Sunday, November 16, 2014

Thank You to the Community, Gehring

Letter to the Editor, Northfield News

Thank you so much to all of you that took the time to share your thoughts, questions, and concerns with me over the last 3+ months.  It was an honor to visit with you.  

Your thoughtfulness, love for our community, and appreciation for what we do came through loud and clear.  It is one thing to have a gut sense for what your community wants but quite another to hear it directly from you. 

Going door to door was the best part about this 2014 election campaign - seeing old friends and making new ones.  Thank you for being so generous with your time, support and encouragement. 

Thank you also to Dale Gehring for running such a tough competitive race.  I wish you and your family the best.

Rhonda Pownell

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Focusing on What's Good - October 29, 2014 News Article

My son Jonathan likes to climb to the top of trees, ride his bike down hills backwards, do stunts while wearing a full leg cast. I love his adventurous spirit. It is part of who he is and it will play a major role in who he becomes. Allowing him to test the boundaries and discover who he is is important.  One of the joys of being a parent is to believe in and encourage my children.

To a degree, being part of a community is like being a parent. We can encourage our community's good qualities while working to fix the traits that aren't so desirable. We can get people excited about what's possible.

Or we can look for and express only the bad. We can focus on the negatives, and only criticize. We can keep dredging up past failings. But we know that kind of approach doesn't work in parenting, and it doesn't make a good community, or a community that wants to do better.

Northfield is a city that makes a difference in people’s lives. We care about people and are willing to give of our time and resources to make things happen. For good reason, it was selected the Second Best Small Town in the Country. The YMCA, the Library expansion, Northfield Promise, and many others are excellent examples of how we work to get things done.

Even during the economic recession we worked together. The city government diligently saved, increased our bond rating, renovated City Hall, built a new police facility, and increased the funding for our streets. The private sector pitched in bringing to town companies like AUM Cardiovascular and the Mayo Oncology Clinic. McLane, Cardinal Glass, All Flex, and NAPA have or are expanding.

I'm currently recommending the movie The Greatest Game Ever Played. I love it because it's about the power of encouragement, and about what we can accomplish when we believe in ourselves enough to push beyond the boundaries of expectations.

And so, I believe in Northfield. I believe we are great, and I believe in our possibilities. As a City Council member and as a member of the community, I want to thank all of you who have worked on community initiatives and made them happen. Thank you for helping local government do more and better things. Thank you for giving back. Thank you for encouraging Northfield's possibilities and best qualities.

I'm proud to live in a city that works together to find solutions and dares to work for what some would say is impossible.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

2nd Best Small Town in the Country

I love Northfield!  As I have been out talking with people one on one listening to their thoughts and concerns for our city, I have been struck by how fortunate we are to live in such a safe peaceful city.

My son Jonathan and I have been riding our bikes to the southern part of our city for the past four days.  One family said that they were recently talking with a group of people that had all moved here within the last five years.  The resounding sentiment was that they love this city.  People move here and they stay!

On this street the neighborhood kids all gather to play and they just move from house to house or yard to yard.  Everyone watches out for the kids.  The same was true on another street where I met another Dad out on his bike on "Dad Duty" as he called it.  As we chatted about the city and things that were important to his family, his children and many others moved about the neighborhood freely.

Safe neighborhoods, great schools, a strong economy, a plethora of cultural events, outdoor recreation, fantastic health care, and beautiful architecture who could ask for more?

I think the "Learn About Northfield" community video on the right captures it best.  Take a moment to watch it and remind yourself about all the great things Northfield has to offer.  It's all there!