Lindstrom resigns as Falcon Heights mayor, joins Met Council


file photo Peter Lindstrom, who resigned as mayor of Falcon Heights to join the Metropolitan Council, on the roof of Falcon Heights City Hall in 2016.

Peter Lindstrom resigned as mayor of Falcon Heights and was sworn in as a member of the Metropolitan Council on March 6. He represents the council’s District 10, which includes northwest Ramsey County and part of Anoka County.

His letter of resignation, dated March 4, was brief, explaining he was leaving to take on the Met Council role.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of Falcon Heights in this capacity,” the three-term mayor wrote.

A city council member before he was elected as mayor, unopposed, in 2007, Lindstrom said he applied to join the Met Council because his near two decades of experience in city government meant he had much to offer.

His last years as mayor were marked by the July 2016 police killing of Philando Castile on Larpenteur Avenue, blocks from Falcon Heights City Hall.

Lindstrom presided over tense meetings as protesters packed the city council chambers demanding justice for Castile; protesters also showed up at his home.

The police shooting ended the relationship between Falcon Heights and the St. Anthony Police Department, which had policed the city since the mid-90s through the end of 2017. 

Lindstrom and other council members were supportive of the police department, which employed the officer who killed Castile, even as the relationship soured. Their ire eventually turned toward the St. Anthony City Council, which brought on the separation.

The former mayor helped convene the city’s Inclusion and Policing Task Force, which sought to identify Falcon Heights’ values when it comes to police protection and to make the city a more inclusive place.

Lindstrom and other city officials have discussed the task force process through learning exchanges put on by the Kettering Foundation that involve local government and interested citizens.

Lindstrom’s term was up at the end of the year; he said prior to his appointment that he hadn’t made up his mind about running for another term this fall.

 

 

Musical chairs

Falcon Heights City Administrator Sack Thongvanh said in a news release that the city council will accept Lindstrom’s resignation at its March 13 meeting.

Because there’s less than a year left in the former mayor’s term, Thongvanh said he expected the council to appoint a council member as mayor through the end of the year.

That appointment will open up a council seat, and the council will act to fill it depending on how long is left in the newly opened term.

With Lindstrom’s departure, only two council members remain from the summer that Castile was killed: Randy Gustafson and Pamela Harris. 

Harris was appointed last year to fill the seat of Joe Brown Thunder, who resigned to move to California. Harris opted against running in the 2017 election, but the council brought her back on board from a field of 11 applicants based on her decade of experience with the body. 

Her term is up at the end of the year and she’s said previously that she doesn’t plan to run again.

 

—Mike Munzenrider

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