The mayor addresses the childcare issue.

Daycare related issues continue to reach prominence as a challenging concern. I have written and spoken about this before but, it just seems there are a lot of things we should have more information about. Therefore, we have scheduled a meeting for 7 p.m., Tuesday, June 18, at the Community Center, to talk about daycare in Sleepy Eye. We’ve sent letters of invitation to all daycare providers in the community because they hold some key answers. Here are some of the questions we want to address:

•In late 2017, when Tri-Valley announced the closing its childcare center, leaving 30 children without daycare, was that just a short-term shortage of daycare, or is the shortage a long-term problem?

•Is there a true shortage of daycare in our community? Do we anticipate that shortage will likely continue?

•If there is a shortage, should the City be involved in the daycare business? Are there other solutions?

•If there is a need, where should the daycare be located?

•Daycare providers, would you be interested in closing your home daycare and coming to work for a City center?

•Daycare providers, what is the future of your daycare?

It should be said that the City isn’t necessarily interested in getting into the daycare business, but if the need is real then something will need to be done. And the last thing we want to do is cause a decline in available daycare slots.

David Drown and Associates, our City Manager search firm, has notified us that they have nine applicants to date for the position. According to the procedure they follow, our City should have a permanent manager in place in early September. In the meantime, Bob Elston, the interim City Manager, is doing a fine job. Bob knows the inner workings of the City, is familiar with the budget and the City’s financial operation, and is comfortable and respected as a leader. We’re fortunate to have Bob in that position.