Boughton: Vision 2020 allows Austin to work togetherPublished 9:06am Thursday, June 26, 2014
By Roger Boughton
I attended a conference this past week expecting it to be like a lot of conferences I have attended in the past. I have found that most of the time when attending meetings, one receives a lot of information but little to take home to put to practical use. This conference was different. As the speaker reached the podium, the energy in the room began to radiate. He talked about city employees like the ones that we have in Austin, Minn. and he talked about community.
The essence of his remarks centered on city employees and the residents within the city. He just as well could be talking about Austin. City employees go about their jobs daily and they get things right about 98 percent of the time.
The lights work, the police and firemen respond to emergencies, the streets are in good repair, the parks are clean, the library staff is helpful and the waste water plant works like a charm. Not one word of thanks comes from the residents to city employees. It is just expected.
However, 2 percent of the time life is not perfect and things go wrong. The snow doesn’t get plowed as quickly as one would like or a yard or boulevard isn’t perfect after a construction job is completed. The city employees immediately hear how terrible their job was performed, how unresponsive a supervisor was or how the employees are overpaid and the taxes are too high. I suppose it is to be expected but difficult to accept. Lest we forget, we collectively are a family.
We are a changing family in Austin with many wonderful traits and challenges. However, we have some faults that need attention. Vision 2020 is our vehicle that allows us as a community to come together to work as a family and address our faults and meet the challenges that lie ahead.
Vision 2020 is changing us as well as the community. The process of becoming a better community has wetted our appetite for a better tomorrow.
We can envision a new Community Recreation Center that is much better than we had ever expected for Austin. We now have a dedicated building for our art center, and one that we can be proud of and spend time in enriching our lives. We have educational leaders from our public schools, Catholic Schools and the community college coming together to provide a better education for our children and young adults.
We’ll also get it right about 98 percent of the time but it won’t be perfect. However, we will have touched a good portion of the population and for the first time in a long time the majority of the people will be working together for a better Austin.
In the future when we see each other across the street we will know that we as a community are improving and it is our city and one that we can be proud of. When you see a city employee thank them for their work. They will feel better and so will you.