Minnesota Senate honors long-time LMC lobbyist Gary Carlson with commemorative resolution

(May 22, 2023 – St. Paul, Minn.)

The Minnesota Senate heard a resolution authored by Sen. Ann Rest (DFL-New Hope) this week honoring former League of Minnesota Cities (LMC) Intergovernmental Relations Director Gary Carlson’s career of representing Minnesota cities at the State Capitol. The companion was introduced by Rep. Cheryl Youakim (DFL-St. Louis Park).

Carlson announced his retirement in December 2022 and has served as a part-time intergovernmental relations advisor for LMC since February. He will conclude his nearly 40-year career of representing cities at the Capitol at the end of the 2023 legislative session.

Carlson joined the League in 1991 and “quickly became known as a stalwart resource on local government issues, specifically tax and pension issues,” according to the resolution. He was promoted to director of the League’s intergovernmental relations team in 1994 and oversaw a team of lobbyists who represent nearly all of Minnesota’s 855 cities.

Carlson has gained the reputation of being a trustworthy, relentless, and admired advocate at the Capitol. He has been a go-to resource for legislators, city officials, and reporters who want to learn more about Minnesota’s past and present local government issues.

During his tenure, Carlson worked closely with legislators to revamp the local government aid formula various times to address cities’ evolving needs, secured funding to enhance city services, secured and enhanced pension finances and policies for the retirement of public employees throughout Minnesota, secured sales tax exemptions for local governments, and created countless informative spreadsheets that detailed legislative topics.

“The League has a trusted reputation at the Capitol largely because of the admirable leadership Gary has displayed throughout his career,” LMC President Ron Johnson said. “His presence will be missed at the Capitol, but his impact on local government and the Legislature will be felt for years and years to come.”