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Letter: City deserves thanks for the development work it has done

To the editor,

I would like to sincerely thank our city council and port authority for the great job they are doing in leading our city. In no other city do we hear of a reduced tax levy in our current times. Thank you. Thank you.

On April 19 the port authority and city council took another step forward. They sought input from the community for ideas on how to improve Rosemount's business environment and our local economy. I must admit, our officials took more criticism that evening than they received groundbreaking ideas on our economy. I was one of the critics. It's easy to be critical. It's another thing entirely to come up with ideas that can work in the complex regulatory environment imposed by the layers of county, state and federal government, the environment within which the city operates.

I believe, however, several positive things came from this meeting.

First, the meeting opened communication between the port authority and the public in what can be a collaborative manner in future. The port authority came to all of us and in essence said, "We've been trying hard. We need some new ideas. Share your ideas with us." This takes courage from public officials.

Second, after getting little from us in the way of really great ideas, the port authority members shared more detail about what they have been doing, what has worked and what has not. Although this was perhaps triggered by a slightly defensive reaction, it brought out more depth and detail than the initial presentation. The audience understood more of what has been undertaken.

Third, there were a number of people who concurred that we, as a city (citizens and its officials), need a common vision of what we truly want our business community and economy to look like before we continue to pursue bits and pieces in a reactive manner.

And lastly, it was suggested that we form several teams of people (task forces) to explore ideas and bring forth plans for a vision and concrete, researched ideas on how to accelerate Rosemount's economy. These task forces should consist of city officials, staff , business people, and citizens. Why more than one task force? There are two reasons. One, group dynamics begin to take over when a group meets over a period of time. Groupthink sets in and often a group will start down a road with an idea and begin to exclude other valuable ideas. The more groups, the greater the diversity of thoughts. The second reason is simply based on the greater number of ideas that can be generated by a greater number of people engaged in the process.

Other than public safety, few things are more important for everyone in Rosemount and our future than a good, solid vision and plan for our local economy. The more robust our economy, the more we can do for our schools and our kids' futures. The more robust our economy, the more we can do for our seniors. The more robust our economy, the better life is for everyone in Rosemount. We need to attract business in order to attract high-paying jobs in our community.

Trying to bring new revenue and increasing our tax base during these times is a tough, tough job. "It takes a city", a whole city, to make things great in our community.

So. citizens of Rosemount, unite! Get involved! Encourage our city council to set up these task forces to encourage serious citizen engagement on our economic issues. Put on those thinking caps. Be willing to volunteer for a task force to envision a great economic future for Rosemount.

Jeanne Schwartz,