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Matt Little Running to be Next Mayor of Lakeville

Council member says he's not happy with the leadership being provided, and neither are residents.

Lakeville's 2012 election season is starting early. has announced he'll be running to become Lakeville's next mayor.

"We need leadership now," Little told Lakeville Patch of the decision to run. "I wouldn't be running for mayor if I was happy with our leadership."

Meanwhile, told Thisweek Newspapers that he'll also be running for reelection.

Little said the decision to run wasn't easy, and hinged on the number of people he said have asked him to run for mayor.

"I was at an event a few weeks ago and two seniors came up to me and said, 'We're ready to vote for you for mayor,'" he said. "Other seniors, parents—more than a couple have asked me to run."

Little, 26, acknowledged that the competition and campaign will be stiff, especially from "naysayers" who will point to his youth and inexperience as encumbrances. He's also had critics who have complained about his use of social media, like Facebook and Twitter.

But Little, who is a law student at the University of Minnesota, said youth shouldn't be an issue, and he's proven to be a transparent and accessible council member.

"I'm always available, and any good leader needs to be available and accessible," Little said. "I'm at the community events. I'm responding to letters from constituents. I'm replying to messages on Facebook and Twitter. If we're creating policy for the city, we need to know what people want. I'm doing that."

As for inexperience, Little, who won his first term to the City Council in 2010, points to the as one of the crown jewels of his work. He said he stood up for the seniors and other community members to advocate for the center, which will be the new home for , Beyond the , and Lakeville Area Historical Society, in 2012.

He also points to three of his 2010 campaign tent-poles being accomplished as evidence of success:

  • Public safety: The council approved the hiring of two part-time police administrative staff members to help keep officers on the streets and away from computers. Little tried to donate half is council salary to make it happen, but the council declined to approve the donation.
  • Improving infrastructure: earlier this year, the council passed a massive plan to fix some of Lakeville's aging roadways.
  • Keeping taxes low: the council voted to hold Lakeville's tax levy neutral for 2012.

And that work will dovetail into what he hopes to accomplish as mayor, he said.

"We need to focus on what Lakeville is good at," Little said. "And this community is an amazing place to raise kids. People move here for families."

So Little says he wants to keep improving infrastructure, maintain public safety as a cornerstone of the city's work, and provide as many recreational opportunities for families as possible, all while keeping costs low.

The other issue Little wants to tackle: jobs.

"We need to add and maintain high quality jobs," he said.

He pointed to the Costco discussion as one that's flawed and unhealthy.

"We have an incredibly educated workforce in Lakeville," he said. "We need those high quality jobs here."

The election is Nov. 6, 2012. If Little were to win, the remaining two years on his council term would be filled by an appointment made by the council. If he were to lose, he's still an elected member of the City Council.

