Back to the Nov-Dec 2021 issue

Bits & Briefs

Update Your City’s Profile With the League

Hands typing on a computer keyboard.NEW! Top appointed officials can now update their city profile information with the League of Minnesota Cities anytime — not just during the end-of-year update. Doing so can ensure that the right League information gets to the right person on time. You can add, edit, or remove employees, elected officials, commissioners, and contractors to keep your city dream team lineup and contact information accurate.

To get started, just log in to your MyLMC account or create a new account at For more information, contact the League at (651) 281- 1200, (800) 925-1122, or

Adopt a Planter in Canton

Outdoor planter with flowers.
Photo courtesy City of Canton

Canton’s Adopt-a-Planter program recently celebrated a successful season of community-supported Main Street greenery. Ten of the city’s aggregate planters were adopted out to residents and organizations to flex their creative green thumbs. The results reflected styles from dramatic to whimsical.

Gardeners who planted and cared for a display not only enjoyed the visual benefits of their work throughout the season, but also had a chance at some friendly competition. The top three planters, as voted on through “likes” on the city’s Facebook page, earned their creators a cash prize. The prizes come from the community development fund and would otherwise be used toward the purchase of flowers for the planters.

“Instead, we’re returning the dollars to the community for their time and talents in helping beautify our downtown,” said Clerk/Treasurer Brock Bergey. “It’s also one less thing for our Public Works Department to do — no daily watering required, as that’s part of the adoption commitment.”

The city is now considering adding a holiday season contest over the winter months and potentially adding more planters next spring.

Water Treatment Pros Get ‘A Drop of Respect’

Ron Locken of Winger is featured in a video about the important work of water treatment professionals. Photo courtesy Ulteig

As a city official, you know how important clean water is to your community. A new video features the work of two unsung heroes behind that clean water — water superintendents Ron Locken of Winger and Ron Yliniemi of Menahga, who both share a passion for the water their communities depend on.

The video, produced by engineering firm Ulteig, is designed to give the public a glimpse into the work that goes into water infrastructure, and to help communities advocate for the investment in tools and resources needed to modernize and maintain water systems nationwide. You can watch and share the video, “A Drop of Respect: North America’s Water Treatment Professionals,” at

Resources to Accelerate Electric Car Adoption

Electric car charging.If your community is ready to do more with electric vehicles (EVs), several resources are now available to help. A nonpartisan advocacy group, the Electrification Coalition, has released a new toolkit for cities called “Electrifying Transportation in Municipalities.”

The toolkit identifies a set of essential EV policies that local governments can use to transition city fleets and to accelerate EV adoption in the communities they serve. Policies touch on five categories: charging infrastructure, multisector electrification, freight, fleet electrification, and consumer adoption. Learn more and access the toolkit at

Looking for more? The Minnesota Department of Transportation Office of Sustainability and Public Health has developed information about electric vehicles and general guidance for the site design, installation, use, and operation of electric vehicle chargers. Access the state resources at

IMLA President Tyrone E. Cooper presents the Outstanding State League Counsel Award to Patricia Beety. (Photo courtesy IMLA)

Minnesota Hosts National Conference for Municipal Attorneys

Riddle: What do you call a group of attorneys from across the country? Answer: The makings of a great conference! Minnesota attorneys hosted the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA) Annual Conference online and in person this fall. The League’s General Counsel Patricia Beety served as the host committee chair for this year’s conference. Beety also was recognized with IMLA’s Outstanding State League Counsel Award.

Other Minnesota attorneys recognized for their outstanding contributions to Minnesota cities included Minnetonka City Attorney Corrine Heine; Jim Thomson from the law firm Kennedy & Graven; and John Baker from Greene Espel.

The conference included educational sessions covering everything from telecommunications to environmental law topics, as well as visits to interesting landmarks and land use projects in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and ended with a refreshing stop at Surly Brewery Co.


Mayor for a Day Essay Contest

A young student writing in a notebook.The League of Minnesota Cities’ Mayor for a Day Essay Contest is back, and cities that want to connect with participating fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade students can get in on the fun. This year, League staff are inviting cities that would like to provide additional local recognition to contest entrants to send a message to before the essay submission deadline of Dec. 6.

Following the completion of judging in January, cities that express interest will be sent any essays submitted by students who live in their city. Your local recognition could include selection of a citywide winner by your city team, recognition of all local students who participated, outreach to a participating class, or something else that helps inspire future city leaders. Learn more and get promotional resources and submission materials at