Mayor Jim Hovland cares about Edina. He works tirelessly on behalf of our city. Jim is a true public servant, devoting his time to improving and maintaining life in our community.
Jim goes above and beyond his required mayoral functions to benefit the people of Edina. Many residents are unaware of his extraordinary contributions that benefit our city. He chairs the Metropolitan Council’s Transportation Advisory Board, to promote smoother regional transportation systems. He is Vice Chair of the Transportation and Communications Committee for the United States Conference of Mayors. These roles enable Mayor Hovland to keep Edina applying state-of-art solutions to many basic challenges for city governments.
Most importantly, Jim takes the time to wrestle with the issues important to our community with thoughtful, well listened and careful consideration. Jim is an active listener and takes time to hear from all community members on issues that are important to them. Jim believes in creating a culture of excellence among our city employees. He works to sustain our city’s fiscal health and make sure the budget serves the needs of our community.
Jim is a person of integrity.
We were honored to serve under his leadership on the council and proud to support him for another term.
Please re-elect Jim Hovland for Mayor of Edina
“Edina is a highly desirable place to live. Virtually all Edina residents (98%) rated their overall quality of life as excellent or good, which was a higher rating than seen in other communities in Minnesota and across the nation. This rating has remained stable since Edina first surveyed in 2011.” –2019 City of Edina Quality of Life survey, “Key Findings” section.
In Jennifer Janovy’s Letter to the Editor (“5th term for Hovland nothing to celebrate,” Sept 3), she suggests that the perceived quality of life in Edina is deteriorating, and that Edina would be better if Mayor Hovland would step aside rather than running for another term. Janovy lists multiple reasons why she believes nobody challenged the incumbent Mayor.
I agree having competition for elected positions is a good thing in a democratic society. Janovy’s negativity toward Mayor Hovland and her reasons for why he is running uncontested are where we disagree.
According to Janovy, it “has to be the right time to run” for people who must balance jobs, family and health. The Mayor faces these same issues. It could be that the pandemic, civil unrest, affordable housing crisis, climate change, and stress of guiding a redeveloping community caused potential candidates to question if this election cycle was the right time to run.
I agree it can be costly to run a campaign in Edina. Most candidates do not self-fund their campaign expenses. The traditional route involves being active in the community through commissions, task forces and other volunteer endeavors. This gives the community time to observe leadership skills and ability to work with others. The result has people encouraging your run for office as well as making monetary donations to support you. Mayor Hovland has a long list of bipartisan supporters because of his demonstrated leadership and care for this community.
Janovy also suggests that Mayor Hovland has an advantage over other candidates who might have to pay for childcare or take unpaid time off work to attend meetings. As an attorney, Mayor Hovland is often paid hourly for his legal work. Each meeting or ribbon cutting is unpaid time from his work. In my four years on the City Council, I have yet to attend an event (day or night) where the Mayor was not present.
Edina may also be lacking candidates for Mayor because of the constant negativity from a small group of Edina residents. Using news and social media outlets, negativism is amplified while constructive feedback is not. Questioning decisions leaders make is a healthy part of any democracy; personal attacks are not. This has an unintended consequence of potential candidates questioning whether they want to be on the receiving end of constant negativity.
Unfortunately, these public attempts to discredit local elected officials often lead to negative perceptions of our city. Janovy writes that “the percentage of residents rating Edina’s quality of life as ‘excellent’ has dropped 40 points.” As my first paragraph quoting the 2019 Quality of Life survey suggests, this is misleading and could be damaging to Edina’s reputation. Did a potential home buyer read Jennifer’s letter? How about a CEO looking to relocate her company, or a potential future candidate for public office? Who wants to jump on a sinking ship? Words matter.
What an impact Janovy could have made had she written a letter to the editor expressing her concerns respectfully while also thanking the mayor and the seven candidates who stepped forward for the two City Council spots. I believe choosing positivity and words of empowerment will build Edina into a stronger community.
