Golden Valley Re-Elects Mayor, New City Council Members
Golden Valley residents gave the city’s incumbent mayor a convincing win on election night. Shep Harris won a third term with nearly 73 percent of the vote.
Challenger Steve Schmidgall, a current Golden Valley city council member, finished with 27 percent. In Harris’ previous two election victories, he finished with 56 (2011) and 52 percent (2015) of the vote respectively.
Golden Valley Mayor-Elect’s Priorities
Mayor-elect Harris has many goals that he hopes to accomplish in the next four years. He says there are two huge issues Golden Valley needs to address.
“One is our downtown area in terms of how do we redevelop parts of it to make it more pedestrian-friendly,” Harris said. “But more importantly, looking at places like the Golden Valley Shopping Mall. How do we help protect our local businesses that our residents want to support? How do we bring in a grocery store or a pharmacy to help our downtown area residents?”
Mayor Harris says another issue is ensuring race equity in Golden Valley.
The mayor also wants to ensure there’s affordable housing for current and future residents – including those on fixed incomes.
“We need to work to try to incentivize those owners of those properties to allow those residents to stay there,” Harris said. “We need to protect the residents who want to stay there. But we also have to make sure that there is future affordable housing as well, because we are a growing community. We are a community that is also aging and we expect more people to be on fixed incomes.”
Mayor Harris is looking forward to working with two new council members, Kimberly Sanberg and Maurice Harris. He says they will bring fresh perspective to the city council.
Incumbent Joanie Clausen was voted out after serving eight years on the council. Schmidgall vacated his seat to enter the mayor’s race.
Schmidgall Reflects on 16 years of Service
Council member Steve Schmidgall says he’s disappointed in the election night defeat.
However, he takes comfort in what he was able to help accomplish by serving on the city council and on the planning commission.
“Some things I’m really proud of are the Brookview Community Center. We have an excellent city manager and we did an outstanding job upgrading Douglas Drive,” said Schmidgall. “I’ve served the residents of the city for 16 years and have had some good success during that time.”
All of the candidates who won in Golden Valley were DFL-endorsed. Schmidgall said he tried to get the endorsement, but ultimately didn’t succeed.