Lauri Winterfeldt, Published December 11 2013
Letter: Mayor Mark Voxland led city with humility and intelligenceThe Forum’s recent articles about Mayor Mark Voxland did a great job of capturing the humility and integrity with which he’s led the city of Moorhead. His leadership is deserving of the recognition he received.
It wasn’t surprising to read about the reputation Voxland enjoyed in St. Paul and beyond. He was president of the League of Minnesota Cities at a time when the state budget was driving a wedge between municipalities. He used his role to start an initiative called “Walk a Mile” where suburban, metropolitan, rural and greater Minnesota city leaders would visit each other and learn about the challenges other elected and appointed officials were facing in cities throughout the state.
Voxland’s firm belief in the power of relationships between individuals helped all of the cities unite as one Minnesota in the face of reductions in state aid. He also is an extremely intelligent and well-read man.
His humble demeanor often hides an amazing understanding of political theory and history. On more than one occasion, this knowledge has been used to inform a council member of potential unintended consequences of a given action. He would also frequently relate a story of triumph in the face of adversity from a recent biography he’d read.
The one area where Mayor Voxland’s humility would slip is in discussing his family. No other discussion would generate such exuberance from him. His pride in his children and grandchildren and his love and appreciation for Donna were always evident. He also often expressed appreciation for his crew at Voxland Electric acknowledging that they often covered the business so he could focus on his mayoral duties.
When his family was younger, Voxland was an active Boy Scout leader. As he leaves elected office, I’m reminded of one of the tenets of scouting that he embodied as mayor. He left Moorhead better than he found it. Thank you, Mark.
Winterfeldt is a former member of the Moorhead City Council.