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President's Message

November 9, 2015

President's Message

By Bob Cockriel, APWA-MN President

In just under two weeks, the Minnesota Chapter of the American Public Works Association will be kicking off the 70th annual Fall Conference, held once again at the Earle Brown Center in Brooklyn Center. For those of you who haven’t already done so, there is still time to register for the Wednesday Workshop and the Fall Conference!

This year looks to be yet another great learning and networking opportunity for our members. The Workshop features two all-day concurrent tracks: Public Works as First Responders and Writing to Get Things Done. 

The Fall Conference once again features two full days of excellent general session topics and speakers, 10 concurrent sessions highlighting some very relevant and current topics, a new Thursday evening networking opportunity for members, chapter updates, partner agency updates, the ever popular Business Meeting, and maybe even a few surprises along the way.

Learn more about both events and register today!

It has been a very productive and busy year for the chapter’s many committees, led by their dedicated leaders and members. While this message doesn’t afford me the space to detail all of the hard work of these committees, I am proud to report that their efforts have and will continue to provide outstanding service to our chapter, the national organization, as well as to our industry. To everyone who has volunteered to chair or serve the chapter on all of these committees, thank you for a job very well done!

I want to also thank Klayton Eckles, current president of the City Engineers Association of Minnesota (CEAM), CEAM members, and our own chapter leadership and members who supported and participated in efforts to work through some very time-constrained, sensitive, and controversial issues regarding the proposed changes by the Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) to their Master Water Supply Plan. In what started out as an adversarial and territorial conversation about drinking water use and supplies grew into a civil and, dare I say, productive outcome for both the owners and operators of the local water systems, as well as for MCES staff responsible for the regional planning and the future use and impacts to the water resources within the seven-county metro region. 

I am hopeful this recent collaborative experience between CEAM, APWA-MN, and MCES will provide a model of how future discussions on regional resource concerns can be handled going forward.   

In the coming months, APWA-MN will get a chance to once again step into the national limelight as we continue our efforts in the planning for the 2016 PWX to be held in Minneapolis, August 28 -31, 2016. Led by 2016 PWX Co-Chairs Angela Popenhagen and Jeannine Clancy, subcommittees have formed, leadership assignments made, meetings held, and much work already accomplished behind the scenes. You will all be hearing a lot more about this great opportunity to showcase Minnesota and our chapter as we continue to solicit volunteers and work towards a memorable 2016 PWX experience for all.

Thank you to all of the APWA-MN members who have reached out to me over the past year and provided me with your assistance and support. I am looking forward to serving you as president for the remainder of this year, and hope to see many of you in a couple of weeks at the Fall Conference! 

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