Just over 10 years ago, I moved my family here from the Twin Cities region. At that time, Red Wing was a family-focused community with a strong job market, a strong public safety record, and a welcoming place for small-businesses.
Red Wing was considered a highly attractive place to live and had recently made national news when it was named the 23rd best historic destination in the world by National Geographic Traveler Magazine. The magazine even posted the following description on its website: "A wonderful river community that still has the wonderful charm of a small community." Incredibly, Red Wing was one of only four cities in the entire United States to make that list. With a strong community of families and small businesses, it could be said that Red Wing was a "shining city in the valley".
Fast forward to the last few years and Red Wing looks considerably different: shuttered businesses, empty downtown storefronts, soaring property taxes, runaway spending on things like the Bridge to Nowhere, and an entire community left with unanswered questions after the closed-door termination of our city police chief and leader of public safety.
If we're going to make news headlines for something other than a city in decline, we need dramatically different priorities. If Red Wing is to regain the status of a "shining city in the valley," we need dramatically different leadership.