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“Mayor Preiner was at the very first meeting I had
with the City of Columbus and it was a deciding factor for why I decided to relocate my business to Columbus.”

— William Norton, Viking Industrial

Thank you for the privilege of serving you for the past 4 years. For your home values, for your family, and for your City — I am asking for your vote to continue the progress we are making in Columbus.

I am proud to lead our City, as we — the City Council, Planning Commission, and City staff — accomplish work that positively affects Columbus residents and businesses.


My profile

I am a life-long resident and retired business owner in the City of Columbus.

I have served as Mayor of Columbus since 2019, after 10 years on the Columbus Planning and Zoning Commission — I’m not a single-issue candidate.

I have been involved in city business for the past 20+ years. As Mayor, I’m committed to visionary growth, encouraging development that has low impact to our residents, while bringing substantial tax revenue to Columbus — so that we can continue to enjoy and afford our rural atmosphere.

If re-elected, I will continue to commit my time and experience to solve issues challenging Columbus residents and businesses. The results of my leadership working with residents and the City Council can be seen below.

What we have accomplished:

Rural Nature, Urban Access: Our City’s Motto
Securing the 5-acre minimum lot size — with mindful planning of commercial and residential growth to maintain our rural feel. See Frequent Questions.


Smart Economic Development
The right businesses in the right places. In the past four years we have attracted multiple New High-Value Businesses to Columbus (Viking Industrial, Ecofun Motorsports, Running Aces Hotel, Caribou Coffee, Love’s Travel Plaza, Godfather’s Pizza, Hardees, Universal Services, Daves HydroVac, Street Smart); Business Expansions (Blake Drilling, CityView Electric, Recreational Supply Corp.); and Residential Development (Thurnbeck Preserve Phase 2 and 3, and St. Clair Lakes) that will contribute substantially to the City’s tax base, bringing needed services and products to Columbus, and are located appropriately to fit well in our peaceful, rural community.


Keeping Expenses Down and Generating New Sources of Revenue
We have kept our operating expenses in check, and generated new sources of revenue to minimize the tax burden on Columbus residents, protect against inflation, and plan for the future.


Changed the Tenor of the City Council and Planning Commission Meetings

Eliminated the restriction on what residents could comment on during Public Open Forum, and did away with the three-minute limit on testimony. These meetings are now welcoming, open, and respectful.

Improved Communications
We have revamped the City website to make it more user-friendly, and brought back a twice-yearly City newsletter mailed to all residents.

Since 2020, we have provided the opportunity to participate in Council and Planning Commission Meetings via Zoom, in addition to in person. Videos of the Council and Planning Commission Meetings are available for viewing anytime on LATV.

We created an option for residents to receive email or mailed versions of minutes, public notices, City news, Council Corner, event news, and volunteer/employment opportunities.

Reduced the Number of Billboards on I35

To create a more welcoming atmosphere as you enter Columbus, the Council voted to reduce the number of billboards in what was, unaffectionately, called “Billboard Alley”. The Council also mandated the remaining billboards (as the permits come up for renewal), be made more aesthetically pleasing by adding a brick facade to the support post. These improvements were paid for by the billboard companies.

More Trees added to Columbus' City Park

This summer the Park Board voted to plant 12 additional trees in the Columbus City Park. These will be comprised of Northwood Maples, Scarlett Jewell Maples, and Hackberry trees. The trees will be delivered and planted by Rum River Tree Farm and Nursery.

Upgrades to City Hall

With Federal money, we made much-needed upgrades to City Hall which include the ventilation system, audio/visual system, acoustic tiles for better sound dampening, more comfortable chairs, and a fresh coat of paint. All at 
no cost to residents. This City Hall serves us well — there has never been a plan to move it to the Freeway District.

Senior Center Open to Everyone

Upgraded and expanded use of the Senior Center following Council-initiated release of HUD restrictions.

Two New Fire Trucks

In partnership with Forest Lake, we were able to secure two new fire trucks.

Established Monthly Workshops

A well-informed Council and Planning Commission makes better decisions
for you. Workshops allow us to dive deeper into issues, while holding discussions in a forum the public is invited, and encouraged to attend.

Broadband Internet

Federal and State funding applied to expanding internet service in Columbus.
70 homes are done. More than 200 homes are scheduled for early 2023.



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