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The Pony Express

The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

The Pony Express

The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

The Pony Express

Stillwater Pony Express

From Silicon Valley to Mayor of Stillwater

Teddy Kozlowski has been mayor of stillwater since 2014.
Photo submitted by Teddy Kozlowski
Teddy Kozlowski serves as the mayor of stillwater. He stands in historic downtown Stillwater, where he has been mayor since 2014.

The moon is still shining in San Francisco, Ca, it’s 4:30 a.m. The 21 year old, and fresh out of college. Teddy Kozlowski is getting up for work. He gets ready by 5:30 a.m. and hops in his car to make the one-hour trip to Palo Alto. His day is long and grueling working to help struggling tech start-ups. It’s now 8:00 pm, and the sun is heating up the day, unlike when Teddy made this drive in the morning. He heads back to San Francisco, the place that ultimately was the starting point for Kozlowski’s career.

This would be a repeat cycle for Teddy whom he gained a lot of experience as he was helping Google when it had 30 employees back in the early 2000s. Nothing like the Google you know today which has 156,000 employees as of 2021. It was the .com boom then as Teddy was working for a venture capitalist company where he was parachuting into these startups. As time went on, Kozlowski’s had his first big-time payoff.

One of my first companies that we sold was power bars for $420 million to Nestle,Mayor Kozlowski said. I did that for almost a decade from twenty-one years of age until I was thirty, working in Silicon Valley,

On a frigid Dec 4, 2012, Teddy faced a pivotal moment in his political journey. After a distant second-place finish in the primary race, 27 days of anticipation led to the revelation of the certified election results.

In the frosty air, Teddy’s political fate unfolded. He secured victory in the City Council election with 1,269 votes, a 51% majority, narrowly surpassing Tom Corbett’s 1,185 votes at 47%. The win, amid the winter chill, marked Teddy’s triumph over adversity and hinted at a promising future in city politics.

Running for his first political office position in his career came with a lot of stress over the results of the election, I can’t say I felt confident I was going to win, you want to but you never know. I was up on election night hitting refresh on the Secretary of State website every 10 seconds, explained Mayor Kozlowski. On the nerves of election night, after the end of a stressful but successful campaign run.

After two years on the city council, Teddy Kozlowski decided to aim higher and throw his hat into the ring for Stillwater’s mayoral race. He could file his candidacy from May 21 to June 4, 2014, going up against former council member John Rheinberg.

On June 4, 2014, Teddy officially jumped into the race, bringing a thoughtful strategy to a spirited campaign against Rheinberg. Voters connected with Teddy’s approach, and it paid off with a clear victory, securing 62% of the vote compared to Rheinberg’s 37%.

In this momentous election, Teddy became Stillwater’s 50th mayor, taking over from Mayor Ken Harycki, who chose not to seek re-election. Teddy’s move from council member to mayor marked a big change in Stillwater’s political scene, promising a fresh era of leadership.

“Ted does a wonderful job as the face of the city. He represents the city well to the public. He knows a lot of citizens and converses well with the community,”

— Michael Polehna

As Teddy has won the election of mayor of Stillwater he stepped into a new role that would have him appealing to the public and the city council for new laws to be passed and issues surrounding the community. He’s very enthusiastic about everything. So as he works he will throw his full 100% effort at the problem or work with anything from the community to schools. He’s going to be a resource, but also distribute jobs to other people to make the community around him better. Said Digital marketing specialist for Demand Quest, Rachael Kozlowski.

In the heart of Stillwater, where the St. Croix River flows through historic charm, Teddy has led unopposed since 2014, his term extending until March 1st, 2027. Teddy’s tenure is a tale of transformative changes shaping Stillwater’s identity.

Over the last decade, Teddy’s influence has transformed Stillwater. A decade-old tradition saw the introduction of a Christmas tree downtown, its lights casting a warm glow on cobbled streets. Beyond aesthetics, Teddy’s initiatives have fostered unity, turning the city council into a collaborative hub aligning with residents desires.

Mayor Kozlowski has truly made an impact on the Stillwater community, through his public speaking that can captivate listeners with his head-on approach.

Ted does a wonderful job as the face of the city. He represents the city well to the public. He knows a lot of citizens and converses well with the community,Michael Polehna, Stillwater City Council Member, said.

Among Teddy’s successes is the revitalization of Lumberjack Days into a community-driven celebration, led by volunteers. His leadership radiates beyond political victories, illustrating a mayor who nurtures positive change. As Stillwater evolves under Teddy’s guidance, the cityscape reflects not just physical transformations but a collective spirit resonating with the community he serves.

Mayor Kozlowski has been at the helm since 2014, as he has drastically shaped Stillwater’s story with positive changes. The conversation continues as citizens of Stillwater tell him all the time to run for a higher office to impact more than just Stillwater. By shedding his bright light to new horizons. and as 2023 unfolds, the future of Stillwater is entwined with Kozlowski’s commitment to improvement.

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About the Contributor
Gavin Schuna
Gavin Schuna, Business Editor
My name is Gavin Schuna, and I am a junior business editor. I play hockey and tennis and one of my favorite hobbies is pickleball. I enjoy going on the river and hanging out with friends. I am most looking forward to writing about sports this year.  

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