TO THE EDITOR:
Recently I got my first phone call from a resident in my new role as Mayor. A resident wanted to know why he hadn’t received his Dayton Firefighter Calendar yet.
If all has gone according to plan, on Tuesday I was sworn in as Mayor as part of the newly elected council. While I’m very excited about my new role, I am ever mindful of the responsibility that comes with it. In addition to tracking down calendars I was also on the receiving end of a 911 call. While it was not an experience I want to repeat, watching our first responders in action reminded me how serious the role of Mayor is. There are a lot of “big issues” we face. The new council has been given your trust to address the big issues…..and the small ones. While I tend not to take myself too seriously, I take the responsibility you have given me VERY seriously.
The election has set Dayton on a new path. Hopefully the new council can build on the work of the previous councils, and address the challenges we will face. Many people I talk to are very excited about the new council and are eager to see us work together. As we move from a very experienced council to a very inexperienced council I am going to ask for your patience. We have pressing issues to deal with and many of the issues are contradictory. We will need a lot of discussion and input from residents and experts alike. We must try to encourage growth while preserving our rural character; lower taxes while spending on critical projects and services; move forward on an interchange while not jamming our local roads. None of these tasks will be easy, and this council will need your help. The one thing I want to move on right away is better communications, and hopefully you will see changes on that front within months. As part of that commitment I hope to be more visible and available to the residents of Dayton. I, along with my fellow council members, are accountable for decisions which will impact Dayton residents greater than most decisions made in St. Paul, or even in DC. You have given us your trust – now we must keep it.
(Editor’s Note: Tim McNeil is the new Dayton Mayor.)