(Alexandria, MN) Raised in Cold Spring Mike Weber has spent the majority of his adult years right here in Alexandria. He is a guy who has an appreciation for mentors. In city government his mentor was Jim Taddei. Taddei was the city planner when Mike was hired in the summer of 1984. Weber worked as an inspector for a housing rehabilitation program through a State grant. Under the leadership of Taddei, Weber learned a lot about city planning, and about people. Taddei eventually moved into the role as City Administrator in 1994 and Mike was hired as the City Planner. The title for the work Mike does for the city of Alexandria has expanded during the past decade and he is now the Community Development Director. Although Jim died in March of 2019, many years after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, Mike still looks fondly on his influence. In fact, on the news of Jim's passing Mike recounted a story about the kind of person Jim was. In an interview with the Echo Press' Al Edenloff Mike said that years ago, Taddei and then-Mayor Dororthy Kobs were talking to fourth-graders about what makes a community and they drew a picture on the chalkboard, using the kids' suggestions. Before long, the board was filled with roads, a church, stores, cars, sewer lines and other things. But then Taddei asked the kids if they knew what was missing. When they were stumped for an answer he filled them in: People. Weber added, "Jim knew that if you take all this stuff - the roads, the buildings and everything else - and you don't have people in mind, you don't have a community."