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Letter: Business retention program is puzzling

To the editor,

I was puzzled to read of a new city program to keep businesses in town. An appreciation lunch has been planned. The article tells how the city has expended a lot of effort and spent tax payers' money over the past several years to attract businesses to Rosemount and to improve relationships with the current business community. In fact it has now become a priority. Really?

What is this promotional plan for snuggling up to Rosemount businesses all about? Which businesses will be chosen for special treatment? Most importantly, what will the courtship cost the taxpayers? And what is the expected gain for Rosemount?

Why do our officials feel a burning need to reach out to our businesses? Could it be because the mayor, city administrator, city council, port authority and planning commission have a long unsightly record of driving businesses away? Are they repenting for their prior sins and transgressions?

Where was our city government when these businesses needed encouragement and assistance to survive and stay in our town? They were busy manipulating regulations to make it difficult for businesses to remain here. And, they were traveling at taxpayer expense to other cities to get ideas about how to make Rosemount look better because we just weren't pretty enough for them.

I'm curious to hear about mayor Droste's retention program. Retention suggests there will be incentives for businesses to stay. But alas, the dry-docked carrier USS Wally Johnson now occupies a showcase spot in the center of downtown Rosemount. A prime retail strip that should have brought small niche businesses, which we need, to the center of Rosemount. Construction of the Wally Johnson was cleverly negotiated with the city so it only needed the absolute minimum retail space to fool taxpayers into thinking that this would keep tax dollars in our pockets.

And now city hall talks about needing to cater to the business community. So why now? City officials haven't wanted to talk to Rosemount businesses for years. This smacks of someone looking for job advancement and needing to tidy up their resume ASAP. That means we tax payers need to get humping and pay for some sprucing up around here, and just in time for the holidays.

Patricia Walter,