2008 Leadership Awards

Appointed city officials from Hoyt Lakes and South St. Paul receive top honors from the League of Minnesota Cities

City administrators Richard Bradford and Stephen King named as Leadership Award winners

(June 12, 2008—Rochester, Minn.) City administrators Richard J. Bradford of Hoyt Lakes and Stephen P. King from South St. Paul have been selected as the League of Minnesota Cities Leadership Award winners for 2008. The honorees were announced during the Awards Banquet on Thursday evening at the League’s Annual Conference in Rochester. The Leadership Award is considered to be the League’s highest honor for appointed city officials, and is given annually in celebration of outstanding service.

Richard Bradford, who was selected as the Leadership Award winner for appointed officials from cities with populations of less than 10,000, was cited for his judgment and common sense approach to city government over his nearly 30 years of service. In 2001, when Hoyt Lakes’ largest employer permanently closed leaving hundreds of people jobless, Bradford became a full-time partner in the economic development efforts that grew out of that potentially catastrophic event. Through his efforts, the city was able to attract two new industries to the community.

Bradford was also cited by his colleagues for his excellence in resolving personnel issues within the city. According to his nominators, he has shown an ability to identify potential problems and to communicate effectively with employees to discuss concerns while diffusing potentially volatile situations. Because of this, it is rarely necessary to ever bring a personnel issue to the attention of the City Council.

In addition to his duties in Hoyt Lakes, Bradford is a member of the International City Management Association and the Minnesota Municipal Clerks and Finance Officers Association. He has received awards from his local Lions Club and Jaycees, and is active in numerous church and civic functions.

During his time with the City of South Saint Paul, Stephen P. King—winner of the Leadership Award for cities with populations of 10,000 or more—has been challenged with ever-increasing demands for services in the face of declining resources and with managing senior staff turnover in the Finance, Police, and Parks & Recreation Departments. He has recently forged new labor agreements with all five of the City’s employee bargaining units, and has begun the task of overhauling and modernizing the human resources processes used by the city.

Additionally, King played a central role for the city in two projects involving other local governments. The first involved the consolidation of Dakota County’s dispatch center that now links all public safety agencies to a single, state-of-the-art Public Safety Answering Point housed in the new Dakota Communications Center. The second major project was an initiative that consolidated the fire departments in the cities of South St. Paul and West St. Paul—an effort that resulted in the combined South Metro Fire Department which became fully operational in January of this year.


Judges for the 2008 Leadership Awards were Dave Engstrom, Executive Director, Minnesota Association of Small Cities; Bob Meeks, Executive Director, Minnesota School Boards Association; and Jim Mulder, Executive Director, Association of Minnesota Counties.

About the League

The League of Minnesota Cities is a non-profit, membership organization dedicated to helping cities throughout Minnesota build quality communities through effective advocacy, expert analysis, trusted guidance, and collective action. The League serves its more than 830 members through advocacy, education and training, policy development, risk management and other services.

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