At 14 years of age I use to ride my Honda 50 sport west from my parents home in Brooklyn Center into Maple Grove, Corcoran, Hanover, Rogers and always cross the steel Crow River bridge into the elm tree lined streets of Dayton, which is where I live now, since 1986. Now at 60, instead of civil disobedience I try to pay attention to civic affairs. I care about what becomes of my city and my old town.
Tim McNeil has a strong generational connection to Dayton, five generations to be exact. He told me a while ago he likes living in the old town with his parents just down the road.
Dayton, as a city, is at somewhat of a crossroads. Development is inevitable. As I have told Tim, “the hordes are at the border, ready to storm the walls.” How it happens is the question. Dayton is unique because of the Mississippi, the Crow, our several lakes and Elm Creek Park. If we follow Met Council we will become a cookie-cutter community. Tim has a better vision for Dayton, both residential and industrial.
As a council member Tim has stood against their one size fits all approach. His vision for Dayton will attract individuals and families with well-compensated jobs to live and work in Dayton.
Like many communities Dayton does have a budget issue. We need industrial growth. With competition from Rogers and Maple Grove for commercial tax dollars we are late to the game. Tim has an understanding of what and how this needs to be accomplished. His education and work experience won’t allow him to hand off budgetary issues. Tim will bring a proactive instead of reactive approach to our future fiscal issues.
At our mayoral debates ask for the candidate vision. Not just four years from now but 20 and beyond. I have asked him and I like what I hear.
John Van Wie