Brooklyn Park Mayor’s Minutes: Welcome Mayor Hollies Winston
The new Brooklyn Park mayor, Hollies Winston, sat down with Dave Kiser for his first Mayor’s Minutes, where they discussed his expectations and goals for his term as mayor. Winston also covered recent changes to the city administration and the council.
Mayor Winston’s First Month
Winston has been in office for about a month and a half, and he noted the workload has been high.
“It’s kind of drinking from a fire hose. There’s a ton of meetings,” Winston said.
He also attributed the heavier schedule to his efforts to move from “governing by emergency” to working on strategic priorities that he set forth during his campaign.
He added, “It’s a big privilege, but it’s a ton of work.”
Winston also mentioned he has been very impressed with city staff.
Goals for Brooklyn Park
When speaking about his visions and goals for the city in the coming years, Winston said one of his goals is permanently reducing crime. He wants to continue fully funding the police, but said that there are other measures that can be taken. Winston wants to see alternative responses to emergencies that might include mental health or social workers. He also recognized the need to provide more resources for victims of domestic violence.
“We’re getting increasing calls around [domestic violence] in certain areas. That’s going to be important to long-term pushing down that crime,” said Winston.
Another goal he addressed is working on economic development opportunities and extending opportunities around that to more people in the city.
Lastly, Winston said he wants to see Brooklyn Park taking its place as a regional leader.
“When we talk about water quality or even around transportation, how are we doing our part, since we’re the biggest city in our particular area?” Winston added.
New Staff and City Council
Winston welcomed the new assistant city manager, Angel Smith, and said that she’s “extremely impressive.”
“I could go on and on, but very happy to have her in that role,” he added.
Following the November 2022 election, there are three new members on the city council. Christian Eriksen serves the East District, Nichole Klonowski represents the Central District, and Maria Tran serves the West District.
Winston has been enjoying working with the current council.
“What I’m finding fun is, where we agree on a lot of the issues that need to be addressed, there’s different approaches,” Winston said.
Winston explained that they all understand the priorities for the city, and they’re working together on the big issues.
“I’m happy with how we’re getting along. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with with the new councillors, but also the more senior councillors as well.”
Open City Council Seat
While Maria Tran was newly elected to represent the West District, the district’s other seat remains vacant. Former West District council member, Susan Pha, ran for Minnesota State Senate in November and won. Her vacated Brooklyn Park City Council seat will be decided by voters with a special primary election on May 9 and a following special election on August 8.
Winston expressed his hopes for finding the right candidate.
“We’re creating this great rapport [on the council],” Winston said, and added he would like to see a new council member who is also “very team-oriented and can work with the community.”
The candidate filing period for the vacant council seat runs from February 14 through 28. Winston invites anyone who’s interested to apply.
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