BEST MAYOR Minneapolis 2005 - Karen Anderson
Anderson is a dying breed in today's snarling, sound-byting political culture--she is possessed of civility, foresight, and common sense. She got her start more than 20 years ago working for the League of Women Voters, and has retained that fervor for citizen participation and public service. She often allows people who aren't "on the agenda" to speak without time constraints at public meetings. And although Minnetonka City Manager John Gunyou claims Anderson "really does her homework" and "knows every line item in the budget," her sense of good government extends beyond her city's borders. In 2002, she became the first suburban mayor ever elected president of the National League of Cities. A year later, although Minnetonka did not receive any local government aid from the Minnesota State Legislature, Anderson opposed Governor Pawlenty's sharp LGA cuts. Noting that Minnetonka benefited from the Hennepin County library system and the Met Council's funding of the airport and transit, she stated, "To cut cities' LGA because they spend more than my city just doesn't make sense." A similar sense of fairness and decency probably played a part in the decision by Anderson, who is a Republican, not to endorse President Bush in the last election. Nevertheless, she is so well respected that Bush named her to his Presidential Commission on Homeland Security. Unfortunately, Anderson recently announced that, after being elected to three four-year terms, she will not run again this November. Hopefully, instead of retiring, Karen Anderson is finally listening to the people who have been urging her for years to run for state auditor.