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Letter: Micromanagers hurt Willmar

I am gravely concerned with the micromanagement, intolerance and disrespect practiced by some currently elected Willmar city officials.

The tone, intolerance, and disrespect during a recent City Council meeting were clear: Don’t bother, everything is fine. You are an outside party, we know better. Willmar only needs four or five non-professional elected persons to micromanage professionals charged with the city’s actual stewardship, sustainability, and public safety.

I lived in several communities in my adult life, but I lived and paid taxes in Willmar for more than 20 years, longer than anywhere else, and I consider Willmar home.

When I arrived in Willmar, it was already a town entrepreneurs chose to start a business and provide jobs. The community was influenced by the natural leaders those businesses recruit and employ. The micromanagers don’t really want them either because they do not want anything to change.

With full disclosure, I knew many able and earnest community leaders of those Willmar days. They were from the private sector, professional, and public figures alike. Paid or unpaid, they demonstrated servant leadership and willingness to find solutions. To support the arts, build the schools, address significant population growth and other issues.

Some remain in those leadership roles and responsibilities or in larger ones. The constant of these persons is their consistent, forward-thinking efforts to make Willmar an attractive place to live and work. Those leaders are now considered outsiders.

Leaders can make legislative errors or have shortsightedness. While in Tennessee, the legislature authorized, funded, and built a state fire academy to train firefighters. For many years, it never was utilized because they failed to fund the actual training. You have to admit when you are wrong and remedy that poor judgment.

I note the travesty over the mayor’s budget proposal cuts of 50 percent in travel and training and 35 percent in memberships and subscriptions for city staff. Really?

And, one councilman questions WRAC 8 funding. Is that so people don’t get to watch the tone, intolerance, and disrespect?

You can’t turn back the clock in Willmar because all you will have is losers.

Steve Kling