Granite Falls Mayor Dave Smiglewski was elected to serve as president of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) Aug. 4 at the Coalition’s three-day summer conference in Fergus Fall. As president, Smiglewski will help direct efforts to inform state legislators on issues unique to Greater Minnesota, such as Local Government Aid (LGA), economic development, transportation and environmental policy.

Smiglewski was elected by fellow mayors and city officials from across the state to lead the CGMC, long considered one of the most active, high-profile organizations to represent rural communities at the State Capitol.

“As a veteran member of the CGMC Board of Directors, Dave has long been an outspoken advocate for our organization, his city and other communities in Greater Minnesota,” said Bradley Peterson, executive director of the CGMC. “With his experience and knowledge about key issues affecting rural communities, I’m confident he will serve the CGMC well.”

In addition to being elected president of the CGMC, Smiglewski is a 2017 recipient of the Coalition’s “Excellence in Service” Award. The Excellence in Service Award is given annually to a city leader who demonstrates knowledge, leadership and active participation in CGMC program areas over the past year. He received the award at the CGMC’s annual Legislative Awards Dinner on Aug. 3.

Over the past year, Smiglewski was instrumental in informing the media and the public about the CGMC’s legislative goals by participating in press conferences and interviews with numerous media outlets. He also co-authored a guest column with Alexandria Mayor Sara Carlson prior to the 2016 election in which they urged voters to elect candidates who are serious about finding solutions to the concerns facing Greater Minnesota. The column was published in more than 20 newspapers across the state.

“Dave is always ready and willing to help advance Greater Minnesota priorities in any way he can,” said Carlson, whom Smiglewski will be replacing as CGMC president. “The CGMC will be in good hands under his leadership.”

CGMC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization representing 90 cities outside of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The Coalition educates legislators about issues important to Greater Minnesota.