WSP council member Wright retiring

West St. Paul City Council member Dave Wright, who represents Ward 3, announced at the April 14 council meeting he plans to retire from his post at the end of his current term, Dec. 31. 

Wright has been a member of the council since his 2003 election, working on a countless number of projects in the process. He replaced former council member David Meisinger, who had resigned from his post.

“We have a lot of work to do between now and then but with the filing period coming here in the next two weeks, this gives residents more of a chance to think a little bit about whether or not they want to take a run at a vacant seat,” Wright said during his announcement. “I’m hoping we’ll get some good candidates that will run.”

West St. Paul Mayor John Zanmiller noted he was relatively new to local government when Wright was elected.

“It’s difficult. Dave and I cut our teeth together at this table,” Zanmiller said. “When I took over as mayor, I had two years on the council; Dave had about nine months, so there will be some separation anxiety.”  

“I’ve been hanging around city hall for 20 years,” Wright said of his decision. “You get to a point where you think the time is right to go on and do different things, and I’m a firm believer that everybody in the community should get an opportunity to do what I had the privilege to do.”

He recalled the merger between the West St. Paul and South St. Paul fire departments as his proudest moment. A project that began in 2005 and completed in 2008, it took “many hours and many meetings” to complete the South Metro Fire Department project.

“That is going to be the one moment that I would never trade for anything else,” Wright said fondly. “I thoroughly enjoyed it, and we did everything that needed to be done.”

Before being elected in 2003 as a council member, Wright spent nine years as a member of the West St. Paul planning commission.

When he wasn’t working on the City Council, he was working at U.S. Bank’s corporate real estate group, a position he still holds, and will now focus all of his attention on. He said it is time for him to “decompress, and empty my mind of all things that are ‘city,’ for now.”

“My professional life has gotten much busier, and I am much more immersed in the professional side of my life.”

Those interested in running for Wright’s seat must file between May 20 and June 3. Election information is available at

Tim Faklis can be reached at 651-748-7814 and


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