MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There’s a new regime in Burnsville, Minnesota — and it’s a historic one.

The city has its first female police chief, but that is just the beginning. What was once an Irish farming town is now the 10th largest city in Minnesota.

And it has a new title to its name: Burnsville is a city officially run by women. It’s a title made official by the chief’s swearing in.

“With her badging today, we enter a renaissance in the city of Burnsville,” Mayor Elizabeth Kautz said.

Chief Tanya Schwartz joins the ranks of Mayor Kautz and city manager Melanie Mesko Lee, just to name a few of the female leaders. 

“We’ve got a strong group of women that are leading, and I think we’ve got a community that is open to having leadership look a little differently than it may have historically, and it’s a great team, proud to be a part of it,” Musko Lee.


Jeff Marian, the lead pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran of Burnsville, attended the swearing in ceremony.

“It’s great to see women in leadership in a way that diversifies our community, so this is a great, great day to be a part of Burnsville,” Marian said.


It was news that also got a warm reception at the city’s spash pad. Joanna Oliver, from nearby Savage, and her children enjoyed a picnic.

“I’ve got two girls and a boy and I think it’s neat to see that in their lifetime that they can see, you know, a total, whole city run by women,” Oliver said.


Beyoncé said girls rule the world. And in Burnsville — women rule their town.


And there’s more, the superintendent and the chairman of the board of education, head of the chamber of commerce, director of the visitors bureau, director of Experience Burnsville and director of the YMCA are all female, just to name a few.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield