From: Bill Spitzer
As a public servant who has been elected to the office of mayor for the past five terms, I realize that some people may not like some of my decisions, ideas or even me personally. I struggle each time I read an article or editorial that is critical of my actions, the actions of the council or even our lack of action. I constantly ask myself is this the right thing for our community? Nevertheless, the looming question is do I respond to every critic or every unhappy person? Over the past 49 years of my life I have learned that everyone has a reason for doing what they do and saying what they say.
I know a lot of untold stories behind many of the articles written and many are for reasons other than the topic they chose as a heading. Someone once told me that silence is acceptance and I refuse to accept the statements made by Mr. Conlin. I’m currently reading a book written about the late UCLA basketball coach John Wooden that made this statement, “Challenge ideas, don’t disrespect people!”
As for my decision on Industrial Silica Sand, (ISS) I stand with the council in our decision to deny the annexation petitions and that was recorded on the “role call” vote that was taken that evening.
As for my financial involvement with Minnesota Proppant, I am not a public or silent partner in the company or any other company with interests in the ISS industry. For the record, I currently hold shares of stock in Fastenal and California water as well as my deferred comp program with the Winona County Sheriff’s Office. However, the best investments I have made are those of my children, grandchild, wife, faith, and my community.
In regards to my statements made in the Winona Post. I did have an interview with a reporter that lasted well over a half hour that covered a number of topics. Less than five minutes of that conversation talked about the petition that was forwarded to the city council. The petition is what the reporter wanted to write about, not that we made a decision to change the direction of our community, not that we wanted to look forward in a positive direction towards a new beginning, but to a document that was signed by 1,055 people. The statement that is more in context to our conversation about the petition would say, “I value the opinion of all who signed the petition, however I’m interested in learning all the reasons why people signed it.”
I believe in our political process and value the decisions made by the voters for the past five elections. I will continue to lead our community the best way I know how and that was represented in our latest decision. A decision that was based on the importance of positive relationships and partnerships. I know we will continue to receive criticism from some people on our I-90 business park. Until that first business is built, I suspect we will continue to get criticism from others until the entire park is full; at which point we will still have someone critical that the project was just too small in the first place.
We must look forward, because a community that is not moving forward is moving backwards. I will leave you with one of the most important statements I made at a recent council meeting: “We all need to work a little harder at how we talk with each other, how we listen to each other, and most importantly, how we treat each other.”