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Lehmann honored last week by CGMC

Bemidji Mayor Richard Lehmann, left, accepts the Jack Murray Award from Tim Strand, the mayor of St. Peter, Minn., and the president of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities. The CGMC presented Lehmann with the award Aug. 19. Submitted Photo

Bemidji Mayor Richard Lehmann was recognized by the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities last week at the Coalition's three-day summer conference in Winona for his excellence in service to greater Minnesota.

The Jack Murray Award is given annually to retiring city officials who demonstrate knowledge, leadership and active participation in CGMC program areas over their public service career. The award is named for Jack Murray, mayor of International Falls, who was instrumental in CGMC's formation.

Lehmann is not seeking re-election and is instead campaigning as a Republican for the House 4A seat now held by Rep. John Persell (DFL, Bemidji).

As mayor, Lehmann has been a supporter of the Coalition and its programs. Specifically, he emerged as a vocal advocate for Local Government Aid in local and statewide media.

Earlier this year, he spoke about the importance of LGA to the Bemidji city budget and managed to draw the specific notice of Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Lehmann then engaged the governor in a face-to-face meeting on LGA.

The CGMC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization representing 75 cities outside of the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

The Coalition educates legislators about issues important to greater Minnesota.