Lakeville changes mayoral term to four years

Anderson is last mayor to serve two-year term

Lakeville’s mayors will have a lot less campaigning to do in coming years.

City Council members voted March 6 to double the mayor’s term of office from two years to four years.

The change does not affect Mayor Doug Anderson’s term, but would be in place at the next mayoral election in November 2018.

Anderson cited support for the change.

“I think we need to recognize that we are a large city,” he said. “I think we’re the 15th largest city, population-wise, right now in the state of Minnesota.”

He said if development continues its current course, Lakeville could be in the top 10 of most populated cities in the state within five years.

“I think it’s incumbent upon us to ensure that the leadership of our city has some consistency and has an opportunity to fulfill the vision that we want to see in our city,” Anderson said.

Council Member Colleen LaBeau agreed. She said councils have discussed the issue three times in the past seven years.

She said the change allows the mayor to focus more on the needs of the city and its population of over 60,0000 rather than running an election campaign every two years.

Council Member Luke Hellier said the term change also puts Lakeville in line with other cities of similar size, including Burnsville and Eagan.

“I’ve heard from a lot of people on both sides of the issue and their concerns about the mayor term,” Hellier said. “But I think a four-year term for the mayor helps us really start thinking long-term as a city and could help do that so we have some stability in that.”

In an interview, Hellier said some people said they liked the ability to turn over the mayor after two years if they were not happy with what they were doing.

The 2018 election could bring major change to Lakeville leadership, as the mayor’s seat will be on the ballot and the council seats of LaBeau and Council Member Bart Davis; all three are the most senior members of the City Council.