Edina Zephyrus

Edina’s Monthly “Walk With the Mayor” Event Facilitates an Open Community Dialogue

Jenna Simon, Online Editor in Chief

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On the third Saturday of each month, the city of Edina hosts its “Walk With the Mayor” event. These walks are meant to give Edina residents the opportunity to talk with Mayor James Hovland about city issues and are held at various parks around the city.

The idea for “Walk With the Mayor” first came about several years ago when the city of Edina was involved with healthcare provider BlueCross BlueShield in their “do.town” initiative. Along with Richfield and Bloomington, Edina worked to make more people aware of their wellness and bring community members into the discussion on how to make their city healthier.

“We ran a pilot for about 18 months, and then as part of that process, we made quite a few policy commitments on enhancing walkability in Edina,” Edina City Mayor James Hovland said. Some of the policy commitments included developing sidewalk strategies and a farmers’ market concept. “In that mix, we decided that we would start a “Walk With the Mayor” every third Saturday of the month at 9:00 in the morning,” Mayor Hovland said. However, in the summer months, the walks will be held on weekdays, in order to assure that community members can enjoy their weekends with family and friends.

The issues discussed on the walks vary. Occasionally, the location of a walk will be planned to coincide with a potential topic of discussion. For example, walkers may go to look at a new development in the city or a future development that has been approved but has not yet occurred. However, most often walk attendees come with their own concerns to discuss with the mayor.

“It’s a combination of people that just come to get a little exercise and have a conversation about what’s going on around town, or it’s people that come with specific concerns that they have that they want to address with me, and it gives them a chance to do that without having to come to a City Council meeting,” Mayor Hovland said.

Attendance at the walks varies each month, but “Walk With the Mayor” has regular attendees who come to discuss particular city issues. Mayor Hovland commented that he would love to see more students at the walks, whether they were just there to learn and talk with new people, or to talk with him about programs at the high school of which they feel he should be aware. “I’d love to have more students come and participate in ‘Walk With the Mayor.’ We could have a great conversation and meet a lot of nice people and fine people in our town in the process. It’s well worth it; it’s democracy at its finest,” Mayor Hovland said.

The next “Walk With the Mayor” will be held at 6:30 PM on Saturday, May 31 at the Rosland Park shelter near Lake Cornelia.

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About the Writer
Jenna Simon, online editor-in-chief

It’s no secret that Zephyrus Online Editor in Chief Jenna Simon is horribly inept. Her favorite hobbies include regularly falling for predictable pranks and accidentally damaging the newly renovated high school. Her motto is “drive like Jenna, but don’t park like Jenna,” as she drives an average of 10mph below the limit and has been in two car crashes, both while trying (and failing) to park. Jenna’s biggest (positive) accomplishments in English and editing include memorizing the entirety of Schoolhouse Rock’s “Grammar Rock,” and getting the error on her ACT score report fixed when she misspelled her own first name on the statewide testing date.

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The official student-run news publication of Edina High School.
Edina’s Monthly “Walk With the Mayor” Event Facilitates an Open Community Dialogue