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In support of Joe Balsanek

To the editor,

I am writing this letter to urge you to support Councilmember Joe Balsanek’s bid for re-election for Hastings City Council in Ward 2. I have worked with Councilmember Joe Balsanek over the past eight years and he has demonstrated outstanding leadership, communication skills and vision that has improved our great Hastings community. It is for these qualities that I appointed him to represent Hastings on the Dakota County Communications Board and serve as Chairman on the council’s Operations Committee. I have always appreciated Joe’s candor and “can-do attitude” as a strong voice for Ward 2 and all of Hastings.

As a U.S. Air Force Veteran, former professor of the arts at Inver Hills Community College and active retiree, Joe Balsanek brings a needed and unique perspective to your city council. Joe’s vision and experience has helped guide our city in building critical decisions to make Hastings a better place to live, work and play. I have seen this first hand. An issue that directly impacts Ward 2 residents is our recent meetings with MnDOT regarding speed limits on Highway 55 and Highway 61. Joe has been a strong voice for keeping speeds lower and increasing safety. Moreover, Joe’s advocacy for Ward 2 residents has never wavered as he continues to work on your behalf.

As many of you know, our great Hastings community has seen many positive changes in recent years including a new bridge, a riverfront renaissance, the Great Rivers Landing project (Hudson Building), Artspace lofts, a stable budget and tax policy, Fire Department upgrades, working with the Chamber of Commerce to improve our business climate and meeting the needs of neighborhoods. It takes leadership to accomplish these important milestones and Joe Balsanek has demonstrated that vital leadership working and supporting these important initiatives.

Finally, governing is hard work. Joe’s contributions on the city council have always centered on a positive, proactive and analytical approach to solving problems. His style of reaching for consensus and working to find common ground is refreshing in an era where other levels of government could benefit from such skills. Additionally, his transparent communication style with his Ward 2 constituency is solid proof of his commitment to open government.

This is an important election coming up. I hope you will join me in supporting Councilmember Joe Balsanek’s re-election to the city council on Nov. 8. He has earned it.