Public Comment

April 20, 2020, Rochester Common Council meeting

President Staver, Common Council members and Mayor Norton,

Like cities, towns and villages around the world, the direction of Rochester, Minnesota — a town we care for and choose to live in — is facing a measure of sobering reality. If service to others and the greater common good is one of the social contracts we have with each other, now is the time to pause, critically examine and debate our priorities.

We would suggest starting here: Take the lead as the driving force in converting the abandoned yet useful Mayo Clinic-owned former Lourdes High School into a community triage base to provide hope for those struggling and in need, particularly children; develop/implement parking lot and transit policies that create and sustain the cleanest water and air quality environment in the world; and suspend the Mayo Clinic Destination Medical Center Heart of the City Phase 1 boondoggle.

As to this last point, precious and anticipated shrinking public tax dollars, from whatever source, should be allocated with caution and prudence, particularly in light of the uncertain fiscal challenges and social changes that certainly lie ahead. Among other things, destination medical care has become vulnerable and its viability as essentially a singular community construct, with benefit to all, which we were promised and sold, is seriously in doubt.

Thank you for your anticipated consideration.

John C. Kruesel and Kevin A. Lund, Citizens of Rochester