Representation for Goodhue County Ward 1 by an appointed county commissioner to fill Ron Allen's vacancy has been denied for many upcoming months until an election is held. The comments by citizens who attended the County Board meeting on May 21, with only one exception, supported the interim appointment of Scott Safe until an election is held. And yet the overwhelming abundance of logical and thoughtful statements did not move two commissioners, namely Jason Majerus and Barney Nesseth, to reconsider and vote yes to the motion to appoint Scott Safe.
Service clubs are groups that match volunteer help with real community needs. These "do-gooders" show up, for example, when there is a house fire or when kids need eye glasses. Often, they provide scholarships or exchange student opportunities. Flower baskets and giant eyeglasses are only a few of their visible improvements around town. It turns out that volunteers "feel more socially connected, thus warding off loneliness and depression." In fact, Harvard studies link better physical health like lower blood pressure and longer life span with volunteering.
Indecision is no way to get something done. That's why successful boards and commissions are filled with an odd number of voting members. This arrangement almost guarantees that decisions are made and things can move forward instead of stalling out in a tie.
The citizens of Red Wing are currently paying 39.5% of Goodhue County taxes while Welch contributes an additional 1.9%. The county's two largest employers — Xcel and Treasure Island — are located in the city of Red Wing and in Commissioner District 1. In addition, Xcel and nine other Red Wing businesses comprise the top 10 property taxpayers in the county. Yet, two members of the County Board believe they should be making major decisions without Red Wing and Welch being proportionately represented.
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Skin cancer, including melanoma, is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Melanoma incidence rates in Minnesota have doubled since 1988 for both males and females, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Ingrid Polcari with the University of Minnesota Medical School and Masonic Cancer Center answers questions about skin cancer risk factors, treatment options and preventative measures people can take against skin cancer. What is skin cancer?
As you all know, we recently lost a good friend and strong advocate, Goodhue County Commissioner Ron Allen. He served citizens on the west side of Red Wing, including Welch Township for 14 years, with distinction. He will be greatly missed. When Ron became too ill to attend meetings, he asked Scott Safe to be his voice on the County Board. Ron believed Scott would make wise decisions, and the County Board approved his appointment unanimously. Scott's time as interim commissioner has proven Ron correct.
Recently an article ran regarding my pending departure from the Red Wing School District. I am writing to hopefully provide a bit of clarity regarding this situation. The school district, for purposes of protecting itself and the rights of employees, can truly not comment on matters that involve personnel issues.
Stable, solid, secure. These are words for anything that's important. Unfortunately, the words do not apply to the support staff situation for people with disabilities in Minnesota. There are more than 8,000 vacancies for the direct support professionals who serve these individuals. It's called a workforce crisis. Locally, day training programs are very aware of this situation.
Businesses along Old West Main Street have been working together to help rebrand our side of downtown as the West End District. We have many exciting things in the works. Along with these things, our group has discussed the proposed pedestrian bridge and how it will impact our community. We support this project. When completed will be a huge footprint for our evolving business district.
Q: Can you tell me more about the bike-pedestrian bridge that is being planned as part of the Old West Main-Upper Harbor Renewal project over the next few years? A: Yes, thank you for the question. In 2021, the entire Old West Main Street (and underground utilities) will be reconstructed. When finished, Old West Main Street between Highway 61 and Buchanan Street will have wider sidewalks, angled parking, additional off-site parking, enhanced pedestrian crosswalks, and boulevard trees.