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Letter: Strong leaders: goodbye Dennis, hello Phil

To the editor,

I was reminded during the Apple Valley parade two weeks ago about the tremendous leadership this community has had and what big shoes there are to fill.

Dennis Ozment, who announced his retirement in January, was a bi-partisan leader who never used divisive partisan social rhetoric. He knew the community was sensible, moderate and independent thinking. Republicans and Democrats both voted for Ozment because he focused on the community's desire for good education, transportation, health care and sound environmental policy. This leadership style was the cornerstone of his success in the State Legislature for 24 years and he was a leader that every citizen in the district relied on.

I believe that we must carry on the tradition of effective leadership by voting for Phil Sterner.

As a Rosemount City Council member, Phil worked behind the scenes to try and resolve eminent domain issues in the city. When it was clear that it would not be resolved, he stood by his principles and voted No to using eminent domain. As a member of the Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce, Phil consistently promotes a strong local economy by advocating for policies that allow businesses to flourish.

Phil's opponent doesn't show effective leadership. She lacked sensible solutions and effective leadership by often voting as the lone dissenter in 6-1 school board decisions. Effective leadership should be about creating ideas that improve the community. Attempting to cut the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program is not progress. Her web site even indicates her desire not to work with Democrats on issues and her platform is divisive and will not allow for workable solutions to be passed in the legislature.

Phil is an economic leader who has been tested as a community leader and small business owner. He kept taxes the same or reduced them on the Rosemount City Council. He served on organizations that helped better public schools, and unlike his opponent, sent his kids to Rosemount High School instead of private school because he believed in the education that his children would receive. These are the defining characteristics of effective leadership. That's why on Nov. 4, I will vote for Sterner's sensible solutions.

Dianne Howell