Greetings Wabasha neighbors,

In what has seemed a blur of daily updates, more than a month has passed since life as we knew it collectively has been disrupted, suspended, or altered in some fashion by a public health crisis that seemed unimaginable until now. Some of us find ourselves unemployed or underemployed, while others are working more than ever. Some have closed their businesses, while others have repurposed or realigned key resources in response. Some of us are content to stay safe at home for the greater good. For others, it is not so easy. Either way, it’s safe to say we’ve never valued each other more. We all miss terribly the collegiality of our customers, clients, coworkers, employees and employers. We respect and appreciate the services and commitment of our businesses. And we long for the everyday intimacy and support of our extended families and friends.

Still fully functioning, your local government, public works, police, firefighters, and EMS have also made important changes to adapt to current conditions and plan and prepare for future demands. City Council has effectively moved to a public virtual meeting supported by teleconference. Members of the public may dial in or view the audio broadcast to local television as usual. The conference call number can be found in Council’s agenda packet posted to the City’s webpage: http://www.wabasha.org (see “City Government”). We will, with the leadership of our administrator and department heads, begin revisiting what the City’s priorities should be in these unprecedented times. A flexible approach to solving problems as effective mitigation and containment strategies become better understood will ensure we learn, share, collaborate and compare best practices with other communities. We will collaborate to ensure the financial implications on local governmental units are planned for and managed with great consideration.

One critical source of information and influence are our state and federal representatives. They have been in touch frequently. In the past several weeks I have been privileged to participate in several virtual round tables with our representatives from the US Senate and Congress. And today, the League of Minnesota Cities engaged local government staff and elected officials from around the state in an interactive webinar with Governor Walz. It was clear in this morning’s discussion that our leaders are seeking our feedback, hearing it, and acting as rapidly as possible on the collective concerns we all have for the safety of our citizens, the resilience of our communities, and the recovery of our local economies.

At this very early timepoint in the state’s response, we can in no way draw definitive conclusions about how this global pandemic will impact our beloved piece of the planet or practically bear on our daily lives in the coming months and years. But we should be prepared for change. And to allow that we come through that change a better society, we can remain confident that the strong community bonds that exist in Wabasha and the greater region and State of Minnesota will be there, stronger than ever, as we move forward together.

I welcome your contact at [email protected]

With support and affection in these uncertain times,

Emily Durand, Mayor
City of Wabasha