New Hope Mayor Says She Won’t Run for Re-Election — As She Bakes for City Staff
Kathi Hemken, who’s served as New Hope’s mayor since 2009, announced this week that she is not running for re-election.
On Tuesday morning, she prepared her final batch of 100 dozen cookies for city staff. Its a tradition she’s continued throughout all of her four terms.
“Lorraine and I have been baking since about 8 o’clock this morning,” Hemken explained.
She said she beings the holiday baking process in October, preparing a number of cookie dough types at a time and storing them in the freezer. As the holiday season gets underway in December, she dedicates a day to baking and packaging.
“I go through about two cases of butter, about 50 pounds of butter, 50 pounds of sugar, dozens and dozens of eggs,” Hemken said. That doesn’t include all the add-ins: chocolate chips, cranberries, and pieces of peppermint.
Each staff member gets a dozen cookies, hand-delivered to their office. Hemken plans to carry out her delivery mission on Dec. 13 this year.
“They’ll get them tomorrow with a little ribbon and a note on them, just thanking them for all they do,” Hemken said.
She said this is her way of recognizing the hard work put in by staff year-round.
“I don’t do the work, the work is all done by staff,” Hemken said. “[It’s] the only way I can really thank staff. I can thank them publicly, but I can also thank them with cookies.”
After four terms serving the city and baking city staff cookies, this is her last stint in the kitchen. Hemken said she is ready for her next phase of life.
“I want to do something in the church, I want to go in the senior center and do all that, I want to read to the kids more often. I don’t have time to do that as mayor,” Hemken said.
After today, Hemken is hanging up her apron. She said these years of work are worth it.
“When you have that kind of group supporting you, it’s easy,” Hemken said.