Guest Column: Let’s use common sense: Change is necessary

What I am passionate about is what was in my campaign message and why I ran for mayor and 513 people agreed with me.  We are Maple Plain, a small town where  neighbors used to help neighbors and the city was someone you go to for help and advice and information and getting dog tags.  Now with fee on top of fee people will just do it and ask for forgiveness if they get caught.

We cannot  continue to talk down to people or embarrass them in public or call them names – we have to get rid of that attitude.  That’s why I ran for mayor.

Just as important is promoting a working relationship with our businesses and getting rid of the reputation of being the most difficult to work with or having people think “forget Maple Plain you don’t want to pay and pay and get nowhere.”

So I  hope  we can  institute a change of attitude at city hall. It cannot be us against them.  We need to take a different attitude with our residents and understand that we are elected to serve and assist, not just to legislate and police ordinances and rules  for everyone’s  backyard.  The tone has to start at the top and everyone else understand and join in  because failure is not an option.  This means the mayor and council  and city staff and all committees that serve at the pleasure of the city council.  Last but not least, our consultants, some of whom have worked for Maple Plain for over 30 years.

Change is not always a bad thing.  New ideas and fresh looks are what is needed to kick start  the new Maple Plain. New innovations but old, friendly hometown values.

Additionally my hope is to build a coalition with all our neighboring cities to not only work together  sharing between public works, but forming an actual relationship where we work together to solve our problems rather than doing everything in isolation.  And to save taxpayer money.

An example would be to form a task force to work with MnDOT, Hennepin County and Three Rivers Park District  to brainstorm what works for all of us on Highway 12/394 for the present and future years to come.

Yes we have to improve our infrastructure, but we also have to maintain and update what we have.  Our city parks are old and we need to bring them into the 21st century for our youngest residents – our future.

Maple Plain does not need to be divided into  us against them  or north and south of Highway 12. We need to come together as one.

By Roger Hackbarth. Hackbarth was elected mayor of Maple Plain. He will be sworn in at the Jan. 14 city council meeting.