Briefs: Matt Little sworn in as Lakeville’s mayor
Updated: January 12, 2013 – 8:34 PMThe 28-year-old law student and two-year City Council member becomes the city’s youngest mayor.
A changing of the guard happened last week on the Lakeville City Council.
Matt Little, the youngest person to become the suburb’s mayor, was sworn in by Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea, a fellow graduate of the University of Minnesota-Morris.
Little, 28, is a second-year law school student at the University of Minnesota who has been working as a law clerk. On the council for less than two years, Little won 44 percent of the vote in November, beating incumbent Mark Bellows, 58, and longtime Council Member Laurie Rieb, 54. Little thanked them both at last week’s council meeting for their long service.
“To be elected mayor of my hometown is a special privilege,” he said. “It is not about extremes or ideologies. It is not my way or the highway,” Little told a packed City Council chamber where two other council members were sworn in. “When we disagree, which we will and we should … we can talk it out,” he said.
Little said he wants to blend traditional town square discourse with online interaction.
“We can build a virtual town square where we watch council members online and discuss critical budget items on Twitter or Facebook,” he said. “We can bring Norman Rockwell into the 21st century.”
Little hopes to retain a small-town feeling in the growing city of more than 56,000.
“We can grow a bigger and better city without losing our small town heart. To do that, people in our town square must work together to solve problems. Everyone has a role to play in creating jobs and economic growth, in insuring a safe community and streets, and in making City Hall efficient, responsive and effective.”
Also sworn in, by retired District Court Judge Thomas Poch, was new member Doug Anderson, who said he grew up with Poch in St. Paul where they attended the same Methodist church. Poch also swore in the council’s now senior member, Kerrin Swecker, 46, for a second full term.