In addition to fulfilling the many duties associated with being a council member, I have given significant leadership and/or active support to the following accomplishments (partial listing):
- Partnering between the City of Golden Valley and Discover St. Louis Park in rebranding the city’s image as a destination resulting in the production and distribution of marketing and information about community lodging, meeting spaces, facilities, dining, shopping, attractions, events, arts, cultural and recreational opportunities.
- Supporting the reclamation of the Bassett Creek Watershed, resulting in stream bank stabilization, reduction of sediment run-off and, improved water quality.
- Promoting phosphorus reduction in Sweeney and Wirth Lakes. Wirth Lake has been removed from the endangered waters list due to City efforts.
- Advocating the City’s enrollment in the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s GreenStep Cities program, which is focused on proven environmental best practices, community sustainability, and resiliency.
- Authorizing support for the Open to Business Initiative which provides free technical assistance to existing or new small businesses interested in opening shop in Golden Valley.
- Assessing the need for a remodeled or reconstructed community center resulting in the construction of the new Brookview Community Center: opening in late fall, 2017.
Larry Fonnest, other Golden Valley Council Members, and City residents celebrate the new Brookview Community Center’s ground breaking. Photo by Gina Purcell – New Hope Golden Valley Sun Post. This photo is a reprint of a news event and by allowing use it does not imply any endorsement of any candidate or any political position.
- Achieving municipal consent for the construction of the Blue Line Light Rail Transit Extension and the Golden Valley Road Station.
- Overseeing the design and future development of the new Sochacki Park (formerly Mary Hills and Rice Lake Nature Areas in Golden Valley plus Sochacki Park in Robbinsdale), a land management unit of the Three Rivers Regional Park District.
- Hiring of new City Manager.
- Implementing the Golden Valley Residential Construction Management Agreement outlining conditions that must be followed for every demolition, new construction, or major remodel of one and two family homes.
- Requiring a neighborhood meeting prior to a potentially controversial Conditional Use Permit or Planned Unit Development being heard by the Planning Commission. Meetings are intended to inform residents of the proposed development and provide the opportunity to express concerns and gain a better understanding of a developer’s intentions.
- Revising and strengthening the city’s Peddlers and Solicitors Ordinance, resulting in greater city oversight of permitting and enforcement thus protecting residents from unwanted or questionable solicitations.
- Promoting the hiring of an Associate Planner/Grants Writer to monitor potential grant opportunities, assist City departments with grant applications and otherwise coordinate and leverage private, county, state, and federal resources to supplement city operations and economic development funds. From 2014 to mid-2016 (the last full reporting period), the City captured $2,611,101 in supplemental grant funds.
- Amending zoning code text regarding single family residential side setback requirements providing clarity to remodelers and developers.
- Instituting a subdivision moratorium and conducting a major study of subdivision management resulting in a new ordinance designed to protect resident property rights.
- Championing public art as an integral part of community expression. The new Brookview Community Center will include an art gallery in its atrium/hallway and, thanks to the Golden Valley Community Foundation and its new Arts League, works of art in various mediums will be part of our future civic life.
- Leading the charge to recalculate the Minnesota Legislature’s Fiscal Disparities Formula to win a more favorable outcome for Golden Valley. In 2017, Golden Valley is required by state law to redistribute $5,755,714 of property tax revenue to other municipalities that have smaller tax bases. A more equitable formula is needed.