Mayor for the Day winner leads council meeting

By Dan Solovitz
Posted 11/9/23

The winning applicant for Cottage Grove’s “Mayor for the Day” contest took on official mayoral duties on Nov. 1, culminating in helping lead that evening’s City Council …

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Mayor for the Day winner leads council meeting


The winning applicant for Cottage Grove’s “Mayor for the Day” contest took on official mayoral duties on Nov. 1, culminating in helping lead that evening’s City Council meeting. Fourth grader Mia Nemshick was awarded the one-day position based on the hand-written essay she submitted for consideration, judged on its merit by city staff to be the winner. Nemshick received a seat next to Mayor Myron Bailey at the meeting, her own engraved name plate, and the honor of running the early segments of the meeting.

Nemshick began by calling the meeting to order, then continued, saying, “The first item on our agenda this evening is the Pledge of Allegiance. Please rise.” Roll was called, counting council members Dave Thiede, Justin Olsen, Tony Khambata, Mayor Bailey, and Mayor for the Day Nemshick as present.

Seeing no one from the public wishing to speak in the open forum portion of the meeting, Nemshick banged the gavel to close the forum. She then moved to adopt the evening’s agenda, which was motioned by Olsen and seconded by Thiede. The motion carried unanimously.

Mayor Bailey said that as part of being “Mayor for the Day,” Nemshick got to visit city facilities like the fire station and ice arena, received rides in snowplow trucks and a Zamboni, and was treated to a food truck lunch with city staff.

Bailey noted there was a large field of applicants for this year’s Mayor for the Day essay contest and gave a brief overview of the program.

“Mia was one of over 70 students that had put forth an essay to us about why they would like to be mayor for a day here in Cottage Grove,” he said. “It was pretty amazing to see that many. Staff and myself had to narrow this all the way down to one, and I got the opportunity then to choose Mia for the great information that she’s sharing about what she would like to see in the future of Cottage Grove.”

Earlier in the day, Nemshick had the opportunity to present her ideas on Cottage Grove’s future at a city press conference. She was invited to read her essay for the City Council as well.

She read her winning essay aloud to the council:

Hello, everyone. My name is Mia Nemshick, and I’m a 4th grader at Grey Cloud Elementary School. I’m here to share my dream with you – a dream of being Mayor of Cottage Grove, Minnesota, for a day. Now, you may be wondering why a 4th grader like me aspires to be mayor, and I’ll tell you why.

Cottage Grove is not just a place, it’s our home, a community we cherish. I care deeply about our town and everyone in it, which is why I want the opportunity to be mayor for a day. As mayor, I would be your voice, ensuring that every idea and concern, no matter how big or small, is heard and acted upon.

But there’s more to this dream. I was recently elected to our school’s student council, and that ignited a spark within me to learn about politics and how we can make a positive impact on our community. Being mayor for a day would be a unique opportunity to explore the world of local government, to meet with experienced leaders, and to understand how they make decisions that shape our town’s future.

I’m passionate about preserving our environment, and as mayor, I’d lead initiatives like planting more trees, organizing clean-up events, and making Cottage Grove greener and cleaner. Imagine our town becoming a shining example of environmental stewardship.

And so, with that, I promise to be a responsible and compassionate leader. With your support, we can make Cottage Grove a place where dreams can come true. Thank you for believing in me and this dream to make a difference in our town.

Nemshick received a round of applause from those present at the meeting a framed certificate from Bailey and the council, thanking her for her service as Cottage Grove’s 2023 Mayor for the Day.