ST. CLOUD -- This week in our "Behind the Scenes" series on WJON, we sit down with the man responsible for over 68,000 people and see what it takes to run a city.

Since 2005 Dave Kleis has had a hand in running St. Cloud much like the many mayors before him.

"I'm the cities chief lobbyist so I spend time down in St. Paul I spend time in Washington D.C. meeting with our Congressional and Legislative delegations," says Kleis.

The mayor of St. Cloud is a full time position and Kleis says no day is ever the same.

"That's what I like about it, it comes with a tremendous amount of variety," says Kleis.

His day can begin early with multiple meetings, ribbon cutting ceremonies, or other commitments. And can also go late late in the evening with council meetings or other city events.

"There are days I have to change clothes several times for the different places I go that require different attire," says Kleis.

Along with maintaining a public appearance in the city, Kleis is also responsible for answering the many concerns of the residents.

"We get many phone calls throughout the day," says Kleis. "Your sewer, water, roads, your garbage all those things that we get calls on on a regular basis."

Running the 8th largest city in Minnesota can be a challenge and Kleis says his staff helps make things in the the city run smoothly.

"The mayor's office is similar to a corporation where as mayor I serve as the CEO, the city manager serves as the Chief Operating Manager and the council serves as the board of directors," says Kleis.

However, sometimes the most challenging part of the job is making a decision some residents may not agree with.

"Everything you do there is going to be a difference in opinion, even in the positive things you do but you still need to make a decision," says Kleis.

Kleis says he values ever residents opinion and works hard to take their ideas and apply them to the city.


St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis signs one of many documents on his desk. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)