In September, the Rosemount City Council voted 4-1 to rezone property on 154000 South Robert Trail so members of the Muslim community could establish a mosque.

Councilman Shaun Nelson not only voted against the project, he mobilized. In an unprecedented move, he requested the issue to be revisited in October meeting.

The council refused to put the item back on the agenda but did allow individuals with similar views as councilman Nelson to speak. Among them was a woman from Eagan who accused Rosemount Muslims of a terror connection. This vile comment is a direct result of councilman Nelson’s actions.

Rosemount is a vibrant and growing community. Money Magazine recently named it one of the best places in America to live and raise a family. The good public schools are something everyone cherishes in Rosemount. In fact, it’s one of the major reasons people want to move in. Thousands of boys and girls participate in sports through Rosemount Area Athletic Association, a non-profit dedicated to developing youth character through sports. This extraordinary work by volunteer parents complements the public school system.

My faith in these community values was cemented when I ran for Rosemount City Council last year. I knocked on over 2,500 doors and met many residents. The vast of majority of them were polite and courteous.

There was also a general fear of the unknown. Some of the voters who did not know me called my neighbors and friends to confirm what I told them. That type of citizen engagement humbled me and made me more hopeful about the future of Rosemount.

I joined the Rosemount Port Authority (equivalent of economic commission) after the elections. I worked with other citizens to diversify Rosemount’s economic portfolio. It’s grueling and time demanding but rewarding work.

The fact that other council members made the right decision and overrode councilman Nelson speaks volumes. It re-enforces what I believe about the people of Rosemount.

I urge councilman Nelson to turn off the TV for a moment and ignore the brutal politics overseas. Instead meet with a Muslim resident in Rosemount and engage in a conversation. He will find a patriotic, hardworking and family loving Americans.

Councilman Nelson’s conduct on the mosque approval was deplorable. It brought immense damage to the community’s reputation. I urge councilman Nelson to apologize for the shame he has brought on this community.