To the editor:

City government works for its citizens when the right council person works on your behalf. The issue involved a storm drain sewer project in the Maple/Darling/Kenwood Drive neighborhood.

City staff proposed a plan unknown to the neighborhood and without a neighborhood meeting. Once the plan was known, a neighborhood meeting was scheduled with city staff. However, after the city staff had scheduled the meeting, they canceled the meeting.

Before the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, and before the neighborhood meeting could be held, city staff decided to move ahead on the project without notifying the neighborhood. They sought to submit a “request for bids” to the City Council for approval. Only by happenstance, it was discovered in the agenda in Friday’s Echo Press for the City Council meeting the following Monday.

A call to our Ward 3 Council Member, Bobbi Osterberg, on Sunday (Mother’s Day) resulted in a meeting with Ms. Osterberg on Monday morning to hear the neighbors’ proposal and concerns. Ms. Osterberg believed the neighbors’ proposal and concerns had merit. She saw to it that the city staff’s request was tabled and would not be heard until city staff had met with the neighborhood.

The meeting took place later that same week, and the issue was resolved to the satisfaction of the neighborhood. If it had not been for the willingness of Ms. Osterberg to get involved, to work tirelessly on the neighborhood’s behalf for a good outcome, and the dedication to listen to and understand the neighbors’ concerns, the storm drain sewer plan would have been very disruptive to the peaceful enjoyment of our neighborhood. Thank you.

Byron Peterson

Alexandria, MN