Granite Falls mayor Dave Smiglewski was recently named as the 2020 C.C. Ludwig Award winner by the League of Minnesota Cities. The C.C. Ludwig award is named for a former League executive director and is considered to be the League’s highest award for elected officials. Established in 1962, the award is presented annually in celebration of outstanding service. Recipients are chosen for their vision, statesmanship, and unwavering commitment to the public good.
Smiglewski has served as Granite Falls mayor for the past 24 years. Prior to that, he served as a city councilor and was first elected to that position in 1979. He is a former newspaper publisher and general manager, and has served on the Board of Directors for the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, the League of Minnesota Cities, and the Greater Minnesota Partnership – an organization that advocates for policies and programs that help foster economic development in Greater Minnesota. Smiglewski has also been involved in several community organizations, including the Kiwanis Club, Project Turnabout, and the local food shelf, among others. In 2016, he was chosen as a Bush Foundation Fellow.
Smiglewski is cited by two of his nominators particularly for his exceptional leadership during three natural disasters – two floods and a tornado — occurring in the city. They noted that, “His dedication and commitment was key in overcoming these challenging times. In addition, after flooding occurred, he became very active in mitigation efforts to ensure the community’s sustainability for years to come.” Another nominator noted that Mayor Smiglewski has a passion not only for Granite Falls, but for all cities in Minnesota as demonstrated by his participation on municipal association boards. “The Mayor is ready and willing to do what it takes whenever possible, and is fair and level-headed,” said the nominator. “I appreciate the fact that he believes in the concept of One Minnesota.”
The C.C. Ludwig Award competition was judged by a panel of former members of the League of Minnesota Cities Board of Directors, including Mary McComber, mayor, Oak Park Heights; Mark McNeill, city administrator, Mendota Heights; and Donna Schmitt, mayor, Columbia Heights.
The League of Minnesota Cities is a membership organization dedicated to helping cities throughout Minnesota build quality communities through effective advocacy, expert analysis, trusted guidance, and collective action. The League serves its more than 830 member cities through advocacy, education and training, policy development, risk management, and other services.