As a local business owner, I understand and can appreciate the difficulty the city faces in "balancing the books." A considerable amount of my time is spent trying to work more efficiently and more productively. We are always looking for ways to exceed our customers' expectations and looking critically at our competitive advantages in the market place.
I would agree that the City of Detroit Lakes shares a lot of similarities to local businesses. Certainly the quickest fix to any budget problem is to eliminate services. I am encouraging you to look at the bigger picture.
Not only is Detroit Lakes a great place to visit, it is a fantastic community to live in and raise a family. Our local service groups are led by hard-working members with a real passion for Detroit Lakes. We are blessed with terrific schools, a generous community, and natural resources not found in many small towns. I personally see this as a "competitive edge," it's what sets us apart.
We are fortunate enough to have four seasons of recreation. The beautiful lake and public beach are located in the middle of town. Our huge park boasts a new band shell, a historic pavilion, and ball field. Much of our winter is spent on indoor and outdoor skating rinks, snowmobiling and skiing on picturesque trails.
It is disappointing to hear things like, "we are going to cut back on mowing the city park," "we are going to stop picking up weeds on the city beach," "we are eliminating the lifeguards on the city beach," and "we are closing the warming house at Lincoln Rink." Why are we stripping away the very things that draw people to our great community?
Creating and maintaining a competitive advantage in business is critical to its growth and success. I believe the same holds true for our community. I encourage the city officials and council members to keep a long range vision when dealing with short term issues. The quick decisions made today may have a long lasting consequence in the future growth of our community.