February 27, 2020-What does the Mayor and City Council Do?

Mayor's Blog February 27, 2020

Recently I attended a Leadership Conference, and it occurred to me that many of our residents may not know everything that the Mayor and City Council Members do in addition to our twice per month Council meetings. It may be a lot more of a time commitment than you would think.

You probably know that the City Council meets twice a month - Work Sessions that start at 5:30pm followed by Council Meetings that start at 7:00pm. These are usually held on the first and third Mondays of each month.

With three (generally) Monday holidays during the calendar year (MLK Day, Presidents Day, and Labor Day), those federal holidays dictate that no public meetings can be held on those dates, so our normal Monday Council meeting nights get shifted one day to Tuesday.

In addition, the Mayor and each City Council Member is appointed annually by the Council to various Commissions or Committees.  

All of the elected officials take turns and rotate as the liaison to both the Parks Commission and the Planning Commission. This usually means 2-3 meetings a year for each of us.

Council Member Shannon Bruce is our representative to the Mound Fire Commission and the St. Bonifacius Fire Commissions.  St. Boni’s Commission meets twice per year, and Mound’s Commission meets 4-5 times a year.

Council Member Pam Mortenson is on our Personnel Committee which meets as needed, typically 4-6 times a year. She also serves as the City’s representative to the Westonka Community and Commerce Group, who meet once a month. Council Member Mortenson is also instrumental in coordinating the Pig races for the annual Trista Day celebration in May.

Council Member John Tschumperlin serves as our representative on the Pioneer-Sarah Creek Watershed Commission, as well as on a number of their sub-committees. The Watershed Commission meets on a monthly basis.

Council Member Mike Molitor has served as our representative to the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District (LMCD) for the past 2 years, which was at least two meetings per month, but has now stepped back from those duties and will be participating in more of the Planning Commission meetings as the Council’s liaison. 

So what does the Mayor do?

I’m also on the Personnel Committee, and am the alternate to the Mound Fire Commission and attend those meetings. I serve on the Public Safety Committee, which meets quarterly, along with the Minnetrista City Administrator and Police Chief, the Mayor and Administrator from St. Bonifacius participate. St. Boni contracts with the Minnetrista PD for Police Services, and we meet to stay on the same page.

Also, I serve as the city’s representative to the Hennepin County North West League of Municipalities, and they meet on a monthly basis, and also participate in the Regional Council of Mayors meeting.

And I am the liaison to the Gillespie Senior Center and attend their Board meetings as my schedule permits.

There are also conferences and seminars that Council members and I attend. Like the leadership conference I attended recently and the League of Minnesota Cities Regional meeting last November.

There are numerous other meetings that can take place; sometimes with a resident or a group of residents if they have concerns, sometimes with other local community based organizations. As the Mayor I’m often invited to various forums and events. I’ve also had the opportunity of participating in a number of round table discussions and have had the privilege of being a guest speaker at a number of venues.    

Hopefully this gives you a little better understanding and appreciation of the work and time commitments provided by all five of your elected officials to the community. As you can see, it is much more than just the twice per month Work Sessions and regular City Council meetings.