A few comment-makers on this site have offered that they really like the City Administrator or the Mayor or a Council Member. I feel like they are implying that maybe we folks at Locally Grown don’t really like them and that’s why we seem to be stubbornly asking questions about their actions week after week.
Let me make something very clear, I like them at least as much as those comment makers, and maybe even a lot more.
Let’s start with the City Administrator, Al Roder. Gosh, I can’t tell you how excited I was when Al first came to town. Positive, cheerful, friendly, and energetic, he was like a breath of fresh air. I’ve had many a lunch with him, he works hard to find time to meet with me, and we always have a forthright exchange of ideas and opinions.
Next there’s the Mayor, Lee Lansing. Lee has been a friend of mine for a long time. He ran for office so that he could increase the business-friendliness of Northfield by clearing away unnecessary bureaucracy and giving more decision-making responsibility to citizen-staffed boards and commissions. I was, and continue to be, very supportive of that effort.
Then there’s Council Member Jim Pokorney. No other elected official has been as willing to meet with stakeholders as Jim. Whether it’s pedestrian safety, deteriorating infrastructure, or saving the downtown library, Jim is always willing to make time to sit down and listen. Perhaps more than any other Council Member, Jim makes me feel like we really share the same values.
Council Member Noah Cashman raised the hopes of all who know him when he ran for office. I first met him at the Contented Cow (where you used to shout, between songs performed by Blue Moon String Band, “Let Ross sing another one!”) and he was really concerned that citizens be given a chance to shape the future of their community. I loved to hear him talk about his goals for citizen empowerment.
Council Member Jon Denison has had no truer believer than me, just ask Griff or Tracy or Jane or Keith. From the very first days, I was impressed by Jon’s eagerness to immerse himself in the big issues, put in the time, talk to the participants, and try to identify the key issues and support the key initiatives in our political processes.
Finally, there’s Scott Davis. Scott and I have worked closely together on countless efforts on a wide range of objectives. Not only were we Community Day of Service Co-Chairs and were, are, and ever will be Blandin Buddies, he actually served for several years on an NDDC Committee. If he hadn’t made that fateful decision to enter politics, he’d be on the NDDC Board by now.
In fact, I made Scott my Hero of the Week. His efforts at last Monday night’s Council Meeting to try to turn the page on some of the issues that have been dogging local government and move on to a new chapter could be considered truly admirable.