Growing up, Melanie Mesko Lee watched her mother’s dedication to public service working for the City of Eagan Parks and Recreation Department. She also had the opportunity to meet and get to know others who had dedicated their lives to the public sector, including both former Eagan City Administrator Tom Hedges and former Assistant City Administrator Jon Hohenstein.
“Local government is not a profession that is typically on young people’s radar,” said Mesko Lee.
However, she says this early introduction to public service opened her eyes to a potential career, and her passion for local government has kept her in the profession for nearly two decades.
Path to Burnsville
Mesko Lee started in the City’s top administrative role on Jan. 14, replacing former City Manager Heather Johnston who left the organization in June 2018.
Prior to coming to Burnsville, Mesko Lee served as City Administrator for the City of Hastings. She was promoted to that role in 2013 after working as the Assistant City Administrator for 14 years. Mesko Lee says one of her proudest moments in Hastings was the completion of a multi-year renovation of the city’s riverfront and historic downtown. The project included a robust public engagement process, resulting in many decisions being made from community comments.
“This ‘Riverfront Renaissance’ allowed us as a staff to be creative and support each other through the process to help the council reach its vision,” said Mesko Lee.
Mesko Lee feels Burnsville is well-positioned for the future, and says she is excited to be a part of the community. She looks forward to getting to know staff and helping shape Burnsville’s growth and development. She notes that she is particularly interested in the Burnsville Center/County Road 42 Redevelopment Plan and the opportunities it provides for residents and businesses.
Mesko Lee holds a Master of Public Administration from Hamline University in St. Paul, and a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration from Minnesota State University Mankato. She currently lives in Empire Township with her husband, two children and the family dog.