Patricia Mueller: I trust local governments to do their jobs

Published 6:30 am Saturday, March 20, 2021

As I was reading this week, I came across an article from David Unmacht, the executive director of the League of Minnesota Cities about how important local government is and the necessity of keeping it intact and empowered.

Even as I work on policies at the state level, I am convinced that local governments are incredibly important to the functioning of our state. As Mr. Unmacht says in his article, “Local government is the highest-functioning and most responsive level of government”. Local governments are elected to be the level of government closest to the people, and as such they have the ability to hear from more of their constituents and make decisions that respond to the concerns of their constituents.

We have all seen the ability of local governments to quickly respond to the will of their local districts. As government gets closer to the people, the faster they can act in response to local conditions and situations.

In contrast, our local governments, and even our State Legislature, have been stymied by the constant peacetime state of emergency over the last year. With the hands of both our state and local governments being tied by the governor’s one-size-fits-all approach to many issues, we have been unable to respond using the conditions specific to our communities.

Like Mr. Unmacht said, “Minnesota has a strong foundation of effective local government” – but with the statewide approach to shutdowns and school closures for much of this year, local officials are not being allowed to do what they do best, which is respond to the needs of their community in order to ensure people are safe and have a high quality of life.

I will continue to fight for our district and our ability to respond directly to the conditions and concerns of our community. Over one year into this pandemic, our state and local governments are able to handle this situation, and we want to do it right. It is time to listen directly to the people of our districts and handle issues in the manner they have asked us to. It is long past time to end one-size-fits-all governing, and get back to doing our jobs the way they were meant to be done – for the service of our constituents and our communities.

I have worked hard to be a state representative who responds to the needs and concerns of my district and constituents. If you have concerns related to a matter of state government, I urge you to contact my office either by calling (651) 296-4193, or emailing me at Rep.Patricia.Mueller@house.mn. I always look forward to hearing from constituents, so please don’t hesitate to reach out.