Anne Hurlburt, retired city administrator of Scandia
Anne Hurlburt has worked in city administration, planning and community development for 33 years. She was most recently Scandia’s first city administrator until retiring late last year. She helped guide and develop the budding city, which was incorporated in 2006 and has a population of just under 4,000. Before her stint in Scandia, she was Plymouth’s community development director and executive director of its Housing and Redevelopment Authority for 13 years. She also was manager of comprehensive planning at the Metropolitan Council and planning director for Cottage Grove. Hurlburt, 56, recently was awarded the Sensible Land Use Coalition’s Moe Dorton Award for her leadership abilities in land-use planning and development. An avid quilter, she launched a quilt-finishing business called Scandia Quilt Studio and is now devoting more time to her business.
Q: How did you get started in city planning?
A: I ended up in urban planning as a major in college. I’ve joked over the years that it was at the time a socially acceptable way for a female to get into the family business, which was construction. My dad, uncle and grandfather had a construction company in a small town in Iowa. My dad said, “Girls don’t do that kind of work.”
Q: What stands out from your time in Plymouth?
A: It was a pretty high-growth time for the city. When I started, the population was around 50,000 and when I left it was over 70,000. I had as many as 30 people in my department. There were some years when we issued permits for close to 1,000 dwellings.
Q: Why take the position in Scandia?
A: I was ready for a change. … And there was the whole idea of, “OK, you can be a city administrator and kind of build it from the ground up,” and that was fairly enticing. It was the chance to do something different that would really use everything I had learned over all those years of working in city government. I was glad I was paying attention during all those Plymouth council meetings when they were talking about liquor licenses and equipment, because I had to be way hands-on with things that I never really directly had been involved in before.
Q: Was Scandia still a township when you interviewed for the position?
A: Yes. The incorporation hearings were going on at the time I was interviewing for the job, and when I accepted they were still waiting for the judge’s order. The order came down within the first month I was there.
Q: How’s your quilt-finishing business?
A: I love it. … I started it almost five years ago with the idea that it would be my retirement business.
Liz Wolf is a freelance writer in Eagan. She can be reached at email@example.com.