More than 60 people spoke from 7:30 a.m. until past midnight at April 16 the Lake Elmo public hearing. I was in attendance from 7:20 until 9:30 p.m. and everyone who spoke while I was there were against the proposed lake use ordinance changes. It is my understanding that three families spoke in favor of changing the ordinance and the rest were against any ordinance changes.
The original ordinance took into account everyone who uses the lakes. Young people just learning to swim, accomplished swimmers, scuba divers, fishermen, canoes, sailboats, kayaks, pontoon and motor boats. The more passive activities could safely be done before noon and the addition of more intense users were from noon til sunset. Safety was always of the utmost importance in the minds and actions of the residents and elected officials.
I felt sorrow and embarrassment when I learned that the vote to change was 5 to 0. The voices and letters of the vast majority of residents on the northern three lakes appeared to be ignored. I think a more reasonable outcome could have been forged had the hearing been continued and everyone had the time to think about additional options and discuss them before a vote was taken.
Lake Elmo has historically been responsive to the residents and has had a appreciation for the environment. I sincerely hope that the elected officials of the city reconsider their vote and revisit the issue.