It didn't hit Patrick Geagan how much he missed being a part of city government until he was elected Eagan mayor this past week.
"I was telling my wife the other day how much I missed it," said Geagan, who served as Eagan's police chief for a decade and in the Police Department for 30 years.
"It's really been a part of me and I didn't realize that until I drove up to City Hall the morning after the election."
Geagan, who retired as Eagan's police chief in 1999 and now works as a private investigator with Heartland Powers Business Intelligence, defeated Eagan Advisory Planning Commission Chairperson Gary Huusko in the Nov. 5 election.
Geagan took nearly 70 percent of the vote in winning the election with 17,677 votes. Huusko received 7,606 votes. In January, he will replace outgoing Mayor Pat Awada, who was elected as state auditor.
"It's pretty exciting," Geagan said. "It's really a priviledge and an honor and I know people are pretty loose with these words, but it really means a lot to me. I've been involved in the city for so long and it really is important to me to see Eagan do well."
Although some cities are concerned with what the state will do regarding its budget shortfall, including the possibly reducing state aid to cities, Geagan said Eagan has less to worry about.
"We don't have to worry about that for this year and we are in pretty good shape for 2003." he said.
"The city isn't as reliant on state aid as some cities and we've already tightened our belt so that it won't affect us that much. But the state's finances will certainly impact on the community."
Another issue that will be important for Geagan is addressing how the city can preserve green space. He said it became clear to him that voters were interested in the issue while he was knocking doors during his campaign.
"We are going to have to look at how we want to go about it and who pays for it," Geagan said. "I know it's important to the people of Eagan because I heard it so often while I was out campaigning."
Part of his role as mayor will be bringing the members ofthe council together and easing the transition, he said.
"We will need to build a relationship on the council and that's going to take some time," he said. "That's part of what I think my role would be to bring the members of the old council and the new council together."
Geagan said Eagan residents can expect him to be a very open and accessible mayor.