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Letter: Sterner's support for zoo helps entire area

To the editor,

I have strong ties to my community and a vested interest in making sure it remains a great place to live. That's why I've been a contributor to the Minnesota Zoo for years. It's such an asset to have one of the nation's top 10 zoos right here in our neighborhood and I've been proud of how the zoo's reputation and attendance have grown over the years.

State Rep. Phil Sterner feels the same way. He knows that what's good for the zoo is good for our community and our state. He's been the strongest advocate for the zoo that we've had at the state capitol in decades. Just a few weeks ago, he joined Governor Pawlenty, community and business leaders and zoo supporters to celebrate a new phased-in expansion that will raise the zoo's profile even higher. That expansion -- a great example of the power of a strong private/public partnership -- was made possible because of Phil's bipartisan work to gather support for the bonding bill he authored that will take the zoo to the next level. He was such a strong advocate because he knows the project will not only enhance the zoo for visitors, but because it will bring good new jobs to our area and new tourism dollars to Dakota County.

I've known Phil for more than 30 years, and what you see is what you get -- a genuinely nice guy who works hard, listens first, votes his district and leaves no stone unturned if it means making things better for residents in the community he serves.

Alan Kohls,

Apple Valley