Show support for Hal Leland [UPDATED]Published 9:17am Friday, October 19, 2012 Updated 11:20am Friday, October 19, 2012
I breathed a deep sigh of relief when I read in the Fergus Falls Daily Journal that Hal Leland had decided to run again for mayor of Fergus Falls. His first term of office had been very successful, but he had every reason to retire from public service satisfied that he had fulfilled his community obligation. Now he and Donna would have the opportunity to do some of the things they have put on the back burner the last several years.
There are many reasons why I was elated over Hal’s running for mayor again. He is an excellent administrator. He knows how to mediate different opinions and prejudices in council and committee meetings. He is patient in listening to citizens presenting their problems to the council. He wants everyone to have a chance to present his or her point of view. Sometimes these sessions can become somewhat heated; he knows how to defuse an intense discussion Hal came to Fergus the same year as I.
He began as counselor at the high school and ultimately became vice president of student affairs at the Community College.
Throughout his career he has shown his dedication to education and the welfare of the community. In addition to his teaching duties he served at different times on the district school board, the fair board association, and was active in many civic affairs. Few people have the dedication to his profession and his community as does Hal.
His wide range of experience in relating to people of different age levels make Hal well-qualified to administer to their problems and find solutions.
He is not interested in the status quo. He knows that Fergus must think foreword in order to compete with other cities. One of his concerns is the preservation of the Regional Treatment Center building, a priceless landmark of the city. He realizes progressive thinking is essential in a highly competitive world.
One of the responsibilities Hal has taken on as mayor is to write a monthly report in the Journal informing the public of the council’s accomplishments. Communication is a vital part of serving the public. These articles have been optimistic and stimulate pride in the people of Fergus Falls.
One of the major roles of a mayor is to represent the city at conventions which take place in the city, greet dignitaries from other communities, even from foreign countries. He must attend meetings on the state level. Hal is particularly adept at conversing with people from all walks of life. He is knowledgeable, modest and outgoing. He represents Fergus well as its ambassador of good will.
I congratulate anyone who runs for public office, including all those who are running for mayor of Fergus Falls. It is a thankless and tedious job, but one that must be done in a democratic society. The willingness to listen to citizens and their concerns is paramount in city government. This takes patience and forbearance. I encourage you to continue the good work you have accomplished.
Fergus has been blessed with excellent mayors in the past, and Hal is the latest in that high level of leadership. I suspect that many others in our community feel the same way. By all means show your support in the upcoming election.