In November of 2010, Matt Little was elected to his first term as a Lakeville City Councilor.
At the time, Little—who was just 25-year-old—was considered an unlikely choice. He was too young, too green and too liberal for Lakeville's council, opponents said.
But his public message emphasising public safety, low taxes, and volunteerism seemed to resonate with voters, and he was elected in spite of what critics said.
Fast forward two years.
In November of 2012, Little was elected to his first term as Lakeville Mayor.
Little, 28-year-old law student at the University of Minnesota, is now a big leader—steering Lakeville, a suburban town with 60,000 people, as it's mayor.
And while many things can change in two years, some things, like attacks about his age don't. While running for mayor, critics again said he was too young, too green and too liberal for Lakeville's mayoral seat.
"The fact that I'm young is old news," Little said. "People will just have to look at the results of my work to determine whether or not my youth is a detriment or benefit."
Today, Little's been mayor of Lakeville—officially—for a month, and the council that showed stress the previous two years has been working smoothly thus far, he said.
"It's been great," Little said. "This council has an incredible working relationship. We've been productive, efficient, and civil."
And while his vacated seat on the council is going to be filled next month by appointment from a group of applicants, Little said he is actively working with the current council to drive Lakeville forward.
"In less than two months we will have appointed Task Force members for the visioning process, made an appointment to the vacant seat, and created policies that will drive economic development in Lakeville," he said. "This is all while doing our more routine work."
Little said his priorities include getting the visioning process off the ground, and to point a new councilor to his vacant seat.
"Then we'll be focused on Economic Development work which is an on-going process," he said. "We have other work to complete such as Heritage Center fundraising, and transportation issues, and we'll be working to beef up our ability to influence state and national legislation to maximize the benefits we can obtain for Lakeville citizens."
And for a social media fan, the fact Lakeville will soon be on Facebook is music to Little's ears.
"I'm happy to see us updating our policies to provide more avenues for the public to communicate their concerns to the city," he said.
As for his the mayor he unseated, Little said he has the utmost respect for Mark Bellows.
"I thank Mayor Bellows and Councilor (Laurie) Rieb for their service," Little said. "I know they will stay involved in making Lakeville a better city, and I look forward to working with them."
Little said he is thankful for the additional opportunities to talk to people that being mayor has offered.
"I have the opportunity to be at more events and meetings," he said. "I really enjoy being at these types of things, it provides me greater insight by observing committee meetings and talking to more residents about their concerns."