Northfield is a home rule charter City. The City Council is comprised of seven elected officials who legislate policy and govern, with the mayor serving as the presiding officer. Of the six council positions, there are four ward representatives and two at-large positions – all with staggered, four-year terms.
Engaging the community
The City enjoys a committed and involved citizenry, many of whom actively participate in local government affairs and offer perspective and insight to staff and elected officials. Community members participate on a host of commissions and task forces that add a grassroots element to local policy-making and implementation of plans and policies.
The City owns Northfield Hospital and Clinics, which is administered by a board of directors appointed by the mayor and approved by the City Council. The City is not directly involved in hospital operations, but does approve major bonding projects. Northfield Hospital and Clinics provide an extensive array of services and function as a regional medical destination.
The focal point of the community is its historic downtown district, located along the scenic Cannon River. On summer evenings, many people gather at Bridge Square, in the heart of the City, for concerts and other community events. The community is recognized for its active arts programs and events throughout the year. Each September, the community hosts the Defeat of Jesse James Days, where the famous James Gang’s unsuccessful attempt to rob the First National Bank of Northfield is re-enacted for large crowds of residents and visitors.
A scenic walk along the river or biking on one of the many trails offers people an opportunity to enjoy nature within an energetic community. More than 30 city parks provide amenities for year-round recreation and enjoyment. All in all, Northfield offers recreational and cultural opportunities that are unmatched for comparably sized communities.
Northfield boasts a strong and diverse economy with a wide variety of employers. Unemployment in the community is consistently below the state average and many employers are expanding to meet growing demand for goods and services. The median household income is $58,594.
Post Holdings, Inc. is the largest employer in the City, followed by St. Olaf and Carleton Colleges. An assortment of other manufacturers, as well as educational and health care institutions fill out the list of top employers in the community.
The economy is also enhanced by a vibrant collection of downtown businesses that offer an extensive assortment of products and services for residents and visitors to the community. Northfield is a destination for people seeking a charming and functional downtown district.