City News

Awards, recognition, projects, celebrations, staff changes, and other news about Minnesota cities around the state.

Awards & Recognition

Eden Prairie makes Star Tribune’s list of Top 150 Workplaces in Minnesota
The City of Eden Prairie has been named to the Star Tribune’s list of Top 150 Workplaces in Minnesota for the fourth year in a row. Eden Prairie was the only municipal government to receive this recognition, and was ranked 24th in the midsized company category.

The Star Tribune’s list recognizes the most progressive companies in Minnesota, which are selected based on employee opinions measuring engagement, organizational health and satisfaction.

Rankings are based on confidential employee survey information collected by WorkplaceDynamics, an independent company specializing in employee engagement and retention. More than 69,000 responses from employees at Minnesota public, private and nonprofit organizations were analyzed for this year’s rankings.


Bemidji Parks and Recreation Department honored for inclusive park
The City of Bemidji’s Parks and Recreation Department was honored with an Award of Excellence from the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association (MRPA) for its Paul Bunyan Inclusive Playground, which opened in 2016. MRPA Executive Director Michelle Snider presented a plaque to Bemidji Parks and Recreation Director Marcia Larson at a recent Bemidji City Council meeting.

The inclusive park was designed to allow for people of all abilities to use its equipment. The Bemidji Rotary Club was in charge of fundraising for the park and pledged $100,000 of its own money to the $440,000 project.


Eagan city administrator receives award of excellence
Dave Osberg, city administrator of the City of Eagan, has received the 2017 Dr. Robert A. Barrett Award for Management Excellence from the Minnesota City/County Management Association (MCMA). This annual award acknowledges an MCMA member who is an exemplary role model, leader, and mentor in the profession of local government management. Elected officials and staff of the city nominated Osberg based on his transformative impact on the community through initiatives like Eagan Forward, a 20-year community visioning effort; his leadership on efforts like creation of the Dakota County Joint Dispatch Center; and for his mentorship of emerging staff and colleagues in other local governments. Osberg is a past president of MCMA and of the League of Minnesota Cities.

Staff news

Bloomington community development director retires
Larry Lee, community development director for the City of Bloomington retired Aug. 31 after nearly 40 years with the city. Lee began working for Bloomington as an associate planner and worked on the city’s first comprehensive plan in 1978. He was later hired as assistant city manager and began working as community development director in 1987, the title he held until his retirement.

As community development director, Lee was instrumental in the planning of Bloomington’s largest projects, including the development of the South Loop, home to Mall of America, along with several hotel chains and other major employers.

Lee formed a partnership with Artistry, a Bloomington nonprofit arts organization, to launch the city’s creative placemaking initiative. This allowed for the South Loop to find its identity through arts and culture with the installment of murals, sculptures, and other art projects. His work helped bridge the gap between city government and artists. Read more about Bloomington’s creative placemaking initiative.

Bloomington Mayor Gene Winstead declared Lee’s last day as “Larry Lee Day” at a City Council meeting on Aug. 28.


Olson joins Roseville as assistant city manager
Rebecca Olson was recently appointed as the City of Roseville’s assistant city manager. She is the first person to fill this position since 2002. Previously, Olson served as the assistant to the city manager for the City of Shoreview, and prior to that, she held the same title in Blaine for nearly 10 years.

“Finding the right fit for this position was critical and we’ve done exactly that by adding Rebecca to the city’s executive management team,” City Manager Patrick Trudgeon said. “She brings a passion for local government and a reputation for building strong working relationships with all community members that will serve the City of Roseville well.”

In her new role, Olson will assist Trudgeon in managing city services, personnel, and budgetary resources, and serve a key role in the formation of strategic decisions.