BLOOMINGTON— The City of Bloomington was recognized as a regional leader and innovator by the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce during its first annual Regional Leaders and Innovators Award presentation on Sept. 28.
The Chamber honored municipal leaders throughout the Twin Cities who “exemplify innovation, excellence and commitment to the long-term economic success of their respective communities.”
Bloomington Mayor Tim Busse and two of the City’s programs received awards.
Honorees were selected for their contributions to innovative public policy solutions that advance the public good and demonstrate a commitment to efficient and effective government in workforce and economic development, mobility (transit/transportation), housing affordability, public safety, and sustainability.
Bloomington received the award for Innovation in Public Safety for the Bloomington Police Department’s Share Community Values initiative and for Innovation in Sustainability for its new Curbside Cleanup program.
Starting in late 2022, the Bloomington Police Department began a process with the community to develop a set of shared core values aimed at maintaining and increasing trust between police and the Bloomington community.
“The project brought together community members that included faith, civic and business leaders. The shared values identified by this process—respect, compassion, honesty, and service—have been imprinted into the DNA of the Police Department and serve as a prominent reminder of why and how we provide services,” Police Chief Booker Hodges said. “These values have also allowed us to be fully staffed, which has resulted in increased community engagement and reduced crime.”
Bloomington’s popular annual Curbside Cleanup began as a way to keep the city clean and provide a way for residents to dispose of bulky, unwanted items, but over the years it presented serious environmental and fiscal concerns for the City. At the direction of the City Council, staff moved forward with a new program for handling bulky materials more sustainably, including a modified, every-other-year Curbside Cleanup with limited items accepted, monthly pick-up of reusable and recyclable bulky items, an annual recycling drop-off event, and swap events.
“The new program allows the City to reduce the annual fee residents pay and is helping the City reuse and recycle more and landfill less,” Solid Waste Program Coordinator Laura Horner said.
The Chamber’s first-ever Bold North Award was presented to Mayor Tim Busse. Jonathan Weinhagen, President & CEO at Minneapolis Regional Chamber said the award is about honoring an individual who espouses the Bold North mentality and who is willing to champion the region no matter the circumstances.
“I can think of no better individual to receive this inaugural award than Mayor Tim Busse. While our Expo bid may not have been successful, our region and state were extremely well received on the world stage and this effort only served to strengthen our region’s strong public-private partnerships,” Weinhagen said. “Mayor Busse’s leadership and efforts in helping us carry this bid show that Minnesota is worthy of the global spotlight. We made global connections that will continue to highlight our state as a desirable destination for tourism, business, and investment.”