New diverse opinions and ideas 

As a citizen of Hugo for the past 12 years, I commend Chuck Haas's leadership with the Hugo City Council for over 22 years. Per The Citizen, Chuck was involved in many projects during his tenure and was recently recognized for his many outstanding efforts before his resignation. Congrats, Chuck! 

But, 22 years is a long time for one person to serve on the City Council. I'd encourage the city government and residents of Hugo to consider adopting a change that all members are limited to no more than two consecutive terms, including mayor and council positions. Others, including Becky Petryk (22 years), have been on the City Council for a very long time. 

As a previous member of the Parks Commission, it became clear that the leadership of Hugo requires new diverse opinions and ideas. During my time on the board, I was disappointed with the City Council for not including a splash pad as part of the Lions Park upgrade. 

While I appreciate all the efforts to update this park, had the Hugo City Council included persons open to new ideas and innovations, we may have seen a splash pad in the final approved plan. 

It does seem that now is an opportune time for new and existing Hugo residents to consider running for open city government positions as they become available. Hugo is becoming more diverse and younger, and I would suspect the community will be more open to innovations to make our city a great place to live. 

As a final thought, I encourage those that seek change in the city of Hugo to consider running for City Council and other city positions soon. 

Shawn Haag


Healing the damage caused by racism 

After living for 11 years in Minneapolis, my family and I are moving to Centerville. While excited, I am also concerned over the lack of diversity I remember in the northern suburbs from my upbringing in the East Bethel area. 

I realize we cannot control who moves to the area, but we can effect change in our education systems that makes it a welcoming place for all people. As an adult, I have learned much more about the omitted parts of our country’s history when it comes to race, segregation, redlining and disenfranchisement.

I know I have a ton more to learn, and hope that my children will have the opportunity to learn more at an earlier age than I did. The way forward for our country in healing the damage caused by racism is through providing our children and future generations with an accurate picture of history — not some whitewashed version that allows us to keep our heads in the sand, oblivious to the pain and inequity that undermines the future of our city, state, country and world. 

We need to change the wide lens we have on history to include all parts, not just the ones that highlight the white men who wrote it. When we refuse to change and grow, that is when we atrophy and deteriorate.

Lacey Olson

Future resident of Centerville 

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