Mark Windschitl was first elected as the mayor of Chaska by special election on January 19, 2010 and has been re-elected six times, most recently in November 2018. During Mark’s tenure as mayor, the Chaska City Council and city staff have worked cohesively to develop a reputation for keeping Chaska taxes among the lowest in the Twin City metro area.
As mayor, Mark also played an integral role in several major developments. The Firemen’s Park project featured a complete redevelopment of the park and the addition of the Crooked Pint Restaurant, Chaska Event Center and the Chaska Curling Center, which has been a huge asset to bringing people to Downtown Chaska. Our Curling Center, which has one of the highest memberships in nation, was just selected as the National Training Center for USA Curling. This partnership with USA Curling will bring world-class curlers to our city.
We have hosted many community, national and international events. These events include local curling tournaments, the production of ‘Curling Night in America’, which was televised on NBCSN, and the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club. The Ryder Cup, widely considered one of the top four sporting events in the world, was such a success that it will be returning to Chaska in 2028. Chaska will be the first U.S. city to host the Ryder Cup twice.
Mark retired as a full-time assistant chief of operations for the St. Louis Park Fire Department in 2014. He worked his way through the ranks from fighter to serving as interim fire chief. He worked alongside the former fire chief to oversee the building of two new fire stations in St. Louis Park which came in under budget and on time.
Mark has responded to numerous local, regional and national incidents. He served as one of two chiefs sent to Belle Chasse in Plaquemines Parish after Hurricane Katrina. Those 40 miles of an 80-mile stretch southwest of New Orleans were devastated. Mark and his crew provided fire services, handed out food and water, and rendered assistance to the only fire department operable after the hurricane.
On two separate occasions Mark went to Moorhead during the floods of 2009 and worked alongside the Moorhead operations chief in charge of sandbagging and monitoring operations. During the 35W bridge collapse, Mark was the logistics chief for the incident. He was also in charge of the strike team that assisted with forest fires in the Boundary Waters Canoe area known as Ham Lake, and he helped out during the devastating floods in Zumbro Falls.
At the close of 2013, Mark ended a 2-year term as president of Hennepin County Fire Chiefs Association. He was the chairperson of the SW Mutual Aid Joint Operations, which is a group of cites that work together regularly at major incidents. This committee coordinates training and equipment purchases. It reviews ways in which their cities can work better together, share costs, and find ways to save money.
Mark is currently serving on Fire Service Advisory Committee and the Service Planning Grant Review Committee as the MN League of Cities representative. He serves on the SW Transit Board, Southwest Corridor Transportation Coalition board, working to improve Highway 212 and Highway 5 from Carver County to the state border. Mark has traveled to Washington D.C. multiple times to lobby for Hwy 212 and Hwy 5 funding. He also works with State Representatives and Senators on Hwy 212 funding.
Mark is very active in the Chaska community as well, having co-chaired two State Amateur Baseball tournaments at Chaska Athletic Park, been a co-owner of a small local business, past employee of the Chaska Public Works Department, and retired from the Chaska Fire Department after 21 years of service. He lives on Highwood Drive Cr in Chaska and is the father of three children and a proud grandpa to five grandchildren. He is engaged to fiancé Connie.