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Letter: Mayor has forgotten minorities

In response to the article “Comment by Willmar, Minn., mayor causes an awkward moment” published Nov. 29:

This letter goes to Mayor Frank Yanish: First of all, we all understand the difficult economic times the country is going through. Families have cut their budgets for important and basic needs in their households. Reducing budgets and looking at a bigger picture when it comes to community funding is something that in many cases needs to be done.

The question here is, are you considering the bigger picture by cutting the West Central Integration Collaborative funding by almost half the amount they requested? The collaborative had requested $42,000 for 2013, the same as it has been funded in 2012.

Now if we do the math, considering all the educational, health, economic and social-related programs the collaborative provides to help minorities integrate and better function in the community, $42,000 is not a lot of money.

Minorities are consumers and also add to the economic growth of the city of Willmar by the many small businesses they own and operate.

In regards to the awkward moment and your comment to City Council member Doug Reese who spoke in favor of increasing the amount of proposed funding for the local organization: Yanish commented, “Councilman, if I can add to that, in the city we have a new mayor. Get over it.”

I am sorry, Mr. Yanish, but we can’t get over the great job our former City Mayor Les Heitke did for 16 years. He will always have the respect from the Hispanic and community in general simply because he earned it.

With all my respect, and if you would like to follow his steps, we highly recommend you take us into consideration. Thank you.

Paola J. Pena