My Point of View: Want to participate? We welcome all to join us

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2024

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My Point of View by Robert Hoffman

We’re easy to find, and even easier to talk with. Come hang out with us and bring a few friends with when you do. I wouldn’t do all of this if I didn’t think it was valuable. I certainly wouldn’t be this active as a businessman in a small town if I didn’t feel like it was necessary. I also wouldn’t be so proud of it if I didn’t know how important it is. It is a big election year — participate in it with us.

Robert Hoffman

Nobody has time for anything more right now, I know, but no matter how busy we are, we simply share the same 24 hours in any given day. I used to pray for more hours in the day. Well, that was stupid. We each get the same 24 hours. Then a little more than eight years ago I quit drinking, and I didn’t necessarily get more hours in a day, I did more with the 24 hours I have. If a few times a month a few of your 24 hours are available, come and talk local politics with us. The easiest place to start is our monthly meetings.

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We meet every second Monday of the month. Our meetings on the second Monday of the month are at 5 p.m., but we always socialize for 30 minutes before and help set up for the 5 o’clock meeting. The 5 o’clock meeting on the second Monday of the month is always held at the Edgewater Bay Pavilion now. The Edgewater Bay Pavilion is the very nice facility close to the Highway 13 entrance of Edgewater Park, across the bay from the boat launch. The parking is easy, the facility is gorgeous, everything is convenient to access for anyone and for 60 to 90 minutes during the second Monday of the month we talk politics and serving our community.

We focus on what is directly affecting and learn from each other’s perspectives and experiences. We all grow — and serve — together, and all are better from it. Just at this week’s meeting I learned a lot about issues in the schools, that the fireworks may not be shot off over Fountain Lake anymore and about some pretty amazing Shell Rock Watershed projects coming up this summer and the potential plans for their 2025 completion of the dredging of Fountain Lake.

When they’re not in session or busy in their districts, our elected officials are always at our meetings also. It is awesome to have our state Reps. Peggy Bennett and Patty Mueller, our state Sen. Gene Dornink and our U.S. Congressman Brad Finstad hanging out with us at our meetings, conventions, parades, picnics and fair booths. Our favorite state representative/teacher/farmer/U.S. Army Reserve officer to the West, Bjorn Olson, swings over often as well. My favorite part is when one of us has a few new friends come with for their first time and they realize just who all is in attendance from school board to city council members, county commissioners to congressman, pastors to police officers and teachers to teenagers. We’re all just together to serve and enjoying it comes naturally.

Aside from our second Monday of the month meetings we also have a lot of special events that are especially busy during an election season. Some of my personal favorites are our semi-annual Adopt-A-Highway cleanup on a Sunday in late June, the Third of July Parade in Albert Lea and the Freeborn County Fair booth from July 30 to Aug. 4. The Adopt-A-Highway cleanup is actually a very laid back Sunday event. This year the Third of July Parade has the Albert Lea dance team as the grand marshals and the theme is “Dancing In The Streets” — it should be anything but laid back and we are planning a Rock the Vote float to add to the excitement.

I just mentioned a few upcoming events, but along with many of our surrounding communities’ parades and activities, the classes and speakers we will host, our August picnic and a huge election, we have an active few months ahead. If a few of your 24 hours are available let’s spend some of them together. We welcome all.

It is valuable/necessary/important that we talk about what’s affecting us and to always try and bring a few other people with us when we get together to do so. They’re going through a lot also — just ask them. We can be proud of what we’re doing if we put our all into this and leave this election better than we found it.

Robert Hoffman is the chairman of the Freeborn County GOP Party.