City News

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

Awards & Recognition

Mark Casey receives MCMA award

St. Anthony Village City Manager Mark Casey recently received the Dr. Robert A. Barrett Award for Management Excellence from the Minnesota City/County Management Association (MCMA). The annual award acknowledges an MCMA member who is an exemplary role model, leader, and mentor in the profession of local government management.

Casey has been city manager of St. Anthony Village since 2011, and was selected for the Barrett Award based on his nomination by the city’s elected officials and staff. They cited his strong leadership with city staff and his commitment to sustainability in equity, the environment, and the economy. They also pointed to his Students in Government program that reaches out to high school students with the potential for local government careers and his mentoring of younger colleagues in the field of local government management.

Prior to his current position, Casey was City Administrator in Annandale from 2004–2011. His local government background also includes work in recreation and community education with the Annandale School District, and with the cities of St. Peter and Columbia Heights. Casey is a past president of Metro Cities and a current member of the League of Minnesota Cities Board of Directors.

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Roseville receives watershed district award

The City of Roseville recently received the Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD) Watershed Partner Award. Roseville was recognized for its leadership and support of clean water projects that protect our water resources. The city has provided significant technical and financial support to help build numerous clean water projects to protect and improve water quality within the district.

Construction of the Villa Park Wetland Weir System was one of the first large capital improvement projects undertaken by CRWD. The partnership laid the groundwork for other projects such as the Lake McCarrons Alum Treatment, Gottfried’s Pit Lift Station, Iron Enhanced Filtration Benches at Williams Street Pond, sediment dredging within Villa Park, and the Upper Villa Park Stormwater Infiltration and Reuse Project.

The Watershed Steward Awards were developed to honor individuals and organizations that exemplify watershed stewardship through activities, projects and policies that demonstrate a commitment to CRWD’s mission to protect, manage and improve water resources of the district.

Staff News

Shawn Kessel joins South St. Paul as administrator

The South St. Paul City Council has selected Shawn Kessel as its next city administrator. Kessel comes to South St. Paul from the City of Dickinson, North Dakota, where he has served as the city administrator since 2009. Kessel is succeeding current City Administrator Stephen King, who is retiring in July 2018.

Kessel served in Dickinson during a period of intense growth, development, and organizational change. During his tenure, the community was awarded the ‘Best Small Town’ by Livability.com. This national award was achieved while Dickinson was the second-fastest growing micropolitan in the U.S. in 2013. The intense level of growth Dickinson underwent required vision and strategic planning to meet the expanding needs of a burgeoning population. In the two years prior to 2009, the city issued building permits for 200 dwelling units. In 2012-2013, more than 2,200 dwelling permits were issued. Plans were also submitted for over 1.2 million square feet of new retail/commercial space and over $500 million in industrial development that is underway or was recently completed.

Kessel holds an MBA from the University of Mary and a bachelor’s degree in social work from Moorhead State University. He is a past president and board member of the North Dakota League of Cities.

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Weber named Eden Prairie Police Deputy Chief

The Eden Prairie Police Department is pleased to announce the promotion of Greg Weber to the position of deputy chief. Deputy Chief Weber is a 27-year veteran of the department and served as a field training officer, patrol corporal, patrol sergeant, liaison sergeant, and ERU team leader and team commander. He was promoted to lieutenant in 2008 and has served as captain since 2016.

Weber earned a bachelor's degree in law enforcement from Minnesota State University-Mankato, a master’s degree in police leadership, administration and education from the University of St. Thomas, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

“Deputy Chief Weber will remain in charge of Police Department operations,” said Chief Jim DeMann. “This promotion is part of the department’s succession planning process which includes opportunities for training and experience, and will ensure a smooth leadership transition in the future.”

In Memory

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Camille “Cam” Desmoulins Andre, who held leadership positions in several cities and other public service organizations, passed away on May 1 at the age of 101. He was born in Long Prairie, Minnesota, on Dec. 18, 1916, and moved with his mother to the Twin Cities area in the early 1920s. He graduated from Marshall High School and the University of Minnesota with majors in political science and economics, minors in German and Spanish.

After serving in World War II, Andre took a job with PAS, a government consulting firm, and moved all over the country for his work. He and his family eventually settled in Oak Lawn, Illinois, where he became the first city manager. Later they moved back to Minnesota to be with their extended families, and Andre became city manager of St. Louis Park, serving for seven years. He was hired partly for his experience building a new city hall. Under his leadership, the St. Louis Park City Hall went from a 19-century school house to the current three-story building—now over 50 years old.

Andre’s further public service included stints as deputy city manager in Kansas City, Missouri, director of Environmental Control in Minneapolis (working with model cities and construction of the Metrodome), and a 10-year stint as executive director of the Metropolitan Transit Commission. He also served as mayor of the City of St. Louis Park in the 1970s, as interim city manager for the City of Brooklyn Center, and as interim executive director of the League of Minnesota Cities. In addition, he served as regional vice president of ICMA in the 1960s.

Andre is preceded in death by his first and second wives. He is survived by his third wife, five children, 13 step-children, 15 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren.

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Bruce Gordon Nawrocki, former mayor of Columbia Heights, passed away on April 4 at the age of 86. Nawrocki leaves a legacy of public service that will long serve as a model of commitment, leadership, and selflessness. He viewed his position as mayor as an opportunity, not an obligation. Under Nawrocki's guidance, Columbia Heights grew and prospered. All of the city's residents and its business community are beneficiaries of his focus on keeping the city proud and prosperous. Nawrocki was also an active member of the League of Minnesota Cities. He is survived by his wife of nearly 70 years, two children, four grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.