The Excelsior Rotary Club – February 14, 2022
Club Notes:  Steve Frazier acted as Opening Marshal and Presided over the meeting as President Elect and standing in for President Graber who was in Florida at his grandson’s ball game.   After Birthdays and Anniversaries Kate Wilinski reviewed the Rotary outing to attend the play “Clue” that is being directed by Jim Cada that will be held on February, 26th at 2:00PM at MHS.  She noted that several tickets remain available.  Find upcoming events on the back page of the bulletin.  
Sad News:   Karen Frazier had a heart valve replacement on Valentine’s Day, then passed away unexpectedly after arriving home on February 15th.   Karen was a marvelous part of the heart and spirit of our club and our love and prayers go out to Steve and the Frazier family.  Members will be notified the date and time of her Celebration of Life Service to be held at Excelsior United Methodist Church.   
STRIVE:  Due to the Writing Center’s availability the meeting was held at 1:00PM on Thursday, February 24th with Don Draayer presenting on “Service Above Self”.  Don discussed the Rotary International motto and a brief history of the founding and purpose of Rotary to serve others and that STRIVE is sponsored and provides Mentors for the program.  Don then had the students break into small groups to discuss “Who are the OTHERS in our lives WHO COUNT ON US?” and a set of discussion questions.
Our Program for Tuesday, January 15th was Excelsior Mayor Todd Carlson.  Todd had a fun introduction by asking a few Final Jeopardy questions leading to the City of Excelsior on the South Shore of Lake Minnetonka.  He then gave a brief background and his experience.  He has been married to Alicia for 23 years and has two sons; Reece who is 17 and a senior at MHS and Noah age 11.  Oh, and Bogie their dog!  Todd has a B.A in Business Adm., and an M.B.A. in Marketing.  He has worked with Xerox and working now with 3M.  He then told us some fun things about himself and involvement in local governments.  Todd enjoys music, biking, is a certified Storm Spotter, tends two of his own vineyards in Excelsior, and was previously Mayor in Yountville, California.  He hopes to retire and live in Bordeaux, France and his Dad was a Rotarian for 35 years serving both as President of his club and District Governor.  Todd has served on the Excelsior City Council from 2015 to 2019 and was then elected as Mayor on November 6th in 2019.
He shared three sayings that guide his life practices:  “Learn and Listen”, “Just Do, Push Through” and “Own Your Neighborhood”.  He smiled and said, “And if you are going to fail, fail fast!”  Using those tenants he talked about the goals and priorities for Excelsior in 2022.  First, Excelsior needs a new City Hall with adequate office space.  The council owns several properties that are under consideration and they hope to make a final decision yet this spring.  Second is the priority to continue upgrading the infrastructure of roads and utilities.  Much has been done already but there are still several neighborhood roads that need help.  Third, the council wants to keep the downtown vibrant and accessible.  Todd highlighted the two properties; the old Gas Pump and Gary’s First Class Auto Repair.  The Pump property is still unsettled.  The auto repair property may be used as residential apartments.  The other area is the continuing planning process of the Excelsior Hotel.  Parking downtown is an issue and a small ramp may be in the works, and the parking meters on Lake Street and the Commons have been very successful bringing in $30,000/year.  This led to the fourth goal and the development of the Excelsior Commons and the C4C that is in its second stage of planning and including the infrastructure of the property.  The fifth and final priority is to make walkability within the city convenient and accessible to residents and particularly the area adjacent to the Mill Street Bridge, including 2 & 3rd Avenue and Wheeler Drive.  Todd finished with a great Q&A session.                
The Club then discussed the C4C funding options and referred the matter to the Board with general agreement to do a Rotary Grant Proposal.