By Leland Freie
Building community and providing the opportunity for everybody to find their place is my theme.
All of us experience a stronger sense of place and connectedness when we work and celebrate together. Making choices for the good of the community demands honest conversations.
I spoke with an individual involved in an $8 million business with 50 to 60 employees, wanting to move to avoid the prohibitive cost of paving the company parking lot to comply with city rules. Do they have a valid point? Are there options? Helping midsize businesses like these stay and thrive will be a priority of mine as well.
Building partnerships is another major goal. Partnerships between successful companies, businesses and non-profits is a never-ending web of influence that reinforces community engagement and fosters community well-being.
The TotalChild project in Wellington Heights brings together a number of organizations and individuals to achieve positive outcomes for children and families.
The early literacy program, RED Ahead, is an example of partnership between United Way and HACAP. Successful adulthood usually begins in childhood. After-school and alternative programs are also necessary to engage youth and promote learning.
Strong families and thriving neighborhoods ensure better outcomes in school.
Strong economies have highly skilled employees, options for people living here and possibilities for growth in their company and in their education. Our Creative Corridor branding efforts, collaboration to help start-ups grow and prosper, SCORE’s efforts to mentor new and growing businesses all help foster a positive business climate. Commercial property tax relief in the near future is yet another hopeful sign. Focusing on future corporate tax relief and simplification is a needed priority as well to attract and keep companies.
I will work to promote openness through frequent community dialogues.
As a member of the Eastern Iowa Science and Engineering Fair Board, the emphasis on STEM skills will always be an emphasis of mine. I support the Blue Zones to lower health care costs and foster community as well. Building flood walls, and working with cities and landowners up and down the river to promote clean water and flood mitigation is a necessary endeavor.
All these efforts demand collaboration to get the best outcomes. They are pieces of fabric making up the never finished quilt we call community.
l Comments: LVCF@ymail.com