I hope all of us reach out and thank the new City Council candidates as well as Mayor Hovland, visit their websites, and learn more about them. If you find a favorite City Council candidate, send a donation. Most important, when two of them eventually get elected, continue to appreciate their work and be respectful, even when you aren’t in agreement. This is the best way to ensure excellent candidates in the future.
Mike Fischer is a member of the Edina City Council.
As three generations of Edina residents we strongly support Jim Hovland’s re-election for Edina Mayor.
Edina provides great housing options for both of our households. Catherine, Tom & Andrew appreciate great sidewalks and a wonderful community in the Country Club neighborhood. Bill and Carol moved to the Grandview Square condominiums as a nice location and to be close to family. It is a perfect location for them with no shoveling or raking and great access to parks, the library and shopping. Jim’s leadership and support of a variety of housing options across Edina is important for all ages.
Under Jim’s leadership and example, we feel connected to our community. Jim’s “Walks with the Mayor,” recent Mayor’s Minutes, and overall accessibility set a fabulous tone for our community. He genuinely wants to connect with and listen to the citizens of Edina. Whether it is partnering with the Edina Community Foundation on the 4th of July Parade or with the Edina High School Black Student Union to make 50th and France “bloom” with thoughtful messages, Jim’s leadership as our mayor makes Edina a more vibrant and better place to live.
Edina has been widely recognized as a pre-eminent city, not just in Minnesota, but across the country, for many generations. Because of the vision and actions of Mayor Hovland, the city council and other city officials such as Scott Neal, we are confident Edina will retain this reputation for many generations to come. From the impressive transformation of the Southdale area to the beautiful Arden Park restoration, Jim’s commitment to both maintaining a wonderful community and making sure we build for the future makes Edina very special.
Catherine, Tom & Andrew Gump
Carol and Bill Hay
As father and daughter and longtime residents of Edina, we think we have a broad perspective of our great Edina community. We know that many things contribute to Edina being a preeminent place to live, work and do business – things like quality housing, a well-designed infrastructure and outstanding city services and of course, exceptional schools.
But all of these things just don’t happen by accident. Strong community leadership is necessary to ensure that all facets of our complex community are in place and working well. This requires vision, insight and knowledge.
In Edina, we have been highly fortunate to have Mayor Jim Hovland as a proactive, caring leader who has an in-depth understanding of the needs of our dynamic community. In addition, he demonstrates the dedication and commitment to pursue initiatives that improve what we have and to prepare us for what is ahead.
Jim is uniquely positioned to lead Edina into the future through not only the experience that he has gained as a council member and mayor, but also through his engagement with regional and national organizations enabling him to bring leading-edge thinking and concepts to our community.
Edina, like all communities, is facing challenging times. Not only is the nature of Edina evolving due to a broader changing economic and sociological landscape but we are facing special family, business, community and municipal realities due to COVID-19. To meet these many new challenges Edina needs steady, proven leadership to help us all navigate through possibly unsettled waters ahead.
We strongly endorse Jim for re-election this fall and we strongly encourage Edina residents to vote for him. He has a proven track record of exceptional leadership and a caring, compassionate approach to his duties as our Edina Mayor. We need his continued leadership.
Dennis Maetzold, Former Edina Mayor
Leslie Grothe, EHS Class of 2000
My wife and I consider it a privilege to live and work in Edina and participate in the life of civic groups in this wonderful city. Our children have been raised and schooled here and we appreciate the important benefits of all of our public services, including our schools and parks and the finest police and fire protection anywhere.
Excellence in these areas, and a whole lot more, does not happen in a vacuum: it is through leadership that has vision, intelligence and courage. Mayor Jim Hovland is a servant leader who has continuously been serving our community in a dedicated and excellent way, as reflected by the quality of life we all can enjoy. Although running unopposed again this election, we urge you to join our family in support Mayor Hovland in his re-election campaign.
Robert and Patti Solheim