(June 21, 2018—St. Cloud, Minn.) Waconia City Administrator Susan Arntz has been selected as the League of Minnesota Cities Leadership Award winner for 2018. Arntz was presented the award at the League’s Annual Conference in St. Cloud. The James F. Miller Leadership Award is considered the League’s highest honor for appointed city officials, and is given annually in recognition of outstanding service.
Arntz has served as the city administrator for Waconia since 2001, and has an impressive list of accomplishments. In a time of stalled growth during the national economic recession, she helped revitalize Waconia by breaking ground on 57 new homes. Arntz continues to foster growth in her community through a recent partnership with a private firm to revive two underutilized recreation facilities.
Through her leadership, Arntz also helped Waconia’s Finance Department develop a model which would become a 20-year financial plan for the city. The plan raised the bond rating from A- to AA+ which is the highest rating a city of Waconia’s size and resources can achieve.
Prior to her role as city administrator with Waconia, Arntz interned with Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin’s Office and the City of Shoreview, served in various positions with the City of Chaska, and was the assistant city manager for the city of New Brighton.
Arntz’s involvement outside Waconia includes being chair of the Minnesota City/County Managers Association (MCMA) Education & Outreach Committee, co-chair of Citizen’s League—Metropolitan Council Task Force, liaison for City of Waconia’s Park Board, and liaison for City of Waconia’s Commission on Aging. Arntz also volunteers her time generously teaching Junior Achievement courses to elementary students, which gives students an understanding of local government. She is also actively involved with Girl Scouts of America.
One of Arntz’s nominators noted that, “She is comfortable talking to residents about any city-related business at the front desk, casually in our lobby, or in a meeting room. She listens and has an easy way to educate them on what is going with their situation and how she can or sometimes cannot help.”