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Paynesville Press - October 15, 2003

Thompson elected president of state mayor's association

By Michael Jacobson

Jeff Thompson MayorPaynesville Mayor Jeff Thompson was elected president this month of the Minnesota Mayors' Association.

The association, affiliated with the League of Minnesota Cities, is just for mayors and has 250 members statewide. It holds two main functions during the year, a meeting at the League of Minnesota Cities annual conference and an annual conference of its own.

It was at this annual conference in Duluth in early October that Thompson was elected president of the association.

Mayor Jeff Thompson was recently elected president of the Minnesota Mayors' Association. He will share nearly 18 months as president.

Thompson, who has been mayor of Paynesville since 1996 (and has been on the city council since 1989), has served on the board of directors for the Minnesota Mayors' Association for four years.

Normally, mayors must serve as director, treasurer, secretary, vice president, and president, but Thompson's track was faster since one mayor ahead of him was defeated at the polls and another chose not to run again.

The mayors' organization is a great resource for sharing ideas, said Thompson, and also serves as a mentorship program. It also helps to develop a network of contacts to call when problems or questions arise, he added.

With state aid being cut to cities last year, Thompson wants to be active in lobbying in St. Paul on behalf of Minnesota's cities as president of the mayors' association. "I like being involved, of course," he said of his work with the association, "and I was hoping I could halp the association become more legislatively active."

The board meets irregularly, and sometimes via teleconference. Their biggest task is to organize the next conference.

Thompson will actually help organize two conferences. The mayors' association is switching from a fall to a spring conference, meaning Thompson will serve nearly 18 months instead of just one year. He will help organize one conference in the spring of 2004 and another in the spring of 2005, when he is replaced as president of the association.

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