Timely Advice from New York City, via Minneapolis

Many of you may have heard. Last week there was vandalism on the west side of downtown. There has been an unfortunate recent history of minor vandalism in that area but these recent acts were particularly vile.

Dean Kjerland, developer and occupant of neo-traditional building that until recently house Art-on-Water Gallery, has often seemed to be the focus of this vandalism, or at the one to speak up about it most often. Although some people in the community have been quick to blame the kids from The Key for any such activities, Dean believes that the source of much of his suffering has been older “kids” associated with another institution in town, who were letting off a little too much steam at bar closing time.

Perhaps the silver lining in this most recent cloud is that it has gotten the attention of the wider community. Downtown businesses, the Colleges and even the Chamber are aware of this most recent example of behavior that is completely unacceptable in our community.

And, according to the front page story in the Strib’s Opinion Section, that’s the key to stopping this type of behavior, making it clear to everyone that this type of behavior is completely unacceptable in our community. In the list of “12 Ways to Make our City Feel Safer”, number one on the list is “Demand higher standards in public behavior”.

I would encourage you to read the article in today’s Strib and think about what we might do to nip this problem in the bud. More importantly, I would urge you to join me in saying that this type of behavior is completely unacceptable in our community. We set the bar for public behavior pretty high in Northfield and demand respectful behavior from all.