Mayor Stephens announces bid for second term
Woodbury's first female mayor announced this week that she's seeking a second term.
“We have come out of the recession strong and as a leading community, but there is still more to do” Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens said.
Stephens was elected mayor in 2010 after serving one term on the Woodbury City Council.
Economic Development and bringing jobs to Woodbury was a key focus for her when she ran in 2010. Looking back, she said, “We positioned ourselves well during the recession and are starting to see the benefits with increased jobs, new home starts, growth and expansion of existing businesses and attraction of new businesses.”
Redevelopment of the former State Farm site, now called City Place, has been a priority. Being patient in maintaining the vision of the campus as “places to work”, while allowing some flexibility, is paying off, she explained. The city has been working with Elion Partners who recently submitted an application for the site.
Supporting existing businesses has been equally important to Stephens. She worked with staff to reinvent the Business Outreach Meetings.
“It is important to meet and listen to our businesses,’’ she said.
Serving on the Woodbury Chamber Board also keeps her connected and she enjoys the ribbon cuttings where she can personally welcome a business to the community.
Woodbury is known for its high quality of life and residents place a high value on recreational opportunities, Stephens noted. A good foundation already exists with Central Park and Lookout Ridge, Eagle Valley Golf Course, and the parks and trail system. Bielenberg Sports Center is the community’s “crown jewel” slated for a July 4th grand reopening.
“It has been such an honor to serve on the Bielenberg Sports Center Task force and to work on the expansion project,” she said. “My children spent many hours in ‘the bubble.’ As a soccer coach and girls and boys traveling director, I spent even more hours in the facility. I won’t miss that it didn’t have heat in the winter.”
The new facility, opening this summer, will be a permanent structure with conference and convention facilities in addition to the upgraded sports facilities.
Partnering with Madison Claire Foundation on a fully accessible playground and with the Minnesota United FC Professional Soccer team will make the Bielenberg campus that much better, she said.
“When completed,” Stephens added, “the Bielenberg campus will have something for everyone in the community.”
Stephens and her husband, Greg, moved to Woodbury 29 years ago and have two children, Jane and David. Jane is married, and she and her husband Garrett have settled in Woodbury.
She is President of the Woodbury Economic Development Authority and is Chair of the Woodbury Housing and Redevelopment Authority. She serves on the boards of the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce and the Woodbury Community Foundation and is a member of the Woodbury Lions. She also serves on a variety of regional committees that impact Woodbury.