Letters to the Editor November 2, 2016

Unfortunately, The Maple Lake Messenger was unable to publish any letters to the editor that pertained to the election in the November 2nd newspaper. The purpose for this is we like to give our readers a chance to respond to letters, which they would not be able to do before the election. We are, however, posting the election letters we received for the week of Nov. 2nd on our website. Readers are welcome to email their responses to news@maplelakemessenger.com and we will post them to our website as we receive them during business hours. Happy voting!

Dear Editor,
Thank you for your coverage of the upcoming local election. As former business owner and mayor of Maple Lake, I am writing in support of mayoral candidate, Deb Geyen. Deb has a proven track record of being a steadfast proponent of Maple Lake. For the past ten plus years, she has selflessly served the community by volunteering for local sports teams and various municipal events, in addition to serving on the town council. Deb has exhibited great dedication and passion for this community. I believe that she has the vision and tenacity necessary to move our town steadily forward.
I remain up to date on the current events of the town. I read the Maple Lake Messenger and I have watched the Candidate Forum. Although I no longer live in Maple Lake, it will always be home to me and where my heart is. Deb and her family are lifelong members of the community. She is part of the fabric of Maple Lake and I am certain that no one will work harder than she will! I wish I could vote for Deb Geyen to be the next Mayor of Maple Lake and I am proud to offer her my endorsement!
Sincerely Yours,
Tom Ertel

Dear Maple Lake voters
I would like to endorse Deb Geyen for mayor of Maple Lake. I have know Deb my entire life and I can honestly say there is no one more devoted to our community. I have watched Deb go the extra mile as a city council member. She is on site for the various city projects keeping an eye on things and checking in with residents affected by these projects. She has made sure local business are able to bid on city projects when they would otherwise have been left out. Maple Lake Lumber was a able to successfully bid for a building at the sewer plant. She assisted a citizen in getting turn lanes put in and the speed limit lowered in a dangerous area on a county road. She works hard to bring businesses to town. Deb is a family oriented candidate, volunteering at many school and community events. It is not hard to find her if you have a concern and want to be heard. She is also not afraid to make a decision and move forward.
Deb is willing to listen to all sides. May tough decisions, and not afraid to act and move forward on projects and ideas that will help our city grow. We need a leader like Deb Geyen to move our city forward. Please consider giving her and Maple Lake your vote.
Sincerely,
Tricia Manuel

Letter to the Editor:
I want the voters of district 29 to know that they have the chance to vote for an amazing candidate for the Minnesota Senate in the person of Janice Holter Kittok. I have known her for many years as a friend and colleague and I admire her very much. I have watched her chair the executive board meetings of the Minnesota Council of Teachers of Language and Cultures during some very stressful times the organization was going through. It was Jan´s wonderful communication skills that allowed us to reach consensus and make good decisions. Her degree in school administration and her experience as a public- school teacher will allow her to share insight on how to improve public education in Minnesota. She understands the issues farmers and private businesses face. She is a pleasant person to work with. Her dedication to hard work to reach her goals will make her a great addition to the Minnesota Senate.
Betty Lotterman

To the Editor,
Its been interesting following the mayor campaign in Maple Lake. Competition
is always good and we have a spirited campaign. I am still having trouble
understanding Deb Geyen's concern that things move too slowly for her at City
Hall (she's been on the council 10 years), but that we need to jump in
quickly now and make the vacant City lot a town square. I previously spoke
out on her comments that this is a much needed “...window to the
city....” It now appears Kristen Logas supports Ms Geyen in keeping the
area for a “town square” yet no one has stepped up to show why it's a
better site for the few activities its been used for, than our wonderful city
park with restroom facilities and lots of shade offer. Lynn Kissok and
council candidates Heather Kadlec and Kirk Larson seem on the right track
regarding this issue but quite honestly, no one seems to be campaigning. I've
been waiting for my doorbell to ring.
Then there's that matter about a City Administrator. I have a call in to the
League of Mn Cities requesting information about population size a city
should reach to sustain such a position. There is no statutory provision
according to Pamela Witmore and she's uncertain if there's been any study
done showing cause/effect, need for/ hiring of, a city administrator. To my
knowledge, the City of Buffalo has a City Administrator but they're our
county seat with a huge population. Our 2013 census shows our population at
2093. Our city staff seems to have been handling business very well and
frankly, if there's no problem, why do we look for one.
Lets focus on getting a new business on the Maple Lake lot, a twenty-five
year old plan that could now be near fruition. We sold the liquor store for
$1 and the property we purchased in the industrial part for $300,000, we sold
to PACE for their new building, for $1. These were efforts to revitalize our
city. We can learn from our mistakes and perhaps get $50,000 or more for the
city lot AND get a new building in our business district, something that is
long overdo. We could even have a new rental site for our library there since
its is very likely a referendum to add on the city hall, a home for the
library, would likely pass, another Geyen initiative. A city our size does
not need both a city park and a town square. It does not need both a city
clerk and a city administrator.
Finally, lets get some old issues back in play. We have some very strange
ordinances. We are allowed to park only two cars on our property for each
licensed driver living there, regardless of how much off street parking they
have available. When chasing down nuisance issues, are rats at the elevator
or elevator noise while loading trucks, or train noise going through our
city, less of a nuisance than how many items a person has on their property,
visible to the public? We have excellent city staff and maintenance workers
in place. We will miss John Northenscold and his vision for the farmer's
market. We have some potentially good candidates stepping up to the plate.
Get our and vote November 8.
– John Haack

