Off the Clock: What you didn’t know about Mayor Kathi Hemken
New Hope mayor Kathi Hemken is not up for re-election this year….but that doesn’t mean she’s taking a break. She’s the President of the League of Women Voters—Crystal, New Hope and East Plymouth chapter. She’s also on the board of the northwest YMCA. And the Mayor has plenty of other things to keep her busy.
She’s been gardening for decades and is the President of the Back Acres Gardening Club. Her green thumb really shows through. Her back yard was a bed of rocks, until she turned it into something spectacular. Phlox, lilies and hostas and other plants create a colorful border.
The busy mayor has a few more hobbies that are not so tame. She’s rode motorcycles for 20 years.
“In my younger years, I drove a motorcycle. I took it to Nova Scotia and I also took it to San Diego,” said Hemken.
She’s also a downhill skier and certified skipper. Every summer, she goes sailing in Lake Superior. The world traveler has ventured all over, including all 50 states.
But when Mayor Hemken really wants to kick things up, she hops in her white Dodge Challenger, often turning heads as she cruises city streets.
Laughing, she said “it doesn’t go over 30 in New Hope. I try to keep it under control, it is kind of a cute car. It can move, really quickly.”
She doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.
“I hope never. One of these days I won’t be mayor anymore and then I will probably volunteer for the city in some way. So, that’s part of what makes life interesting for me, is the fact that I can give back to the community,” she explained.
Hemken has lived in New Hope for 42 years. She’s a widow, with six children, 11 grandchildren and six great grand kids.