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David Todd takes over as City Administrator in Lanesboro


Fri, Aug 2nd, 2013
Posted in Lanesboro Government

David Todd has been settling into his new role in a new town. Photo by Jade Sexton

David Todd came to Minnesota all the way from Maryville, Mo. to start a new life and a new job. In June, he took over the position of the city administrator of Lanesboro, Minn.

Todd is now living in Rochester, Minn. with his wife, Hilarie and their son Riley, and he is enjoying his new adventure.

“There’s a lot more to do here,” he said. “There are tons of things to do in Rochester and in this Lanesboro area.”

Todd attended graduate school at the University of Nebraska and graduated in 1998. Since then, he has been working in public safety as a sergeant in a police department. He enjoyed that line of work for the most part, but especially the administrative aspects.

Working as a city administrator was always a career goal for Todd, so when he saw the position in Lanesboro was open, he took a chance. He didn’t want to move too far away from his home in Missouri, but he was open to coming to Minnesota. It’s a six-hour drive to Minnesota from Maryville.

There has been a lot to learn for Todd, and a lot of new experiences. He has worked with the public for many years, and there are some similarities in the two careers. “I’m really just working for a different arm of the government,” he said. “The transition wasn’t all that difficult.”

There is also a lot that is brand new, and he has been working hard to learn all there is to know. There are many things about the new job that he prefers to his previous one.

Working with planning and zoning and city ordinances is different than working as a police officer in that the ordinances are in black and white and easy to defend. “As a police officer you have to use some discretion,” shared Todd. “At times it’s easier to deal with when it’s clear. I am responsible for what’s set by the council.”

Some people are interested in the inner workings of government, and Todd is one of those people. “It’s always been fascinating to me,” he shared. “Lanesboro is a tourist area, and the business people and the residents are very active in what’s going on. That’s how you’re going to change things.”

Todd described the small town government as the “jumping off point for democracy.” He admires how passionate people are about Lanesboro. He also enjoys being able to get to know the residents one on one, something that isn’t possible in a larger town.

There are a lot of projects on the table for Lanesboro, and Todd is learning about and working on each one along with learning his new duties. He is working on Phase one and two of the water treatment project, to fix the problem with high levels of radium in the water. There was a storm sewer project that was recently completed, but the dam project is by far the largest. The city tried to get the project put on the state bonding bill for 2013, but it was not approved. They will keep trying every year.

“We already have about two-thirds of it financed,” said Todd. “The best way to get the rest of the money is through state bonding.”

Todd understands the importance of the dam. Not only is there a historical aspect to it, but it’s a part of the community’s identity.

“People come to Lanesboro to see the dam,” said Todd. “And there’s also the hydroelectric power. It’s very important to the city.”

Todd is feeling more confident every day, and has survived the busy tourist season in Lanesboro so far. He has brought family from Missouri and Iowa to visit Lanesboro, and they have all enjoyed it as well. Todd loves how a person can walk or bike anywhere in Lanesboro, and there is always something going on.

“It has great appeal,” he said.

Todd commented that the city staff has been fantastic helping him get settled into his new position. “They have been very helpful, and very welcoming.”

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