MWMO Board Chair Steve Eggert believes that longevity helps you to see the big picture. The retired real estate developer and U.S. Air Force veteran has been a Fridley resident since 1964 who naturally brings a big-picture view to his work as a Fridley City Council member and MWMO commissioner.
A self-described “numbers guy,” Eggert won election to the city council in 2018 after serving for nine years on the city’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority. He says he thinks of public service as being primarily about good stewardship of public resources — not about politics.
“I’ve never wanted to be a politician,” Eggert says. “You would think on the local level it’s about politics, but it’s really not. It’s about asset management. It’s roads and bridges and water and sewer and utilities and safety.”
Eggert spent much of his career in the private sector working with architects, engineers, developers, and cities on redevelopment projects. He understands the complex discussions and competing pressures that motivate various project stakeholders. When Fridley needed to appoint a new commissioner to the MWMO, he was a natural fit.
The MWMO has done several large projects in Fridley, including the restoration of Stevenson Ravine, habitat restoration at Riverfront Regional Park and Islands of Peace Park, and adding green stormwater infrastructure as part of a street reconstruction project. The MWMO also gave Fridley a grant to outfit its snow plow fleet with smart salting equipment.
Eggert was involved in the development of Fridley’s new civic campus and the surrounding area. As an HRA member, he pushed to build the redevelopment around a stormwater feature that would serve as an amenity as well as improving water quality and habitat. For that project, the MWMO was able to help the city with maintenance and monitoring of the new stormwater systems.
Eggert says the MWMO has reached a level of maturity during the course of its 20 years, and as board chair he hopes to help open new doors and facilitate collaboration and partnerships to move things forward.
“I think the timing is great for the organization. I think other groups are recognizing the MWMO and realizing, ‘Let’s get together, work with each other, and accomplish some really great things.’”