Boeke says DL is progressive but still room to grow
For Matt Boeke, it's all about community. Boeke, 35, is running for an alderman-at-large position on the Detroit Lakes City Council. He is customer service manager at Lakeshirts, a position he has held for about a year. Prior to that, he worked a...
For Matt Boeke, it’s all about community.
Boeke, 35, is running for an alderman-at-large position on the Detroit Lakes City Council.
He is customer service manager at Lakeshirts, a position he has held for about a year. Prior to that, he worked as a personal banker at Wells Fargo in Detroit Lakes, a commercial loan officer at the Community Development Bank in Ogema, and as vice president of lending at First Security Bank in Detroit Lakes.
He says he has no regrets about leaving the banking field. “There’s so much regulation in banking, it took the fun out of the job,” he said. “This (Lakeshirts position) is much more of a people job, it’s been a very good move.”
His wife, Amy, is a kindergarten teacher at Rossman Elementary. They have two children, Mya and Jay.
Boeke has lived in Detroit Lakes for about 12 years. In that time, he has been involved with the community as a United Way board member, and a Lakes Area Young Life leader.
He is president of the Jaycees and served as Water Carnival admiral, he has been active with the Essentia St. Mary’s Hospital Legacy Foundation, as a Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of commerce ambassador, and as a hockey official.
“The city has been very progressive the last four to six years, but there’s a lot of room to grow,” he said. “One area I’d like to focus on is to find more ways to tie the beach to downtown and utilize that more than we have. The city needs to partner more with the chamber businesses.”
Boeke would also like to see the city do more to address the growing problem of local businesses not being able to find employees with the right set of skills.
“Everybody’s looking for workers,” he said. “How do we bring young families to town and keep them here to stay?”
He’d like the city to be as proactive as possible when it comes to identifying areas where it can help and acting quickly to meet that need. He likes the direction the city has gone in the past few years, with the Community Center, the Detroit Mountain Recreation Area, and the Heartland Trail and other multi-use trails being funded.
The crescent development is a success, he said, and now the city needs to follow-up with a successful development of the green space in the former Miguel’s taco shop area.
The Washington Avenue project is a positive move for downtown, and next the city needs to follow-up with a successful redevelopment of West Lake Drive, he said. “We’re definitely a growing community, we just have to keep moving in the right direction,” he said.
Boeke has been in town for a dozen years, but he says he retains something of a newcomer’s viewpoint of the city. “Sometimes it takes an outsider’s perspective to see different ways of doing things,” he said. “It takes new eyeballs sometimes to get a new perspective.”