Mayoral Candidate: Linda Loomis, an Incumbent Seeking Fifth Term

She worries about the economy and touts her role in Envision Golden Valley

Editor's Note: .  So far, Jeff Beck has not responded to our requests for an interview. Patch will also be talking with candidates for city council before the Nov. 8th elections.

After a decade as mayor and in the middle of her fifth campaign, Linda Loomis says she wants another term to help Golden Valley weather through difficult economic times and to follow through with ongoing projects.

“I hate politics, I hate running for office,” she said, “but once you get past the politics, once I’ve won, once I’m mayor, there are a lot of good things that can be done.”

Loomis cites Envision Golden Valley, a large-scale 2005 project to turn resident input into an executable plan for the city, as her greatest accomplishment as mayor, and she is also proud of her work in negotiating a water contract with Minneapolis.

“We had efforts come out of Envision like the Market in the Valley,” she said, “and it got citizens to step out of their ordinary roles and step forward and do things that benefit the community as a whole.”

A Golden Valley Native

Loomis’ parents bought a Golden Valley home in 1956, and she raised her two children in the city.

In the 1990s Loomis worked in the financial sector for Northwestern National Bank, Twin Cities Federal and Knutson Mortgage, where she served as a compliance officer until she was laid off and decided to stay at home with her kids.

She joined Golden Valley community organizations, including the, which encouraged her to run for mayor in 2001.

Her children attended and Loomis now works part-time at the school as a para-professional, but she considers being mayor her “day job.”

“It’s not intended to be a full-time job,” she said, “but let me tell you, I put in more than full-time hours.”

She has also taken leadership roles in organizations such as the Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission, the Joint Water Commisssion and People Responding in Social Ministry.

Looming Challenges

Loomis said the primary challenge facing the city is the tough financial climate.

“The economy doesn’t seem to be getting any better, and Golden Valley has always had a reputation for being well-maintained,” she said. “We’re looking to provide a high-quality service without overburdening our residents with taxes.”

She said she has been working with city staff to cut expenses.

“We’ve stretched out our pavement management program to try to reduce the amount of debt levy that we place on the taxpayers,”

One way she hopes to turn around the economy is through redevelopment projects. The city has done corridor studies to find areas “ripe for development,” and she says she is working with the county and the state to rehabilitate Douglas Drive.

“It’s important to make sure that we’re doing the right redevelopment for the community,” she said, “and that it doesn’t overwhelm neighborhoods but still provides us with a good tax base.”

She said she is also working on improving the “taste and odor of the city’s water,” renovating the Brookview Community Center and starting initiatives with “the faith community.”

A Confident Campaigner

Loomis said that every election cycle she debates with herself whether to run again. (She didn’t declare she would be pursuing a fifth term until early August.)

“You always think about not running, because quite frankly it takes a lot of time and there’s a lot going on in the community that I could get involved with that’s not necessarily appropriate for me to do as mayor,” she said. “[For example] I could join the garden club.”

She said she’s been door knocking, fundraising and putting out signs.

“It’s tough to be mayor and run a campaign,” she said. “Every day it’s meeting after meeting, and I don’t have too much time to campaign.”

But she sounded untroubled by the danger posed by her two opponents for mayor.  One of those men, Shep Harris, is actively campaigning for the job.

“I don’t know what any of my opponents' positions are,” she said. “I did see a flyer from [Harris], and I don’t see where he’s distinguished himself from me except he doesn’t have the experience that I have or the community involvement.”

Election day in Golden Valley is Nov. 8.

Editor's Note: Patch incorrectly stated that Loomis is a teacher at Meadowbrook Elemetary.  She is actually a para-professional who works in the lunchroom and on the playground, but not as a teacher.  We have since corrected the error.

