Alexandria resident Randy Berglin often peppers city leaders and the police department with lots of questions – about why something is being done this way or that way or how something could be done better.
But, those same city leaders say, he does it in a positive manner with the community’s best interests at heart.
At Monday night’s Alexandria City Council meeting, Berglin was recognized for his service to the community and presented with two wooden tokens containing Alexandria’s logo and the phrase, “Because of you, we are better.” He also received kind words from Alexandria Police Captain Scott Kent and City Planner Mike Weber.
Kent said that Berglin helped make the city and the police department stronger. Just one example: While Berglin was out walking his dogs, something he did every day, covering between three and five miles, he noticed a lot of graffiti around town and he let the police know about it.
His involvement could have stopped there, but Berglin not only volunteered to help remove the graffiti, he took photos and helped police develop a spreadsheet containing locations and the different tagging that was used.
Kent described Berglin’s relationship with the department as a true example of community policing partnerships. Berglin not only identified problems, he was part of the solution in solving them, Kent said.
“He is as honest as the day is long,” Kent said, “and he tells us the truth.”
Weber also had good things to say about Berglin.
“You never lost affection for the community,” Weber told Berglin. “You wore your love of Alexandria on your sleeve.”
Weber added that Berglin never let “good enough” be good enough and worked with the city to make things better.
Berglin was born and raised in Alexandria but after he and his wife, Lori, were married in 1975, they moved to Indiana for 40 years. His parents still lived in Alexandria and he never lost touch with his hometown.
He and Lori moved back to Alexandria about seven years ago and the adjustment was a bit of a shock. “This is a big city now,” he said.
Berglin told the council that his height – 5 feet, 6 inches – and his 2-mph pace while walking dogs helped him notice things and gave him a unique perspective into Alexandria.
“It’s an amazing place with a lot of hard-working, dedicated people,” he said.
But the Berglins are saying a fond farewell to Alexandria. They’re moving to Blaine to be closer to their children in the Twin Cities. They’ll have a new neighborhood to walk around in and explore. Randy said he may still “rant and rave” but he’ll also be sure to include something positive along the way.