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Collaboration between groups leads to a greater New Richmond community

City of New Richmond Mayor Fred Horne

Community Voices

Last week in the New Richmond News, there was an article regarding the Community Commons. As many are aware, the Community Commons property is owned by the School District of New Richmond.

For the past year or two, both the city and the school district, along with the many partners, taxpayers and stakeholders that make up our community, have been working hard to determine the next steps for this site.

On paper, it would appear that there is a significant impasse regarding this issue. Heck, at almost every corner these days we hear that it is the other party, elected official, or policymaker that is to blame.

In this situation, that is not the case.

The School District of New Richmond has every right to question, critique, and discuss the merits of the proposed master plan, as it is their property. Like the city council, they carry the “weight” of stakeholders, constituents, and taxpayers in making policy decisions.

In the end, their vote, like the city council’s vote on this issue, will be based upon what is in the best interest, short and long-term.

What some folks may not realize is that while there may be a differing of opinion on this issue, the relationship with the School District and the City of New Richmond has seen some exciting new things this past year alone.

First, beyond the policy discussions as elected officials, the professional relationship between the school superintendent and city administrator, as well as our collective personnel, has never been stronger.

Whether it is discussions of the SOAR Educational Center or the collaboration of the school, city, New Richmond Area Centre and New Richmond Area Community Foundation related to a community-wide recreational plan, our collaboration is exciting.

Beyond that, the day-to-day work of our chief of police and police officers, as well as the work of school district administrators and teachers in education and safety makes living in this area amazing.

The recent digital footprint discussion hosted by the school district is an example of their determination to keep our children safe.

We have much to be proud of here in New Richmond and much of it relates to collaboration. We hope to come to a mutual agreement that we can all be proud of regarding the Community Commons property.

But what matters most is that in the end, our partnership for a better community has never been stronger. I am proud of the work of our elected officials on both sides, as well as our staff, as great things are happening in our community.

Fred Horne is Mayor of the City of New Richmond