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Letter: The definition of a resident in city of Willmar

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The Willmar City Charter Commission has recently begun to consider expanding the definition of residents eligible to serve on commissions and boards to include business owners that live elsewhere because they pay property taxes to the city of Willmar.

If they are included in city government appointments and policymaking boards, I wonder how these absentee owners will vote regarding residential street maintenance.

I wonder how they will vote regarding stormwater runoff solutions that will most likely cost more property tax dollars.

If a business owner raises their own children in another community, I wonder how they will vote regarding improvements to playgrounds and parks. If they live elsewhere I wonder how they will feel about tax dollars being spent to support local senior citizens.

Lastly, I wonder how many cities I may buy residence to. Am I actually more than one person, am I actually a collection of business ventures that each have political rights in every jurisdiction that we operate in?

What about chain stores? Are they also to be granted the political rights to decide public policy because they pay property taxes?

How about we just keep it simple and leave resident status as being the one address where you sleep most of the time?

Since perfection is not available here on Earth, let us try for simplicity and common sense instead. If you feel like this is home, then move into town with us. Willmar is a great place to work, live, and play.

Charlie Oakes, Willmar

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