I’ve been very interested in the discussions in recent months, both in these pages and in the greater community, on the importance of keeping Minneapolis-St Paul — and all of Minnesota — competitive in the broader economic marketplace. I think it’s important to remember after a winter like we’ve just experienced that it’s not enough for us to “keep up with the Joneses” when it comes to the things that matter to businesses and people making locational decisions. The Minnesota winter will always be our Achilles’ heel to the majority of people, so we must do things that make us stand out in other ways that matter. As New York magazine recently wrote: “The single variable that best predicts a U.S. city’s growth over the past century is its average January temperature.” If we in the Twin Cities and Minnesota want to continue to grow and prosper, it’s imperative that we strive to be, as Garrison Keillor would say, above average.

Jim Welsch, Minneapolis