Monday, January 11, 2021

Confidence in Our Communities: A New Year’s Message from LMC President Brad Wiersum

A message from Brad Wiersum, LMC president and mayor of Minnetonka

Dear Minnesota City Officials:

Brad Wiersum smiles in a formal headshot with a black background.
LMC President Brad Wiersum
We made it. 2021 is here. Joy at the arrival of the new year is normal; it brings out feelings of optimism, expectation, and renewal. That is in a normal year.

As city officials we navigated uncharted waters in 2020. And here we are, at the start of 2021, with more hills to climb, including the aftermath of Jan. 6, and its impact on American democracy.

While the mood is hardly joyful, I am feeling a growing confidence that our communities will prevail. We will get through the pandemic, the economy will continue its improvement, and a sense of normalcy, with real human interaction, will return.  

I am proud to be affiliated with the League of Minnesota Cities. The work of the League is more important than ever. New topics including pandemic relief, crisis management, a renewed focus on racial equity, states of emergency, stay-at-home orders, serial special sessions, police reform, and many more challenged LMC staff and leadership. Through it all, the League has been steadfast, and has continued to be a resource to all Minnesota cities. The League has had to innovate. It is no small task. The service delivery models may have changed. The quality, efficacy and support provided by the LMC have continued at the highest level.

My 2020 highlight

The best aspect of being involved with the LMC is the opportunity to network and work with city officials from around the state and beyond. The usual regional meetings did not happen this year, and that is disappointing to me. Yet, demonstrating the need for connection and visibility, a series of “mini-meets” with city officials and League representatives were safely and effectively conducted. Visits involving over 100 cities were held, of which I attended about a third. It was the highlight of the year for me. Meetings were well-attended and beneficial.

Welcome, newly elected officials

2020 was an election year and there is a large contingent of newly elected officials across the state. The League has reinvented its educational offerings to accommodate today’s virtual reality. The Elected Leaders Institute programs will begin in late January. The program has been recast as a combination of real-time virtual meetings and self-directed e-learning. These programs are outstanding. Significant investments were made to make this essential education interesting and engaging. Please encourage your newly elected officials to attend the foundational program. I strongly recommend that experienced officials attend the advanced program. I promise you, it will be an excellent investment of your time. The speakers and the material are outstanding.

Finally, I thank you for your service to your cities. The work we all do is important. Be strong and be well. I wish health, happiness, and success to you in this new year. 

Brad Wiersum
LMC Board President
Mayor of Minnetonka

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