Dear Maple Lake Citizens
As the 2016 political campaign winds down, each potential voter has an opportunity to shape society now and for the future. For the residents of Maple Lake, I would like to encourage you to list what is important locally and vote accordingly. There are many important issues facing our community's future. My approach as mayor would, as it has been as a council member, is to be proactive, not reactive. Let's make some decisions about our industrial park, housing shortage, downtown revitalization. It won't be easy, but I am willing to do the proper homework, put in the time and move forward rather than let things stagnate. Opportunities are not going to fall in our lap, we have to pursue the possibilities' that fit our goals.
Jobs, attracting new businesses and steering local government has to be addressed. All these areas intertwine and need to be discussed together openly as a council and city, not
piecemealed together by a few when they have time. This town had has many great attributes waiting to be primped and shown off! Let's improve our streets and sidewalks and make downtown attractive so we can feel confident to outside businesses notice we are ready for the challenge of making the big decisions on bigger tasks.
If elected mayor I will bring in needed council from outside experts, listen to our citizens, have the courage to make tough decisions and move forward in a timely fashion so we can take advantage of the opportunities available to us.
I ask for your vote for mayor and vote for me on Nov. 8th.
Sincerely,
Deb Geyen

Dear Editor,
I was at a candidate debate last week and the biggest response from the audience was cheering for candidates that say they will lower our taxes. It is so easy to say that we need to lower our taxes in order to get a person’s vote.
We can all see, even at the local level, the benefits of our tax revenue – our roads and maintenance equipment, schools, parks, police and fire protection, health services including alcohol and drug abuse recovery programs, clean air and water quality, and utility infrastructure. My family and friends have used all of these services, and we are not willing to trade effective government for cheap government. Some things are worth the investment and will provide tax savings benefits in the future. The Democratic candidates seem to understand this concept better. Keep calm and Vote Democrat.
Karen Deitering

Letter to the Editor:
As you drive down the highway and see these signs protesting abortion, there is a sign that says "I am a gift from God." A seed with no life in it cannot grow; it's a gift from God. Donald Trump is against abortion and also the way they kicked christianity out of our schools. See what they have now! I heard billy Graham preach and he said the reason why communism didn't work was because they kicked God out. I am a farmer and a veteran. I served my country so Jesus' name could be preached freely.
I vote for Donald Trump.
Here's a prayer for you and me. "Jesus, I thank you for coming down to Earth to save mankind and all that I have. I believe in you, I love you and I trust you. Help me, pray for me and guide me so I don't get lost or trapped on my way to heaven! Amen. They always say "follow the money". The government is broke, Trump is not.
- Myron Solberg

RESPONSES FROM THE NOV. 2, 2016 ELECTION LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

Maple Lake Residents,
Just a few days remain before it is time to cast your ballots for many offices. While all of the races affect your way of life in one way or another, the Mayoral and Council races affect you most directly.
The decisions we make at council determine your tax rates, the services you receive and in many ways the overall tone, respect for and environment of our community. So it is our responsibility to listen, be open minded, have the strength to say ‘no’ when appropriate, and the respect for you and responsibility to others to provide valid reasons and be accountable for our decisions. I have worked very hard to create that environment within the council.
I have served on council for four years and then as mayor for another four years now. From the outset I did my best to learn about the issues that directly affect Maple Lake and made connections with people both within and outside of the community to get a broader perspective on the concerns and more importantly options for solutions. The relationships I have made are invaluable and I often research multiple options and cite the information I have gathered when discussing issues with the council. This broad focus and open minded approach have resulted in many changes in the overall atmosphere within city hall and relationships with our city staff at all levels. They have the autonomy to do the jobs they were hired to do, and are encouraged to seek other answers and creative options besides the status quo or ‘we’ve always done it this way’ response.
Maple Lake is at the tipping point of growth and we have been working to position ourselves to take advantage of the continued market and industry recovery. We have done the homework and are set to finalize decisions about how to take advantage of that growth – in a manner that will not be a detriment to our sense of community, our taxes and our future. While some answers seem like a great idea at the time, we do really need to take the step back and look at all options for and consequences of our actions before jumping into decisions. For some this can appear as though we take too long to act, but I would much rather be prepared to act when action is necessary rather than act for the sake of acting and then regret the decisions.
We had been set to participate in a facilitated goals-setting session which was to include current council members as well as candidates for the two open seats. It was unfortunately not allowed to happen – against the wishes of the council as a whole. This session would have been a great opportunity to set out the roadmap for the next few years with the input of the new folks and the experience of the outgoing council members. The need for this session is that while we all have great ideas, we need to make sure that the actions being proposed truly meet the overall vision of Maple Lake from the council as a whole, and enable us to tie our actions directly to mission and vision rather than ‘because it sounds like a good idea’. Though we could have taken advantage of a free session we now are in the position to have to pay for it.
An example of ‘why’ such a session is necessary is what to do with the city lot – sell it or pursue the town square concept. We can all bring our personal thoughts to the table and make the decision – or we can take a step back and ask ourselves, ‘does this truly meet the vision we have set out for Maple Lake’? Without having a community goal to attach it to, it is just a decision for decision’s sake and made based on passion not forward thinking or logic. Another example is the industrial park expansion, does it meet the vision we have set out for our community? What is that vision – to be a community that has tons of industry and no housing? I would argue that we need to have the industrial expansion tied to or following from the focus on housing. The session was to help us set our mission and vision so we could prioritize accordingly. That is truly how to be proactive rather than reactive.
I am excited by the progress we have made in the past few years and truly look forward to welcoming the new council members to the table and working closely with them to continue the momentum. Maple Lake, though not my birthplace is definitely my home and I will do everything in my power to ensure it’s continued growth and overall success.
Thank you all for being so open to discussing the issues and concerns you have had. I will continue to serve you as a forward thinking leader with only the best for Maple Lake’s residents in mind.
Thank you,
Lynn Kissock
11/3/16

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