Outgoing Council Members Honored in Brooklyn Park, Osseo
Members of the Brooklyn Park City Council bid farewells to their colleagues who won’t be returning to their council seats. Brooklyn Park City Council member Rich Gates decided not to run for re-election after serving 12 years on the council. He says it a big sacrifice, but one that was worth it.
“I can’t thank my family enough for what they’ve done for me in helping to watch my kids, being a single parent,” said Gates during Tuesday night’s city council meeting.
Gates says his trip to Liberia in 2013 was one of his most memorable times on the council. The trip was a way to strengthen ties with Brooklyn Park’s large Liberian population.
For council member Bob Mata, who lost in the November election, he leaves with concerns about the city’s budget.
“The budget is way out of control still. And again, another almost $2 million increase again this year. People, they just can’t afford it anymore. And I feel bad that i’m not going to be here just to direct that traffic,” said Mata to CCX News.
Mata says his proudest accomplishment was eliminating the point-of-sale program, which had required home sellers to pay for city inspections when listing their homes.
Zelenak Leaves Osseo Council After One Term
It was also outgoing Osseo City Council member Anne Zelenak’s last meeting. Zelenak was elected in 2014 on a platform that included preserving Osseo’s historic water tower.
City staff praised her as being easy to work with. One said he wished she’d stayed on for another term.