Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Grading Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges' first year

Author:

Coming into the job a year ago, Betsy Hodges had a hard act to follow.

Outgoing Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak used his "outsize personality" to be a relentless cheerleader for the city, according to City Council President Barbara Johnson, while Hodges has a lower, more reserved profile.

But as she closed out her first year as the mayor of Minnesota's largest city, Hodges is getting high marks for her handling of some major challenges.

MPR News describes her as a savvy politician who was able to reach a compromise with the Metropolitan Council on a route for the Southwest Light Rail line, which will pass through the city's popular chain of lakes area as it connects downtown Minneapolis with Eden Prairie.

Residents of the neighborhood strongly opposed the plan, but Hodges worked with council members to come up with a compromise to keep the project on track.

MPR News notes that Hodges didn't characterize it as a victory, because it is still not embraced by neighbors in the area.

"I understand why people are disappointed, and I understand why people object," Hodges said, according to MPR. "But we were called upon to move forward."

Hodges was thrust into the middle of the #pointergate controversy in early November, when a story by KSTP-TV questioned whether the mayor was flashing a gang sign while posing for a photo with an election canvasser.

The story quickly took on a national profile, most of it critical of KSTP and the police officers who raised the issue.

Hodges didn't comment on it publicly for nearly a week. That strategy was by design, she told MPR.

"It allowed me to go about my business, because other people were saying what needed to be said," said Hodges.

Another hashtag debate over what was called the #lattelevy broke out over the mayor's proposed budget and some changes the City Council considered, which would have saved property taxpayers about $3 per year. In the end, much of what Hodges had proposed made it to final approval.

Speaking of hashtags, Mayor Hodges has attracted quite a following on her Twitter feed, which she uses to send out an inspirational quote every day, and to answer her critics on occasion.

MPR News has a look at her Twitter habits.

Hodges said she expected her first year in office to be a "foundational year," focused on building relationships and planning for the future, according to the Star Tribune.

She has several goals for the city she's just beginning to tackle, including narrowing the income, employment and health gaps between white residents and those of color.

Next Up

Kirill Kaprizov

Wild win battle of NHL's hottest teams, extend winning streak to six

Kirill Kaprizov delivered a shootout winner to take down the Maple Leafs.

Eric Kendricks

Vikings downgrade Eric Kendricks to out against Lions

The Vikings have also activated Michael Pierce from injured reserve.

u.s. attorney

Minnesotan sentenced after assaulting man with baseball bat

Marshall Wayne Boshey was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.

Target store

Target's gift card discount is back, but for this weekend only

The fine print: for Target Circle members only (but membership is free).

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

Minneapolis teen arrested in St. Cloud after fleeing police in stolen vehicle

The vehicle was stolen in a car-jacking in Minneapolis Thursday.

snow, blowing snow

Winter storm warnings issued with heavy snow set to slam MN

Parts of northern Minnesota could see more than a foot of snow, but there won't be much in the Twin Cities.

D'Angelo Russell

With KAT out, Timberwolves can't upset Nets

D'Angelo Russell stepped up but couldn't overcome Brooklyn's firepower.

Everson Griffen Vikings dot com

Everson Griffen confirms he has bipolar disorder

"I’ve been running from it a long time. I’m not ashamed of it anymore.”

Angela Renee Jones, St. Cloud murder suspect

St. Cloud suspect now charged in two local murder cases

Both murders happened within a day of each other in June.

Related