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The Last Mayor of Morningside
Scott Neal, June 11, 2012 | Scott Neal
A couple of weeks ago I did an evening speaking gig at the annual meeting of the White Oaks Neighborhood Association. I spoke for 15 minutes about current events around Edina and then did 15 minutes of Q&A. The audience was very kind. They laughed at my lame jokes and provided me snacks. If I were independently wealthy, I’d work for laughs and snacks. But, alas…..
Last fall, I did a similar speaking gig for the annual meeting of the Morningside Neighborhood Association. Again, the audience was very kind. Laughs and snacks. It was good. But at the White Oaks annual meeting, I got to do something that I did not get to do at the Morningside meeting. I met the last Mayor of Morningside: The Honorable Hal Halweg.
That’s Mayor Halweg next to me. He’s the good looking guy to my right. I introduced myself to him, and then he to me. Then he told me that he was last Mayor of Morningside. For those of you who read my blog, but don’t know what Morningside is, you can get a full description at the Morningside Wikipedia page. Briefly, Morningside was an independent city bordered by St. Louis Park, Edina and Minneapolis from 1920 to 1966. In 1966, Morningside residents voted to merge their city into the City of Edina, and they’ve been part of our city ever since.
Despite the fact that Morningside has been part of Edina since 1966, there are still many people around who remember the days of the City of Morningside. Mayor Halweg is evidence of that. We had a great conversation about Morningside and how challenging it was for him to lead the process of dissolving his city and integrating it into a neighboring city. There’s lots of contemporary discussions in the media about why we don’t see more of this kind of thing in Minnesota these days. Mayor Helweg is a good spokesperson for why we don’t. Like a lot of worthy things in life – it’s harder than it looks.
While Morningside is no longer an independent city, it remains an independent neighborhood full of independent people who love their neighborhood and its history. Morningside is a distinctive part of Edina that we would not have today but for the efforts, and courage, of The Last Mayor of Morningside. Thank you Hal.