The Free Press, Mankato, MN


December 21, 2012

Our View: Gridlock in Congress has reached a low point


Citing, among other things, the need to first secure a new city administrator, the council did not grant variances for the controversial Marigold project. It also hinted at the need for a comprehensive plan for the city and decided to table re-establishing a partnership with Greater Mankato Growth.

All of these decisions would have a considerable impact on operations in the city and the council rightly decided it would be better served with some leadership and expertise shown from a new city administrator.

And even the decision to reopen the search to find the right candidate — and involving a newly-elected but as yet unseated City Council person in the decision — shows the right respect and sound judgment for elected officials.


Not the end of the world as we know it

Thumbs up

To the Mayans messing up. Since you’re reading this today, you know the Mayans’ prediction of the apocalypse was off the mark. And although some people may be irritated they made a lot of preparations for the end of the world for nothing, others will take it in stride and realize that someone still has to clean up even after an End of the World party.

The really nice thing about the continuation of humankind is that it gives us a chance to plan improvements for the new year and to enjoy the life we do have.


Missing the jolly ol’ elf

Thumbs down

To the loss of a local man who knew what Christmas was all about. Clark Oftedahl, who played Santa to area children for decades, died a week ago at age 73. Not only did the big guy look the part of Santa with his natural white beard, but it was his patient, gentle way with children that will be remembered and missed in years to come.

Oftedahl treated each of his little visitors with care and respect, giving the child at the end of the line as much time and attention as the one little one at the beginning of the line.

His absence is certainly felt this holiday season as it will be many Christmases to come. But it’s comforting to know he touched so many  hearts and that his spirit lives on.

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