Park to leave council July 16

Cites desire to spend time with family

Park

Park

LAKE ELMO — The Lake Elmo City Council is taking applications through July 12 to fill the council seat being vacated July 16 by resigning Councilwoman Nicole Park.

Park announced last week that she is stepping down from the council in the middle of a four-year term to spend more time with her family. Park’s council term would have ended in December 2014.

“It is a difficult decision to end my term early, but with much thought over this past year, I decided it is the best decision for myself, and for my family,” Park said.

Mayor Mike Pearson read a short email from Park at the council’s June 18 meeting.
“Nicole was chiefly interested in moving this community forward and putting the struggles of our past behind us,” Pearson said. “Her optimism that we could be a better community was ever present.”

Pearson said he was aware Park was thinking about resigning and was sorry to learn about her decision.

“Well, I knew she had been considering it. I’m more disappointed that she’s leaving,” he said.

Pearson believes Park’s resignation was sparked by family-related issues.

“She’s got a lot of obligations that came up,” he said. “I really felt she would do a disservice (to the council) if she couldn’t give her full attention to it.”
Although Person said there were times he and Park differed on certain issues, he added that the two had a good working relationship on the council.

“We certainly didn’t agree on everything,” he said. “The working relationship, I’ll miss that. She could hear and understand things from different perspectives.”

Park started in public service with terms on Lake Elmo’s Environmental Committee and Planning Commission before winning a seat on the council in 2006. Park championed extension of sanitary sewer service from Interstate 94 to the Old Village and worked to create a better environment for Lake Elmo businesses.

City officials noted that the sanitary sewer extension was approved in March and city officials have reached out to businesses regarding traffic, signs, regulations and growth.

“I have really enjoyed my six-and-a-half years of service on the Lake Elmo City Council. I have met some brilliant people along the way, and have made some true and lasting friendships,” Park said in her email. “I also believe that I have been a part of this wonderful Council for a reason.”

City officials praised Park for her demeanor and desire to see the city grow.

“Council member Park always sought to build consensus, not only among the county, but throughout the community,” said City Administrator Dean Zuleger. “You could always count on her encouraging smile even during the toughest of debates and the last thing she ever wanted to do was let down a taxpayer. Staff will miss her warmth and encouragement.”

Persons interested in filling the upcoming council vacancy can find an application at www.lakeelmo.org or receive an email copy by calling City Clerk Adam Bell at 651-747-3914.

The council will interview applicants in mid-July, with a goal of making an appointment before the council’s July 26 retreat.

“I’m confident that Lake Elmo will offer another good candidate,” Pearson said.

Contact Erik Sandin at erik.sandin@ecm-inc.com

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