Back to the May-June 2023 issue

Bits & Briefs

LMC 2023 Annual Conference Mobile Tours

Learn about important city issues and regional history from subject experts during the League of Minnesota Cities 2023 Annual Conference Mobile Tours. Choose from three different tours — two on June 21 and one on June 22 — and explore our conference host city of Duluth. Options on Wednesday include tours of the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial and the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, and on Thursday there is a Duluth Housing tour. Mobile tours require preregistration and additional registration fees do apply.

Interactive Tool Shows How Cities Are Spending ARPA Funds

An online tool allows you to explore how cities and counties across the nation are choosing to spend the money they received through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The Local Government ARPA Investment Tracker, created in partnership by the National League of Cities, Brookings Metro, and the National Association of Counties, compiles data from more than 15,000 local governments and continues to be updated regularly. You can view the tool at The landing page of the website shows large metro-area local governments; click on the “all other local gov” button to see a comprehensive list.

Mankato Finds Success Recruiting Seasonal Workers

Mankato’s 2022 seasonal walk-in interviews were so successful that you may have already heard of the initiative. After being hit by a challenging labor market, Mankato Human Resources Director Michelle Meitner and her team decided to get creative and scheduled four weeks of walk-in interview days. To operate the nontraditional interviews, two human resources staff and four public works supervisors assisted applicants with the application process, interviewed candidates, and answered their questions.

Mankato met its full capacity of more than 50 seasonal staff hired for the public works facilities and operations team in 2022 and compiled a “huge” list of seasonal workers whom the city is poised to invite back for employment for the 2023 summer season.

Meitner has some advice for other cities hoping to replicate Mankato’s walk-in interviews:

Don’t skimp on advertising. Mankato’s HR team spent roughly $1,200 on this event — much of which went toward advertising. The team advertised their event in the local newspaper, on CareerBuilder, and Indeed websites and bought flyers, signage, and banners that the city plans to reuse. “You can’t just put on an open house and expect people to come,” said Meitner. “I think it was just really creating that awareness that we’re an employer that’s hiring. People don’t think of us as an employer.”

Do what’s best for your city. Meitner has received inquiries from other cities, asking how they too can find success with walk-in interviews. “What I stressed was this was a walk-in event, and it was an open house, but if you don’t feel comfortable with that, you could just be setting up tables at high schools, at colleges, you could do it at a community event,” says Meitner. “What works within your organization? Do that!”

Princeton Develops Age-Friendly Action Plan

In January, Princeton’s City Council approved an Age-Friendly Princeton Action Plan. In the works since 2020, the action plan’s goal is to make Princeton a better place for all residents at all ages, especially the senior community.

Age-Friendly Princeton is an initiative made available through AARP, and after the plan’s approval, Princeton joined multiple other Minnesota cities with the age-friendly distinction from the organization. AARP estimates that by 2035, the number of adults over the age of 65 will be greater than the number of children under 18. Because most senior residents want to stay and age in their communities, it’s important for community support and resources to be available. Further, according to AARP, the needs and wants of seniors are similar to those in younger age groups, so the plan benefits the city as a whole.

Princeton’s action plan began by reviewing the city’s demographics and then conducting a survey on what the community can do to support residents of all ages. The Age-Friendly Princeton team identified eight domains of livability while focusing on three main areas of improvement: communication, social participation, and transportation. Other areas for future projects include outdoor spaces, housing, civic participation and employment, community support and health services, and public safety and preparedness.

Local Contract Assessor Networking Group

In February of each year, assessors make final adjustments to property values in their communities prior to the mailing of notices to property owners about upcoming taxes due and meetings where they can raise concerns. If your city employs or contracts an assessor, they are likely preparing for the end of another assessment, which may mean a new contract for the next year’s assessment or possibly even a new assessor. A networking group of Minnesota local/contract assessors has been formed to share resources, which you may find helpful if your city needs a new assessor or is completing a new contract.

For more information about the group, contact Jane Grossinger at