As a four-term Mayor of Edina, Jim currently serves as Chair of the Municipal Legislative Commission, Co-Chair of the Regional Council of Mayors and Chair of the Transportation Advisory board to the Metropolitan Council. Jim is also a current board member of the Edina Community Foundation and a member of the Edina Morningside Rotary Club and the Edina Chamber of Commerce.  He is a past recipient of both the prestigious Rotary Service “Above Self” Service Award, and the Edina Chamber of Commerce “Business Person of the Year” Award. 

Jim earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Dakota, and his law degree at the University of Colorado. He is a member of the Minnesota and North Dakota State Bar Associations.  He and his wife, LaRae reside in Edina.

On the more personal side, Jim is also an avid golfer and appreciates good food and conversation around any dinner table. Additionally, he relishes the distinct pleasure of having the time to consume a good book.

Jim also loves evening walks with his wife, LaRae and cherishes their two daughters, Angie (Russ) Freeman of Edina and Erika (Paul) Batcheller of Sioux Falls, SD and their 6 grandkids, Russell, Bradford and Lucie Freeman and Lila, Owen and Wells Batcheller.

Jim’s Resume

Elected Official
Edina City Council  (1997-2004)
Mayor of Edina  (2005-present)

Regional/State Involvement


  • Regional Council of Mayors – Co-Chair (2005 – present) (
  • Minnesota Mayors Together – Member 
  • Transportation Advisory Board (TAB) to the Met Council (2003 to present) – Chair for 4+ years ( planning)
  • SW LRT Corridor Management Committee – Member 
  • SW LRT Community Works Steering Committee – Vice Chair
  • Municipal Legislative Commission – (Chair – 2016-present) (
  • Greater MSP Partner Advisory Council (Member) (
  • Greater MSP Regional Dashboard Working Group – Member 
  • Standing Committee on Transportation and Communications, U.S. Conference of Mayors – Vice Chair (2018-present)
  • U.S. Conference of Mayors – Leadership Committee (2018-present)
  • Transportation Policy & Economic Competitiveness Program (TPEC) at the Humphrey School, University of Minnesota – Advisory Board Member (present)


  • I-494 Corridor Commission – Past Chair
  • US-169 Corridor Coalition – Past Chair

Non-Profit Involvement

  • Edina Community Foundation (Board Member – current) (past Chair)
  • Edina Morningside Rotary Club (Member)
  • Edina Chamber of Commerce (Member and Board Member)

Public Service Related Awards

  • William Koniarski Public Sector Award – 2007 – presented by the MN Transportation Alliance (Award presented for strong leadership and commitment in developing and advocating for transportation improvements in Minnesota)
  • 2012 Distinguished Public Leadership Award – presented by the Center for Transportation Studies – University of Minnesota – (in recognition of public leaders who have advanced the field of transportation through their vision, leadership and knowledge)
  • I494 Corridor Commission Service Award
  • Rotary Service Above Self Distinguished Service Award
  • Edina Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year (past)


  • Attorney – Hovland & Rasmus, PLLC – Partner 

City Achievements & Awards


  • Green Step Cities – Step 5
  • Braemar Golf Course received two “Tracie Awards” from the Toptracer company. The “Challenge Champ Award” honors the facility with the largest participation in its global 9-Shot Challenge among 200 other facilities worldwide. The “Leaderboard Dominator Award” recognizes the facility with the highest number of golfers on its daily global leaderboard.
  • Honor Award from the Minnesota chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies for the new pedestrian bridges at Centennial Lakes Park
  • ASLA Minnesota Chapter Honor Award for Fred Richard Park in the Design (Unbuilt) category
  • National Council on Aging’s National Institute of Senior Centers 2019 Program of Excellence Award for the Edina Senior Center’s “See Them Shine” calendar project
  • National Association of Government Communicators Award of Excellence for “Brand Book”
  • Minnesota Association of Government Communicators Northern Lights Award for “On the Job;” Silver awards for “Agenda: Edina,” “Shift Focus” and “TIF, not Tiff” PSA; Bronze awards for Activities Directory, “Brand Book,” City of Edina Instagram, “Public Art Profiles” and “Start Here” recruitment campaign; and Awards of Merit for Edinet redesign, Edition: Edina and“Hans and Franz Want to Charge You Up” PSA. 


  • Certificates of Achievement for Excellence in Reporting by Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and Popular Annual Financial Report
  • SolSmart Gold designation from the national SolSmart program for making it faster, easier and more affordable for homes and businesses to use solar energy
  • Officers Jesse Penman, Richard Harr and Jake Heckert each received the Bronze Pin Top Enforcer Award from MADD. Bronze Pins are awarded to officers who made 25-49 DUI arrests in the past year. Penman also received the Outstanding Rookie Award which is given to rookie officers who made a difference in 2018 by going above and beyond in the area(s) of education, prevention, policy or enforcement and whose efforts are making an impact in reducing alcohol-related death and injury on Minnesota’s roads. Officer Jaren Zech was awarded the Silver Pin Top Enforcer, which is given to officers who made 50-99 DUI arrests in the past year. Officer Ben Wenande took home the highest Top Enforcer recognition and received the Red Medallion for making over 150 DUI arrests in 2018.
  • Edina/Eden Prairie Police Explorers Post 925 brought home the following awards 24th-annual Minnesota Law Enforcement Explorers Conference in Duluth, Minnesota: first place in traffic-crash reconstruction, first place in burglary response and second place in domestics.
  • National Association of Government Awards of Excellence for redesign and “More is Not Better” salt use PSA
  • City-County Communications & Marketing Association Silver Circle Awards for “On the Job,” “Ready. Set. 5-0!” logo and marketing plan
  • Minnesota Association of Government Communicators Northern Lights Award for “Ready. Set. 5-0!” logo and Silver Award for Edition: Edina © 2023. All Rights Reserved. Prepared and Paid for by the Hovland 2020 Campaign Committee