Rochester Chamber smacks down council member

Rochester Chamber smacks down council member

There's no love lost between Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce President John Wade (and many others in Rochester's business leadership) and Council Member Michael Wojcik -- that's no secret, and it's the subtext of recent council politics -- but it's unusual for the Chamber to post a news release that directly takes a whack at a council member and his "cryptic" comments on Twitter.

This follows an open letter a few days ago from Wade and RAEDI President Gary Smith that was an all-but-explicit smackdown to John Kruesel and Kevin Lund for their outspoken questioning of points regarding DMC.

Here's the news release:

News Release: 04/03/2013


April 03, 2013

Setting the Record Straight

For any of our members who may have been confused or concerned by the recent cryptic tweets posted by a City Council member during Monday night’s City Council meeting, the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce would like to provide clarity and context for the actual substance of the discussions.

The discussion referenced concerned the plan by Stewartville’s Economic Development Authority to use a portion of their share of the Rochester local-option sales tax to pay rebates to property owners who build a new home or commercial building in Stewartville.

While Councilman Wojcik is entitled to his own opinion, he is not entitled to create his own facts. The Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce appreciates the fact that 40% of the sales tax revenue generated from the local options sales tax reauthorized by the citizens of Rochester in 2012 comes from the 56,000 people who work in Rochester on a daily basis and live outside the city. Hence, all boats rise when our neighboring cities, including Stewartville, increase economic growth, progress, and prosperity. Stewartville is maximizing its portion of local option sales tax by using it to incentivize and attract economic development to the area. 


The Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce promotes pedestrian safety and in no way would advocate otherwise. On the contrary, the proposed sidewalk being referred to by Mr. Wojcik is the true safety concern. The proposed sidewalk would line the east side of the frontage road of Hwy 52 North by 41st St NW. Due to the close proximity of the proposed sidewalk to the road, the snow plows clearing the streets would routinely plow unmanageable amounts of snow onto the sidewalk, causing a safety hazard for pedestrians. Also, the businesses in the area (mostly car dealerships) are designed to be accessed by vehicles. The pedestrians will be in harm’s way considering the number of vehicles visiting the drive-thru restaurants, car dealerships and mechanics.

Instead of encouraging pedestrians to use a proposed unsafe sidewalk, we believe it would be safer for them to continue to utilize the sidewalks in the adjacent residential area.


The Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce is committed to fostering an environment where business can develop, grow and prosper.


Laurie Mona , Communications Manager

(507) 288-1122 ;

What To Read Next
Get Local