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In The Know: Spring -- flowers, shoppers, tourists and more


Once again it is springtime in the city! You will notice that things begin to happen as the city comes back to life. Yes, the flowers appear on Broadway and the streets are lined with shoppers and people begin to sit on the benches and enjoy the scenery but the Alexandria area is much more than that. It is vibrant and full of life year round — a great place live.

Last week, Kathryn LeBrasseur talked about how Alexandria was the "best city in the state to retire to," the "best Minnesota community to find a job," number one for the beauty of its main street renovation, number one for best micropolitan area in Minnesota. Plus, she talked about how we are one of a handful of counties that are growing. So great things are happening here and it is not by chance — it takes all kinds of dedicated, determined people and entities working together to make this area great. We are so fortunate to have great working relationships within our community!

It is tourist season so our area swells and we see new faces everywhere we go. Tourism brings in lots of local dollars and keeps our area economically viable. I know sometimes I hear that our town is more congested and louder — but we are truly a welcoming community and one day that vacationing person may be your next door neighbor. So being nice not only helps our area grow and thrive, but you may also make a friend. Know that we work on that congestion and noise, too!

Budget time is here again for us at the city. We start the long process of reviewing how we did last year and where we are going this year. We look carefully at everything and what our goals for the future are. We still focus on safety (police and fire) and getting roads and sidewalks in order. We are always striving to keep taxes low so this area continues to prosper.

That being said, next week is National Police week — May 15-19 — so my person of the week this time is actually the whole police force! We have: the chief — Rick Wyffels, the captain — Scott Kent, five sergeants, 17 officers, three clerical and a maintenance person. We are extremely proud of our officers — all of them! We have a great force and a great team! Of course, this starts with good leadership — right at the top with our chief and captain. I am so proud of our police force. They work tirelessly to keep our city safe and in this climate it is becoming more and more difficult. Every one of our officers has a unique story of what brought them here to Alexandria and each one of them is dedicated to serving and keeping us protected.

I ask that next week (and all year long) you take a minute or two out of your day to do something to honor our brave men and women in our police force — whether it be a hug or a handshake when you see them, a silent prayer when you meet the squad on the road or a big wave when you do. These people put their lives on the line for us every day and we are not only proud — but we appreciate it! We are Alexandria and we show it!