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Mayor Frey nominates Enrique Velázquez as director of Regulatory Services

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MINNEAPOLIS— Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has nominated the City of Minneapolis’ Director of Inspections Services, Enrique Velázquez, as the next Director of Regulatory Services.

Under the new government structure and upon City Council approval, Velázquez will step into a leadership role in the Office of Public Service to manage the Regulatory Services department and collaborate across the enterprise.

“Enrique is the clear choice to serve as the next leader for Regulatory Services,” said Frey. “His positive attitude, well-established tenacity, and solutions-oriented approach have made him an invaluable leader throughout the challenges we’ve confronted as a local government. Enrique’s dedication to public service is shown through the collaborative work he has implemented, such as tackling the rental property inspections backlog and supporting local businesses during the height of the pandemic. I am grateful for his willingness to step into this leadership role and continue his public service career with our team.”

As the Director of Regulatory Services, Velázquez will provide solution-oriented direction and leadership to over 190 department staff members in four divisions, including traffic control, inspection services, animal care and control, and other operations and engagement.

“Enrique’s experience using innovative approaches to provide equitable services will continue to serve our residents and businesses well,” said Interim City Operations Officer Heather Johnston. “His thoughtful and human-centered approach to solving complex problems will be an incredible asset in his new role.”

Velázquez has worked for the City for the past seven years, first as a Manager in the Community Planning and Economic Development department (CPED) and most recently as the Director of Inspection Services in the Regulatory Services department. He is known for fostering creative and people-centered business operations to protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of all residents.

“I am humbled and grateful for this appointment,” said Velázquez. “Steering the course of progress in the present environment requires steadiness, vigilance, and boundless devotion to the greater good. As Director of Regulatory Services, I will serve with an unwavering commitment to balancing innovation and responsibility for our communities. By interweaving diverse community voices into the fabric of our shared work, we will shape our approach to compliance by empowering growth, elevating public safety, and enhancing community livability.”

Throughout his time in CPED and Regulatory Services, Velázquez has demonstrated a deep commitment to collaboration — including building and maintaining rapport with colleagues, community members, and business leaders to ensure diverse voices are heard in the decision-making process. He supported many cross-departmental teams aimed at finding and implementing creative solutions to support local businesses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and his hard work has directly led to a drop in the City’s rental property inspections backlog.

Before coming to the City, Velázquez worked for more than 12 years at private sector companies where he focused on streamlining business processes and developing tactical planning, including for Entrust Corporation, Electronics for Imaging and Hewlett-Packard Company.

The mayor’s nomination will be submitted to the full city council meeting on Thursday, September 7 for consideration and referral to the relevant committee. Under the new government structure, the length of charter department head terms is four years.

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