BLUE EARTH - Blue Earth City Council closed out the year Monday with accolades for police and council members, and got some advice from an outgoing colleague.
Mayor Rob Hammond presented certificates of appreciation to Police Chief Dean Vereide and Officer Todd Purvis for lending assistance to EMTs in saving lives during separate incidents.
Hammond then presented certificates of appreciation to outgoing council members Paula Kelly and Dan Brod, who has served 15 years on the council. A third outgoing member, Les Wiborg, was absent.
Brod wanted to address the council.
He said that when he was elected in 1995, he "thought about attempting to serve for maybe 20 years. I fell very short of 20 years and I will admit it is because the action of the last few years, the last two in particular."
He noted issues such as the airport and the hospital.
"We need our airport and our airport needs to have a good, safe runway," Brod said. "We need our hospital and it is a definite asset to our community.
"It is just the methods used to make things happen that have really turned me off," he added.
Brod said the council "was misinformed more than once" on various aspects of the airport project, including what could be done as far as expansion, what it would cost, how much reimbursement the city would get, and how many flights the airport handles. It was only after two council members talked to the Federal Aviation Administration "did we get factual information on who would pay and what they would pay for and whether the FAA would pay for an expansion or repair," he said.
"Why weren't the numbers challenged?" Brod asked. "I myself had grown tired of challenging the information. But have we become so complacent that we just say, 'OK we will believe you?'"
As for the hospital, he said: "We are so fortunate to have this kind of a facility here. The hospital is working to be the best it can be and we all know that already.
"However, the effect on the neighborhood is not done now that the ambulance garage has been removed and some fence has been installed," he said. "What occurred was a huge lack of respect for the neighborhood which, although many neighbors may be more satisfied now than eight months ago, they will not forget what was proposed to them and what did occur.
"To me, it is more the effect of the lack of respect for the neighborhood than any issue of a garage or fencing," Brod said.
He closed with a challenge to all.
"If you as an individual, or staff member, or council member feel that something is not right, you might be right," he said. "You are the one who must tell somebody about it. If the first person you talk to doesn't feel that way, then you need to talk to another. We don't need to let things happen that result from inaccurate and disrespectful activities by any one entity in our fine community."