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Letter: Albert Lea needs growth

Has anyone else ever noticed that there have never in the 20 years we have lived in Albert Lea that there are no Christmas decorations south of Front Street? I am sure the business people along that area pay tax just like everyone else in town. Ah, yes, there have been a few on some of the poles along South Broadway, but even those seem to be missing this year. Did we spend all the funds to decorate the splash pad near the city parking lot, or are the folks south of Front Street Albert Lea’s orphans as it seems to be the case with other things in this city. When Jerry, our previous assistant city manager, left for Oregon, he stated to me it would be nice to work with cooperating city officials for a change. It is my sincere hope that our new city planner receives better cooperation. Maybe we need more minnows in our city, not so many big fish! I guess I grew up pulling for the little guy for 88 years. Like my uncle who was the top guy of maintenance at Queens Stove Works years ago and a cousin who repaired stuff at the Monkey Wards store — when Naeve was still turning out great nurses like my cousin Dee. They may be gone, but Albert Lea is still the same old place. We need places for jobs so our young people stay here, not flipping burgers at Mac and Dons. Look around before you elect someone to represent you next time. You have a say in the future of your once-growing city that is constantly losing population while surrounding cities continue to grow. We need a better tax base. Eleven businesses have closed in the last years. Mercy alone cannot save our collective rear-ends. We need other business to come here. Period! No more to leave. There I said it again. I helped make a million dollar company into an 80 million dollar company. It was through growth. I hold a master’s in graphic arts, but that did not make it grow. Growth did. People working together. It took my 27 years with the company, but we gotter done. You do not have that kind of timeline!

Jim Jirele

Albert Lea