michael bischel November 25, 2011 at 05:24 PM
Good Humor. I didn't know the Patch was running articles on satire
Travis Fick November 25, 2011 at 07:36 PM
Councilman Little has done an excellent job and am excited for him to run for mayor!
tim ross November 25, 2011 at 10:18 PM
Really!!!
Andy Mako November 26, 2011 at 09:11 PM
What impressed me about Matt Little is he was the only council member who stood up against spending 25 grand on the study of the municipal liquor stores. Although, the study did put the liquor store question to rest, was the only way to do that by spending all that money? I also like his idea that Lakeville should focus on attracting quality jobs.
michael bischel November 26, 2011 at 09:28 PM
Increasing taxes doesn't attract potential employers.
Travis Fick November 26, 2011 at 09:33 PM
Neither does crumbling infrastructure, declining population and an underfunded public school system.
michael bischel November 26, 2011 at 09:46 PM
True. Good thing Lakeville has none of that.
Andy Mako November 26, 2011 at 10:06 PM
Who said anything about taxes? But if the only way you can attract new businesses is by reducing the taxes they would pay, are they really a benefit for your city? I would rather live in an attractive, safe community and commute 20 minutes to Bloomington or some other congested suburb for my job. Many people talk about wanting more business in Lakeville, as if they want Lakeville to end up like Apple Valley or Burnsville. If people want to live in a place that looks and feels like those places, why didn't they buy a house in those ultimate suburbs?
Travis Fick November 26, 2011 at 10:10 PM
Seriously? I have a few suggestions: 1. Drive around Lakeville and take a peak at how many houses are for sale, not say that they are moving out of the city but not everyone is staying. 2. Take a look at where the road improvements are happening. It's not Lakeville. 3. We just closed a school and laid off nearly 100 teachers.
michael bischel November 26, 2011 at 10:18 PM
Everyone has their reason for living where they do. You should really educate yourself on the taxes that are paid by existing businesses. Apple Valley and Burnsville have a lot to offer as well.
michael bischel November 26, 2011 at 10:20 PM
The tax payers voted for that. They didn't want to pay more.
michael bischel November 26, 2011 at 10:23 PM
Spending money because you can doesn't make a person special. It just illustrates the waste that exists in our society
Travis Fick November 26, 2011 at 10:31 PM
Spending on this that matter is not a waste at all. I would consider our veterans and seniors two pretty special groups of people. Same with our children, public employees, business people, I really could go on and on...
Andy Mako November 26, 2011 at 11:16 PM
Speaking of taxes, this is what the current mayor said about them two years ago, "...we have the lowest tax capacity rate, and our taxes are among the lowest in the county..." Those are good things. Has anything changed in the last two years? No. So taxes and spending are national issues, but I don't think they are what is currently most important in our local politics.
michael bischel November 27, 2011 at 12:35 AM
I guess will find out if spending is an issue next November. I love how the the tax and spend issue always gets pushed off to another level of government like it comes from a different pocket.
Terry Elliott November 27, 2011 at 01:00 AM
I can understand why Matt LIttle would run for office, after seeing the poor leadership exhibited by Mayor Bellows in seemingly new incidents every month. I appreciate Matt Little's role on the current council. But I won't be voting for him as he would be in over his head. Tweeting during meeting and exercising deliberative, innovative mayoral leadership are not the same things.
Jacque Mihm November 27, 2011 at 10:50 PM
Matt Little could not be in over his head on any topic. History shows he does his research, listens to the community and makes decisions after obtaining facts. He is the one our family will vote for and will have no trouble winning!
Akozulla November 28, 2011 at 02:10 AM
Wow
Akozulla November 28, 2011 at 02:21 AM
He has never run a business. He has never made a payroll. He has never paid property taxes. He has been on the city council for only a year. He is in his twenties with no experience managing... well.. ANYTHING! He, in no way, has the qualifications to run a town of 50,000 people. This is like a 6th grader teaching a college Chemistry class... waaaaay over his head! This is not a game for an inexperienced kid. Lakeville is a CONSERVATIVE town and we need a conservative mayor. We will be voting, once again, for Mark Bellows.
Travis Fick November 28, 2011 at 03:34 AM
We need a mayor that will work for everyone's interest not just the conservatives in Lakeville. That's what is wrong with the current political system, its one side or the other and nothing in between.
michael bischel November 28, 2011 at 06:21 AM
Travis. God love you but if you like tax and spend type programs. Your probably going to be unsuccessful!
Andy Mako November 28, 2011 at 05:15 PM
Michael I just think you are being blinded by some sort of paradigm that says only a very conservative politician will cut our taxes and everyone else is a liberal who is into taxing and spending. It is a fine opinion but I don't see how any of the issues the council has wrangled over in the last two years boils down into this type of split. The truth is the city does collect taxes but then it also provides many necessary services such as a police department, volunteer fire department, parks, etc.
Akozulla November 28, 2011 at 05:18 PM
We cannot AFFORD the tax and spend type right now. We are in debt. We need to curb our appetitie for 'extras' right now. This is not a game. We need experience and maturity.
Andy Mako November 28, 2011 at 05:26 PM
The experience issue is an interesting point. Mark Bellows does have a lot of experience, and so I would have expected him to be able to handle the council and lead the community with more finesse. I’m not sure how it has happened exactly, but it does seem that the council has ended up to be a rather contentious body this year. I think part of the problem may be operating under this dual classification framework where everything and everyone can be labeled conservative or liberal. For sure there is a lot more to learn about these two candidates. It should be interesting.
michael bischel November 28, 2011 at 05:59 PM
Andy. Your right! The spending needs to be curbed. Tough decisions need to be made. So the paradigm that works every time is one that lives within its means, not one that pulls out the credit card or becomes more oppressive to those actually trying to provide that good job you were talking about
Travis Fick November 29, 2011 at 11:11 PM
I really don't think that anyone would disagree with the need to cut spending. But how we get to the ultimate goal of cutting spending is what is the most controversial. Like Andy and Michael, I agree we need to cut spending, but it needs to be done in a way that is not partisan. I will say that I have enjoyed the discussion with the two other gentlemen who have been participating. If only our congressional leaders could do the same.
Colin Lee December 01, 2011 at 03:27 PM
This thread is light on facts. Matt Little voted to lower your taxes this year. He also tried hard to DONATE half his salary to the city budget to help keep more cops on the street.
Lenny from Lakeville July 11, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Colin To start with are you endorsing Matt Little? Second yes he wanted to donate half his salary and the tax payers would pay the rest correct? That means if he got voted out of office the postion would go a way or taxes would have to pay for the entire position not? in your mind is that not a tax increase? It is easy to say you will donate half your salary when you do not have kids to pay for, a payroll to get out, a car payment, a house payment, etc... and all you need to do is wake up and go to school. Matt Little has to little real life experience to guide a city from my point of view. Maybe you should run for Mayor!
Billy September 05, 2012 at 11:23 AM
Matt little lives in his parents basement, doesn't have a full time job and is using his time here as a potential launching pad. His career choice is big time politics, therefore he is shooting for a quick resume builder before attempting something bigger. We need a mayor that has a long term investment in the city and that symbol is home ownership

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