring and kind character that will assist in bringing new opportunities for Albert Lea in preparation for the next decade.

Albert Lea citizens, make the right choice Nov. 6. Vote for Vern Rasmussen so the city can continue to move forward.

Fabian Luna