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City notes: Working together for Rosemount

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One weekend every winter, my colleagues on the Rosemount City Council and I sit down to talk about our long-term vision for the city. These are the issues that don't always come up from meeting to meeting. But they are the reasons we ran for office -- and most important, the reasons that the citizens put us here.

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We come up with a list of goals for the city. The list guides our staff as they carry out their duties from day to day. And they help us on the council as we make our decisions on individual issues -- especially as we decide which projects are important enough to ask our taxpayers to fund. It's really the start of the yearlong process to set the budget, both for next year's operations and for our capital spending 10 years out.

When we sat down in late January to open this year's goal-setting process, each of us came with a list of ideas, several dozen in all. We set priorities and boiled the lists down to one page. (You can see it at www.ci.rosemount.mn.us/goals.)

The goals fall into three categories. We want to manage Rosemount to provide efficient and effective services. We want to enhance the quality of life in Rosemount by becoming a more sustainable community. And we want to grow Rosemount by attracting and supporting businesses.

We on the council and our city staff will work to carry out these goals and the initiatives that come with them. But for now I'd like to focus on one of those initiatives. We want to expand our partnerships with other groups.

Last fall in this column, I wrote about the many events organized by the Rosemount Area Arts Council. City facilities are now available for RAAC's programs, and the arts council's Front Porch has been keeping a warm spot to greet visitors this winter at the Steeple Center.

Recently several of us on the city council sat down with the leadership of the Rosemount Area Athletic Association. We were reminded of their impressive efforts to serve 4,000 of our young people and their vision for the demands that will be placed on youth programs and facilities. One of our related goals is to help meet those demands on our recreation facilities.

We also reach out to similar groups like the Rosemount Area Hockey Association. We continue our partnerships with the National Guard, Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, the local schools and Rosemount's churches.

A great sign of the benefits from these partnerships is coming this weekend. On Saturday, we on the council will join with 1,500 of you to pack food donations for the Dominican Republic, while collecting food for our local food shelf. This initiative of the OneRosemount group will help meet critical needs both far from and close to home.

That shows the vitality of Rosemount's civic life. Through our long-term goals and our day-to-day actions, we want the City of Rosemount to support these efforts. We're all stakeholders in the community, working for a better Rosemount.

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