A recent letter to the editor asked “Who is Tony Trow? Is there a Tony Trow club…call the mayor if you’ve had enough.” I’ve know Tony for three or four decades and he is forward-thinking, community-oriented, focused on economic development and for whatever reason seems particularly interested in ‘giving back’ to his home town. Having lived around the country and oversesas, why would one want to return to Albert Lea? Perhaps it is because he cares about Albert lea and its future. Why would he write those pesky and annoying but informative columns that challenge the status quo? Perhaps because the status quo has failed Albert lea and many, many other rural cities in the upper Midwest. Perhaps it’s time to challenge what’s been comfortable.
As a city that was once a transportation and distribution hub, with a vibrant retail center as well as the home of Cargill, several colleges and numerous innovative manufacturing firms, you have to question why getting any big-box retailer to build two or three miles from the city’s center is now consider a success.
It might just be time to start talking and brainstorming and questioning the status quo and each other.