Money magazine has released its 2014 list of 50 Best Places to Live, and our own City of Maple Grove came in at No. 2. This year, Money set out to find the nation’s top small cities with populations between 50,000 and 300,000. (The publication alternates annually; in 2015, the focus will be on small towns.) In deciding on the top 50, data from Onboard Informatics and other sources was used to comb through everything from the local economy and housing market to schools and healthcare—more than 50 factors in all.
Maple Grove was praised for its walking/biking paths, which provide easy access to the city’s many parks, sports complexes, and lakes as well as to the local schools. The city’s “hot spots” were also cited, including Elm Creek Park Reserve (with miles of mountain biking and cross-country skiing trails, a tubing hill, and downhill ski area), Town Green (with its lakeside park and amphitheater), and its ample shopping opportunities (with the Main Street shopping development and the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes). The city’s stock of reasonably priced homes was also noted. Other Minnesota cities making this year’s list were Eagan, at No. 11, and Woodbury at No. 12.
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Craig Waldron recently left his post as Oakdale city administrator to become a full-time faculty member at the Hamline University School of Business. He was the city administrator for 21 years. Previously, Waldron worked in a number of administrative and planning positions for the state of Minnesota, the City of Mankato, and the City of Roseville, where he served as community development director for eight years. Oakdale hired him primarily for his economic development background, which was a priority for the city at the time. During his tenure, a great deal of development and redevelopment took place in Oakdale, including the Tartan Area Civic Arena, the Oak Marsh Golf Course, Tartan Crossing (the site of the former Oakdale Mall), and the industrial park.
Waldron brings plenty of practical experience to his new teaching position. He has taught master’s and doctorate-level courses in public administration, economic development, public finance, and public ethics as an adjunct professor at several area universities since the mid-1970s. He holds a doctorate in public administration from Hamline.
“There’s a lot I’m going to miss. I’m going to miss our staff, elected officials, citizens, our business community. The people in this organization and in this city are amazing and I will miss working with all of them,” Waldron said. At the same time, though, “I absolutely love teaching and I love Hamline. Getting to work with the next generation of leaders to make sure they have a good footing is very rewarding for me.”
Jody Yungers recently joined the City of Brooklyn Park as the director of recreation and parks. Previously, she was the director of arena and golf operations at Ramsey County. Yungers was with Ramsey County for 24 years, having served as the director of parks and services and operations, director of recreation services, and as recreation and services manager. Prior to her career with Ramsey County, she served for 10 years at the City of Roseville as a program director and assistant director. She received the Clifton E. French Distinguished Service Award from the Minnesota Recreation and Parks Association in 2013.
(Source: Sun Post)
Former Burnsville City Clerk Evelyn Kjos passed away on Aug 27. Kjos was one of the first employees to be hired by the City of Burnsville on March 30, 1965. She worked there for about 25 years until her retirement on Jan. 31, 1990. She held many different positions throughout her career at the city, including city clerk from January 1983 to January 1990. She came out of retirement in 1992 to work with the city part-time on records management and elections, and retired again in October 2005. Following her second retirement, she helped the cities of Savage and Lakeville with their record retention programs. She will definitely be missed by all who knew her.