Bob Burlingame has been involved with Maple Grove in many capacities from 1960 to 2014. He has been a resident, police officer and chief, the mayor and the emcee/announcer for the Maple Grove Days Parade.
He moved to Maple Grove in 1960 to raise his seven children. As a journeyman carpenter, he built their family home.
In 1962, he became a part-time police officer while continuing with his construction company. In 1967, he was sworn in as the part-time Chief of Police, which became a full-time career in 1968. At that time, the force consisted of five full-time officers each working in 12-hour shifts. He remained chief until his retirement in 1992.
Burlingame was also Maple Grove’s Emergency Management Director from 1967-1992. This training and education were continuous throughout his career to stay current with techniques. From 1960 to 2001, the city grew from 2,500 citizens to 56,000 citizens. A highlight of this career was starting to build the police force during this time.
Additional highlights include the collaboration with other agencies to create the training and firearms facility and the PUPS facility for animal shelter.
In 1994, he was elected Mayor, beginning this service in 1995. He was re-elected in 1998 where he served until his retirement in 2001. ,Highlights of this career include: increasing the city’s supply and diversity of housing types, programs for forest preservation, developing the new Maple Grove Community Center, planning for the new Maple Grove City Hall/Government Center, creating a long-range vision for the gravel mining area and development of the Arbor Lakes project.
Burlingame has enjoyed his continuing connection to Maple Grove by announcing the Maple Grove Days Parade from 2002 to 2014. His vast contributions to the city and his knowledge of the city’s history have made this a fun event for him.
He has been involved in a variety of committee work and service efforts throughout his life including: Healthy Community/Health Youth, Habitat for Humanity, American Red Cross (on the board), The Bridge, NW Hennepin Human Services Council, CROSS (on board of directors), Meals on Wheels, MG Council member, Chief of Police conference attendee, Family and Children Community (on the board), participant in the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Organization and the Hennepin County Chiefs of Police Organization.