Little Falls is a city blessed with active citizen volunteers and engaged and responsive government representatives. Each of us has a role to play in making sure Little Falls is a healthy, vibrant community. There are several grassroots, not-for-profit organizations like Main Street First that bring people together around our common passion for Little Falls. These organizations help to channel our collective efforts into community projects – and these projects often overlap and require coordination with the City of Little Falls government.
With so much community engagement and so many great ideas for projects floating around, one of Main Street First’s priorities this year is finding ways to make sure we’re not duplicating efforts with other organizations or pursuing a path that’s out of sync with the City’s own agenda, budget, or priorities. If we want to make the most of our available resources – including people’s time and energy – it’s far better to be coordinated so we’re all pulling in the same direction on projects.
The first step in achieving this is open communication. As a major step toward this goal, Main Street First was pleased to welcome Mayor Mark Blask to our July 31 meeting for what was mutually agreed will be just the first conversation in an ongoing dialogue with the City.
The Mayor started the discussion with an overview of the City and its departments, staff, services, resources, and budget. “My number one job is keeping us fiscally sound,” he said, noting some of the realities and challenges the City faces and the creativity and cooperation required to achieve this goal. He went on to discuss current areas of focus, including urban renewal, Vets Park improvements, shared services discussions with surrounding communities, flood recovery, and the master plan.
He also graciously acknowledged the work of organizations like Main Street First, Rotary, Preserve Our Past, the Beautification Committee, and others, and the countless volunteer hours and effort that go into creating community events and projects. In discussing how the City works with these various organizations and responds to requests for City involvement and support, he described his administration’s approach as one of “How do we get to yes?”
Council member Justin Welyczko also attended the meeting and actively participated in brainstorming about potential projects and City needs. Mayor Blask assigned Welyczko as MSF’s liaison for project-specific discussions and coordination with the City. It would appear based on this very positive meeting that Main Street First’s goal of improving communication and coordination with the City is well under way!
Judy Wolf is President of Main Street First.
“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” – Henry Ford