About the Author
My First Four Weeks on the Job
Jennifer Bennerotte, July 1, 2012 | Public Works
My name is Brian Olson and I am the new Public Works Director for the City of Edina. I want to to introduce myself, tell you about my past experience and give you my impression of the first four weeks of my employment with the City of Edina.
My Past Experience
My public sector experience began in the City of Marshfield, Wis., as a parks seasonal employee for three summers while I was going to high school. I continued my career as a temporary employee for the City of Monona, Wis., as an engineering intern while I was attending the University of Wisconsin at Madison. I graduated from Madison with a bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering in 1992. After graduation, I moved to the Twin Cities and began working as a Civil Engineer for the City of New Brighton. In New Brighton, I spent eight years working with residents and City Council to implement a street reconstruction program there.
The last 12 years, I was employed by the City of Ramsey in their Public Works Department. Ramsey was a pretty exciting adventure. I started there as City Engineer in 2000 and got involved with Public Works operations in 2003. In 2006, I was promoted to the Director of Public Works and was ultimately responsible for the Facilities, Utilities, Parks, Engineering and Streets divisions. During my tenure with Ramsey, we saw a lot of change. With growth and demand for new residential homes in that area during the early 2000s, it was a challenge to make sure that the growth did not have an adverse impact to the existing residents. This is a philosophy that I will continue to foster in Edina and definitely kept us on our toes. After 2007, growth slowed pretty dramatically, as it did across the state, but we continued to provide the service levels that the Ramsey residents expected, building water towers, constructing new wells and building much-needed transportation infrastructure.
My First Four Weeks at Edina
This is the fourth week of my employment and I have had the opportunity to meet most of the departments across the City and have seen most of the amenities and services that are provided to the residents of Edina. I have met with all of the Public Works staff and have been extremely impressed with the passion that each member of this staff has regarding their role in this organization but more importantly the pride they have in providing service to the nearly 48,000 residents of this community.
It has been a whirlwind of activity these past four weeks and I am just wrapping my arms around all that occurs here. From the tours of parks, Fire Station, South Metro Public Safety Training Facility, Police Department, Aquatic Center, Edina Art Center and City Hall, it is easy to see that Edina is a gem of the State of Minnesota. Everyone, from the City Council and City Manager to the seasonal employees, have been welcoming and all share the passion for service to the residents. It is truly an infectious and exciting opportunity to be part of such an incredible team.
Thank you for this opportunity and please email me or respond to this blog to let me know your ideas on how the Public Works Department can better serve you.