AAAA 026.jpg08 Holiday Party 072.jpgEPY Award Winners 2010.JPGOctober 28, 2010, will be my last day as Eden Prairie’s city manager. So before I go, I thought that I’d share a few thoughts about my tenure here.

I started working here in April of 2002. Speaking only for myself, I can tell you that it has been an exciting run. When I walked into the Eden Prairie City Council Chambers in April 2002, I walked straight into a debate about whether or not the City should (or could) ban smoking in restaurants; a pitched discussion with the Metropolitan Airports Commission about whether or not Flying Cloud Airport’s runways would be lengthened; and took the helm of an organization that was in need of nurturing, rational leadership.

Today, we don’t have to debate the question of smoking in restaurants. The State Legislature took care of that for us – and everyone else in the state as well. Flying Cloud’s runways were lengthened and widened. I think the airport’s development will ultimately be a good thing for the community, but it’s really too early to tell right now.

And the organization I work for, well, I think it’s Top Notch. The people I work with are smart and productive. They care about the look and feel of the community. They care about the people who live and work here. They work well together as a team and they are good stewards of the taxpayers’ trust and treasury.

As I’ve been here for almost two months after announcing my resignation (per my employment agreement), there has been a lot of time for people to ask me multiple variations of two questions. They are: “As you reflect back on your time in Eden Prairie, what are you most proud of?” and “What are the challenges in Eden Prairie’s future?”

I’ll start by looking back. While I’ve been a part of some interesting construction projects and public policy discussions here, the thing I’m most proud of is my team of coworkers. They are exceptional people. Together, they are an exceptional team. I’ll miss them all.

Looking forward, Eden Prairie is about to be changed by the Southwest Light Rail Transit project. This project is going to change the nature of Eden Prairie in positive ways. As a community, we’re not spending enough time talking about that project. But it’s coming, and it’s going to be a big deal over the next five years.

Eden Prairie gave me a big break in 2002. That City Council – Mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens, Ron Case, Jan Mosman, Sherry Butcher and (the late) David Luse – took a chance on me. I knew that then, and I still think about it today. I hope they think their risk was rewarded. I’ll never be able to thank them enough for giving me a shot here.

All in all, Eden Prairie has been great to me. I’ve enjoyed my job, the people I work with and the people I’ve worked for. Thank you Eden Prairie. Thanks for everything. I’ll miss you all.

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