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Viewpoint: City Council wants your feedback

Bill Droste

Many of us start the new year with renewed energy and a sense of purpose. That's also the way 2019 is beginning for Rosemount city government. And there's a way you can help us keep the energy flowing.

We were joined on the City Council this month by two new members who are busy learning from the inside about how the city operates. Tammy Block and Paul Essler are providing fresh voices and perspectives on what our government should accomplish for citizens. They are sharing their views on what our priorities should be.

The council has always had a formal goal-setting process after the start of the year. The emphasis may change from time to time, but the dedication to finding efficient ways to provide services is a constant. Our first meeting devoted to reviewing the goals was last week. We'll meet again before we finalize what we expect the city staff to work toward this year and next.

We'd also like to give you a chance to share your views with us informally. So we've scheduled the first of several opportunities that we're calling "Coffee with the Council." We think of it as a way to chat about the issues coming up for a decision, and we plan to do it on the second Saturday of every month. The first one will be at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, in the meeting room at the Robert Trail Library.

The city's success depends on your good ideas. The council's regular meetings are always open to the public, but they often have a narrow focus. We hope citizens will join us at the coffees to share the big picture. We want your wisdom about what we'd all like Rosemount to become and how we can get there.

There's one part of the process that got a jump start because of the schedule of the Minnesota Legislature. Near the opening of each session, we offer our legislative goals to the lawmakers who represent us. State Sen. Greg Clausen has been a strong advocate for Rosemount's needs, and now he is joined by Rep. John Huot in the state House. We are optimistic that we can work together to serve our constituents, and I have already met with both legislators to deepen our partnership.

The council this month approved a list of issues that will be important for us at the Capitol, and I shared that list with Rep. Huot and Sen. Clausen. They include improvements to the transportation network in Rosemount that would make it easier for residents and visitors to move around. In particular, the council would like funding to improve the safety of the entrance to Rosemount High School from Highway 3. As traffic levels have increased, it's become more difficult for students and parents to negotiate this intersection.

We're also asking for state assistance to complete the interchange on Highway 52 and County Road 42. And we support Dakota County's request for funding to finish the Mississippi River Regional Trail.

We also hope that the state authorizes the National Guard to transfer land on Biscayne Avenue that could be used for a potential city facility. And we'd like the state to clarify rules on the use of aerial drones and for the state to take over licensing of massage therapists.

There are many details in all of this work, and it can make it difficult for citizens to take part. We know modern life puts a lot of demands on our residents' schedules. But we hope you will find the time to join us Feb. 9 to share your views on the best ways for Rosemount to move forward.