These are the dogs days of summer. But that doesn't have anything to do with dogs lying around in the heat. The phrase actually comes from ancient Greek beliefs about a star.

OK, so I've learned a little bit about dog days in August. But, for me, they still are a "winding down" of summer. I'm not so concerned anymore if the deer eat my flowers, or that the lakes are "greener" or my lawn has slowed down and that pretty soon it will be time to store the boat.

But, the dog days certainly haven't slowed the community of Crosslake. Many of you attended the community event at Zorbaz and heard all about the projects underway led by a group of the best volunteers in the greater lakes area. The campground is also busier than ever with more campers this year than past years.

Crosslake Days are just around the corner. And, don't miss the community breakfast at the Corps of Engineers during Wounded Warrior weekend on Saturday, Aug. 25. We know how important these events and projects are to our businesses and the community at large. So please give a huge thank you to the volunteers who give of their time and energy to support our town.

August and September are also extra busy months for city staff and council members. This is the time of year when we take a critical look at the upcoming 2019 budget and, most important, how it affects the taxpayers in our community. A city always has certain costs: administrative, public works, park and rec, fire and police departments, as well as others.

However, budget time is when discussion happens about our future - roads and trail upgrades, sewer expansion possibilities and facility needs, to name a few. The challenge as well as the opportunity is to strike a balance between having a highly functional city and satisfied homeowners.

Understand there is no simple solution. Some folks are going to be happy, some are not; but I want to add, decisions should not be made by public officials alone. You also have the opportunity to provide your input and help find solutions. The thing to keep in mind is that we are a growing community going through change and it is always advisable to manage the change rather than be a victim of it.

We also have a new comprehensive plan (soon to be on the website). This plan is a compilation of priorities, opportunities and challenges that have been part of the dialogue for the past four years and that will not only need to be addressed today but into the future as well.

So, as we begin this 2019 budget process, we will be keeping in mind who is footing the bill and the broader community being served.

Finally, as many of you may know, I have filed for mayor again. My intent is to run a campaign with integrity and purpose. For the past two years, the staff and I have been building a leadership team that not only operates effectively but has also established a "customer service" approach in all that we do. You are our "customers" and we're here to serve you. Thanks much for your support and for all that you do as well.

This column reflects my personal perspectives and opinions and does not necessarily speak for the council as a whole. So, if you have questions or concerns with anything said here, stop in at city hall between 12:30 and 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays for a cup of coffee or just to chat.