(June 19, 2014—St. Paul, Minn.) Mayor Dave Kleis of St. Cloud has been selected as the League of Minnesota Cities C.C. Ludwig Award winner for 2014. The honor was announced today at the League’s Annual Conference in St. Cloud.
The C.C. Ludwig Award is named for a former League executive director, and is considered to be the League’s highest honor for elected officials. Established in 1962, the award is given annually in celebration of outstanding service. Recipients are chosen for their vision, statesmanship, and unwavering commitment to the public good.
Kleis has served as St. Cloud mayor since 2005 after serving as a legislator in the Minnesota Senate for 10 years. Most recently, he co-chaired the Governor’s Tax Reform Advisory Group for Local Government Aid—a group of mayors that made state budget recommendations and helped to shape the state Legislature’s discussion about local government aid. Kleis is also currently co-chair of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative, a group of mayors concerned with river water quality and other issues related to cities along the Mississippi River.
Of Kleis, one of his nominators noted, “He is (St. Cloud’s) most enthusiastic supporter, taking every opportunity to create a sense of community, to instill pride in citizenship, and to create a high quality of life for the people of the city, region, and the state.” Kleis was also cited for his outstanding work as a communicator with constituents. Since taking office in 2005, he has held a town hall meeting every week. Additionally, he hosts two different call-in radio programs each week and leads the yearly City Listening Day, in which city departments host information booths allowing residents to interact, make comments, and ask questions of city leaders.
About the judges
The 2014 C.C. Ludwig Award nominations were judged by a panel of past League of Minnesota Cities presidents, including: Karen Anderson, a former mayor from Minnetonka; Judy Johnson, a councilmember and former mayor from the City of Plymouth; and Marvin Johnson, mayor of the City of Independence.