Andrea Wiley October 12, 2011 at 04:28 PM
I personally know that Shep Harris has been extensively involved with the Robbinsdale Area Schools through his work on the Legislative Action Coalition. As Mayor, he would like to greatly increase collaboration and communication with both of our great schools districts.
ocf October 12, 2011 at 09:16 PM
The Market in the Valley only came to fruition with the support of Mayor Loomis, city council, city manager and the folks on Envision, I for one was at the market almost every week and Mayor Loomis was there, answering questions, offering ideas, supporting non profits and supporting her town. Ask some of the local businesses, (mcDonalds, Dunn Bros) the market was a boost for local businesses. Anyone who actually has taken the time to talk with Mayor Loomis knows she is thoughtful and bright. She is not impulsive or reactive. She is available in the middle of the day to return calls & attend meetings about proposals such as the dog park. She treats her role as a full time leader and Golden Valley is happy to have her. We need to be thoughtful and think through changing course. The other candidates have not been involved in many community acitivities in Golden Valley, getting to know the community and what "works" with the residents of Golden Valley. I am involved in many groups and have failed to see any other candidates at any of the groups. Linda Loomis has our vote and the votes of our neighbors as well!!!
Delilah October 12, 2011 at 09:20 PM
Candidate Harris needs to be candid about his full time role at a large law firm, which no doubt requires full time work. How will he balance his career with the responsibilities of being mayor? . Will he discontinue his lobbying activities because I believe it will be quite a conflict of interest for him to be a lobbiest at the State Capitol and the non partisan mayor of this town. He says he is a government relations specialist, but he also has a list of clients he lobbies for. Don't think about the pie in the sky million dollar new community center, think about where that money would come from, on the backs of the tax payers of Golden Valley. As we continue in these uncertain economic times, I support Mayor Loomis and her steady leadership and her genuine interest in the "community" that is Golden Valley.
Elaine Wynne October 12, 2011 at 10:58 PM
Shep Harris is a strong candidate - he has done government advocacy and community service for schools and communities in Golden Valley. He has strong new leadership ideas and skills which bring people together with a problem solving style. It is a good thing to turn over leadership after 10 years when there is a strong competent candidate interested in taking on the challenges. As for the above issue about where money would come from...in the future money could come from preventing problems instead of paying later for things that could have been prevented.
Andy Snope October 12, 2011 at 11:36 PM
I have met Shep Harris a few times out on his campaign. He is easy to talk to, approachable and gives me the feeling that, as a resident, he wants to hear my questions and concerns and ideas. This is encouragement to me to get involved in our community and bring other voices together. The current administration has been an opposite experience, at one conversation I was met with defensiveness, when an attack of policy was obviously not my intent. I am encouraged by Mr. Harris's ideas for enhanced community engagement and responsive collaborative government, I feel that he has the ability to bring ideas of the many together, which in turn will make us a stronger community. Mr. Harris has outlined some of his ideas for his leadership on his web site, http://shepharris.com He is also very easy to get in contact with and I would encourage all to do so to get more information from him.
Shep Harris October 13, 2011 at 02:31 AM
Thanks to Patch for providing this community forum. I would encourage readers to go to my campaign web site - www.ShepHarris.com - and see that I offer a sound platform of key community issues and a more than adequate combination of community leadership and professional experience. Alternatively, I welcome the opportunity to answer questions, hear concerns, etc. by calling me at 612-219-8531 anytime (day or night). Otherwise, I urge members of the community to attend the League of Women Voters Forum on Oct. 26 at 7pm at City Hall and see the significant difference I would bring to city leadership as Mayor
LK November 01, 2011 at 12:25 PM
Shep, you encouraged those of us at the Candidate Forum to compare your campaign website to that of your opponent, Linda Loomis. You are correct the two websites are vastly different. While Linda Loomis’ accomplishments are public record and really don’t need website affirmation, it is nice to see all the local support that Linda has from those she has worked with in the past 10 years. Your website lists the one year you served on the GV Human Services Foundation under community volunteering. It was 2006 (your website says 2005). You attended 4 of 12 meetings/events. If a 33% attendance record is something to be proud of, I wonder at the commitment you would afford the city as Mayor. Those on your campaign committee who also served on the foundation at the same time should have brought this to your attention, if you and your supporters believe in transparency. Linda’s website shows that she shares the kind of long term experience, knowledge, and community activism that many of your esteemed supporters do. Your supporters include the long serving elected representatives; Senator Ann Rest (25+ years), State Representative Lyndon Carlson (35+ years), State Representative Phyllis Kahn (35+ years). It is nice to know that Linda as Mayor for 10 years is in such good company. It looks like Mayor Loomis could accomplish more if we keep her experience, knowledge and proven leadership. November 8th, Linda Loomis is the Mayoral candidate to vote for.
Warner Lacque November 07, 2011 at 07:29 PM
Shep Harris just posted his campaign finances at the Golden Valley City Offices. He has raised over $23,000. This amount is roughly 4 times more than the other candidates for mayor. Of this $23,000, only 8% has come from residents of Golden Valley. What concerns me is: WHY are so many people OUTSIDE of Golden Valley this motivated to elect Shep as the new mayor and what might they expect in return?


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