Retiree picked over three others to fill vacant seat
LAKE ELMO — Michael Reeves, a retired businessman and Lake Elmo Planning Commission member, was selected Tuesday to fill a vacancy on the City Council.
Reeves was selected over three other applicants to fill the term of former Councilwoman Nicole Park, who resigned from the council earlier this year. Reeves’ term runs through Jan. 5, 2015.
Reeves will be sworn in at the Aug. 6 council meeting and is expected to participate in the council’s annual retreat July 26-27, according to City Administrator Dean Zuleger.
“I was very honored that they would consider me to go on the council,” Reeves said.
Others considered for the appointment were Julie Fliflet, a long-time Planning Commission member and chief financial officer for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; Jill Lundgren, a registered nurse clinician active in the city’s recent lakes ordinance development, and Gary Fields, a new city resident with more than 30 years experience working with all levels of government in economic development.
Reeves spent most of his business career with DeLuxe Corp. and served in various capacities with the Minnesota Wild. He also served on the general board of the Greater Twin Cities YMCA and was instrumental in the merger of the Minneapolis and St. Paul YMCA systems to create the third largest YMCA system in the U.S. Reeves also is a member of the city’s “Speak Your Peace Civility Campaign.”
During the candidate review process, Reeves expressed a desire to have Lake Elmo work as a productive partner regarding key issues facing the region.
“On the Planning Commission, I’ve seen a little bit of the challenges Lake Elmo is facing,” he said. “I’ve seen the efforts to move the city forward in ways that are productive.”
Reeves said growth is the key issue facing the city in the years ahead.
“I think the biggest issue is managing growth over the next several years,” he said. “It’s no secret that we have growth targets set by the Met Council. They aren’t going away. The challenge is going to be maintaining open space.”
Reeves feels his Planning Commission experience will help him understand growth-related issues before the council.
“There’s a benefit to have been on the Planning Commission since December,” he said. “We’ve had a chance to be involved in the I-94 corridor and the old city project. I do have some feel from a growth and development standpoint.”
Mayor Mike Pearson said he is excited to have Reeves join the council.
“He (Reeves) brings a lot to the table from an organizational standpoint, he understands how to build a working atmosphere to make sure we adopt the best policy for our taxpayers, and he adds a level-headed approach to the challenges we face as growing community in the Twin Cites metroplex,” Pearson said.
Pearson also thanked the other three candidates for their interest in filling the council vacancy.
“I’m looking forward to being more involved. It’s a big job and I’m looking forward to it. When you’re asked to serve, it’s hard to turn it down,” Reeves said about joining the council.
Reeves and his wife have lived in Lake Elmo for the last 12 years.
Contact Erik Sandin at [email protected]