The election is upon us–less than one month until election day. On a national scale, much hangs in the balance. To say this election is a big one for our country is straight from the mouth of Captain Obvious. Candidates are getting in their last minute appearances and feverishly trying to convince their voters to actually cast their ballots.
Here in Medicine Lake, Minnesota, we are living the national campaign frenzy through our news sources, social media accounts and TV. COVID-19 has not left us unscathed. Social distancing is still our reality. But the big issues in Medicine Lake–the ones with real consequences in our local election–are more along the lines of road repair and budget planning.
My husband, Scott, is running for reelection as mayor of our small town (population 371). Being mayor isn’t Scott’s full time job–he already has one of those lawyering jobs. Seriously, what would you do all day to run a city of 371 people? And he doesn’t get paid (technically, he could get paid a few hundred bucks a year, but he turns it down).
You may wonder, why do 371 folks living 9 miles outside of downtown Minneapolis have their own city? Well, that dates back to 1944. Desiring more autonomy and control over decision making, the residents of what is now the City of Medicine Lake cast referendum ballots to separate from the City of Plymouth in April 1944. Interestingly, our city is entirely surrounded by Plymouth. It is as if we are the independent donut hole carved out of a much bigger Plymouth donut.
The point of this post is not to get Scott reelected. I think that is likely a foregone conclusion. As far as I know, me writing this blog post is the only campaign activity (if that is what you call this) that anyone has engaged in regarding his race. He is running unopposed, unless you count perennial write-in Steve Johnson, who no longer even lives in Medicine Lake. Yes, I know, it is fun to see Steve get some votes.
With everything that is going on now in our country, it seems like a good time to reflect on what I have learned about our small city in my role as as the “First Lady of Medicine Lake” or FLOML for short. It comes down to this–it takes a whole lot of work to run Medicine Lake as an independent city. But the payoff is huge! If we want to maintain our independence and control over the very unique issues we face in Medicine Lake, we cannot let up on doing what we can to keep this place running. I am so grateful for the efforts of those who have tirelessly worked to make this city what it is today. The least we can do to support all our volunteer leaders is vote. In person at City Hall, by mail, early or on Election Day (thanks to our volunteer Election Commissioner). It’s go time, Medicine Lake!