12 June 2014

concerned citizens.

As you all know, the City of Windom has sent River City Eatery a City Code Violation regarding our beloved pallet patio (please refer to past post containing the violation letter).  On Thursday, June 19th, I must meet in front of the Windom Nuisance Board, and they will determine the fate of my patio.  I have created an event on Facebook asking for the community's support in order to save the pallet patio.  I have received so much support it makes me believe good will prevail!  Of course, as you all know, I will remain professional and poised in order to do all I can do as an active member of this community and to protect its reputation.  For the last almost 4 years since the inception of Finding Windom and my blog, I have tried to remain positive and use positivity to promote progression in our community in order for Windom to have a legitimate rural existence in today's world.  Since I have not heard much from city leaders, I thought it would be appropriate to express my concerns about the action taken against River City Eatery's patio:
Dear City Council and City Administrator,

It’s me again, your biggest cheerleader, Mari Harries. As someone who genuinely cares for her hometown and its reputation, I want to express my concerns with what is going on in the Building and Zoning Department. As elected officials of the great City of Windom, I hope you have been informed of my recent letter sent by Mr. Kartes, the Building and Zoning official for the City of Windom. I have attached it for your information. I’m hoping you will take the time to read it and take the time to fully understand what this City Code Violation letter means. I appreciate the updated nuisance abatement procedure; however, I ask you to research this violation letter sent to me by the Building and Zoning official by not just asking Mr. Kartes what the ordinances may be, but by also talking to your fellow community members and myself. I’d love for you to research it by physically stepping into my business, heck, stay all day because I’d love for you to meet the wonderful people I get to meet every day who come to River City Eatery and are craving not only my menu items, but craving a Windom experience that gives each of them endless reasons to come back. And, I’d love for you to personally enjoy my pallet patio. I ask you, after reading for yourselves the City’s Codes and Ordinances to see if this pallet patio is truly a public nuisance because if it is against City Code, you have made a very big mistake, I’m afraid. I’m asking you to start holding yourselves accountable to truly knowing the community you live in and the people hired to keep it up to the standards we all deserve. I’m asking you to take a stance on the can of worms this man, who works for our great city, has opened. I’m simply trying to prepare you for what may happen by targeting River City Eatery's Pallet Patio instead of focusing on legitimate, ongoing Nuisance Abatement issues within our community. The nuisance issues that truly affect public health and safety.

You see, as a small business owner who uses social media as a vital, necessary marketing tool, I’ve made this City Code Violation public by using social media because I have never been so disappointed in my home and feel the public, and you, deserve better than the archaic principles of this hypothetical code violation. I’ve also shared this Code Violation Letter because my customers and guests deserve to know the potential fate of the beloved Pallet Patio, a positive community gathering place. I’ve made this letter available for the world to see on the world-wide-web, so please, pretty please, act wisely because the last thing you and I want is for Windom to have a negative reputation, especially a negative reputation of City government. We also don’t want the kind of reputation that negatively influences the infinite possibilities of future small businesses in our community.

I’m not trying to sway you one way or the other, I just want you to know the weight of the action taken by sending this City Code Violation regarding River City Eatery’s Pallet Patio may prove to be heavy as many people are just as disappointed as myself regarding this violation. Many people will be showing support at this Nuisance Board meeting on Thursday, June 19th at 7pm at the City Council Chambers. So please take the time to get to know this case as I’m sure there will be many people there with questions. I value your reputation as a City Council-I hope you are aware of the power you all have to do wonderful things! And also have the power to do not so wonderful things, but those not so wonderful things don’t give people what they are craving, which is a delightful reason to return, stay, live, work and play in beautiful downtown Windom.

As the founder of Finding Windom, a small business owner, an advocate for community pride, a steward for a legitimate rural existence, and now after seeing the countless comments and concerns regarding the fate of River City Eatery’s Pallet Patio on social media, I urge you to challenge yourself to find the right answer or at least do something to move our community forward in a positive way so we can all have a legitimate rural existence in today’s progressive and ever-changing world. This has always been and will continue to be my mission for our community, and I hope you agree.

I’m sharing my concerns with you because I genuinely want Windom to be all it can be, and you have the power to help, both as a city council member and as a member of this community, like myself. I wish you could see what I see in Windom-it’s a great place, just like River City Eatery.

I would appreciate your time, your concerns, your discussion, and your questions because these are things that move our community forward in a positive way. My door is always open and always welcoming. Communication is always important.

Will always continue to remain your cheerleader and remain an active member in the community who has shaped the person I am today,

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