Mayor's Office
THE CITY OF DULUTH, MINNESOTA

About the Mayor

Don Ness was elected mayor in 2007 from a field of 12 candidates. Four years later, Ness became the first mayor to run unopposed since Duluth was incorporated in 1887.

Mayor Ness takes a no-nonsense, solution-minded approach to his job. His administration has adopted the motto "Own it - Solve it" and has developed an impressive record of accomplishment and problem solving.

The accomplishments have not gone unrecognized. 2013 Leaders in Public Policy awarded Duluth as 2013 Local Government of the Year. Minnesota Monthly named Mayor Ness as one of ten "Minnesotans of 2012" and the 2013 National Citizen Survey showed that residents of Duluth gave Mayor Ness a 90% job approval rating.

Ness graduated from UMD in 1997 with a degree in Business Administration and is currently working on a MBA degree. Don and his wife Laura have three children, Eleanor, James, and Owen. They live in the Hillside neighborhood of Duluth.

Primary accomplishments of the Ness Administration (2008-present):

  • Reducing the Retiree Health Care unfunded liability by $186 million
  • Implementing a new Street Improvement Program that fixed over 60 miles of city streets in three years
  • Developed and implemented a plan to eliminate sanitary sewer overflows into Lake Superior - a plan that is under budget and ahead of schedule
  • Reduced the general fund budget from $81 million in 2008 to actual expenditures of $71 million in 2010
  • Increased the General Fund Reserve from a negative balance of $1.35 million at the end of 2008 to a reserve of $7.53 million in 2011, meeting the City’s goal of a 10% reserve for the first time since 2002
  • Creation and passage of the Unified Development Code, Duluth’s first new zoning code since 1958. Created a One Stop Shop for Planning and Construction services to support and encourage construction in Duluth.
  • $2.6 million Parks and Recreation referendum passed in 2011 with 57% voter support.

Communications Office News Releases

08/29/2014Media Advisory: Ground Breaking Ceremony at Wade Stadium, Tuesday, September 2, Noon
08/27/2014Environmental Assessment Worksheet on Slip 2 in Duluth Harbor Available for Public Comment
08/27/2014Citizens Encouraged to Apply to Serve on Lakewalk Task Force
08/19/2014Media Advisory: Mayor Ness and Community to Participate in Minnesota Hiking Celebration August 21, 2014 at 1:00 PM
08/19/2014Media Advisory: Minnesota Environmental Quality Board to Host Public Meeting in Duluth Tomorrow, 1 p.m.

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Don Ness
Mayor
City Hall, Room 403
411 West First Street
Duluth, MN 55802
218-730-5230, Fax: (218) 730-5904

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