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.

The city is accepting applications for the seat that Little vacated. To request an application, contact the City Clerk at 952-985-4404 or by e-mail at cfriedges@lakevillemn.gov.


Finalists to replace Hedges named

The Eagan City Council has named four finalists to succeed City Administrator Tom Hedges, who will retire in early February.

The city received 39 applications for the job, and the City Council selected the finalists from 10 recommended by a consultant. All of the finalists have experience in city government in the Twin Cities area.

They are:

• Susan Arntz, city administrator of Waconia since 2001 and a former assistant administrator in New Brighton and Chaska.

• Matthew Fulton, a former city manager for Coon Rapids and New Brighton and currently an organizational consultant in California.

• David Osberg, city administrator of Hastings since 1989 and a former city manager and city administrator in St. James and Waterville, Minn.

• Robert Padmore, assistant city manager for Sioux City, Iowa, since 2008 and a former budget and management analyst for Minneapolis.

The council will interview the finalists Thursday and Friday. The public will be able to meet the candidates at an informal reception from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Eagan Community Center.


Nonprofit grants now open for applicants

Nonprofit groups based in Eagan and serving the Eagan community are being encouraged to apply for this year's round of Eagan Foundation grants.

Grants are typically $1,000 or less, but applicants are encouraged to request the amount they need and back it up with a detailed grant application.

"Our community grant program supports local nonprofit organizations that provide support and services directly in Eagan," said Michael Proebstle, chairman of the foundation. "This is a cause we can stand behind and one in which our organization focuses our efforts."

Since 1991, the Eagan Foundation has donated more than $900,000 through student scholarships, local initiatives and community grants, the group says.

For more details on applications and criteria, see www.eaganfoundation.org. Applications are due by Feb. 15 and can be mailed to: Eagan Foundation Inc., c/o Community Grants Committee, P.O. Box 211192, Eagan, MN 55121. Awards will be announced in early spring. For more information, e-mail admin@eaganfoundation.org.


Riveness appointed

Retired Council Member Ed Riveness has been appointed by the Hastings City Council to the seat vacated by Mike Slavik's election to the Dakota County Board.

The council voted 6-0 last week to appoint Riveness, who left the body in 2008. Riveness, 80, has agreed to the council's request that he not run for his appointed seat when the two-year term ends, said Mayor Paul Hicks.

Two City Planning Commission members, Tom Bullington and Mark Vaughan, have objected to the appointment because the council didn't allow residents to apply for the seat. The city's Charter Commission may review the appointment procedure.

Hicks said the current charter language, though vague, gives the council needed flexibility.


January Jump Start to draw job seekers

The Dakota-Scott WorkForce Center is offering January Jump Start, a conference for job seekers, on Jan. 24.

The one-day event will run from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Dakota County Northern Service Center, 1 Mendota Road W. in West St. Paul.

It will feature keynote speaker Stevie Ray, of Stevie Ray's Improv Company, talking about "How to Think on the Spot" with tips to calm the nerves during interviews.

There will also be workshops on a variety of topics, including interview preparation, using LinkedIn and job searching for older workers.

Space is limited and registration is required. Register online at www.positivelyminnesota.com/dakota scottworkshops. If you need special accommodations, call 651-554-5844 or send an e-mail to stacy.klein@co.dakota.mn.us at least 72 hours prior to the event.