About Commissioner Kathleen Gaylord

KathleenCommissioner Kathleen Gaylord is the former Mayor of South St. Paul. She grew up in South St. Paul. Kathleen and her husband Dennis Hosford, a local small business owner, have two children, David and Susan. Commissioner Gaylord is recognized for her expertise in finance, transportation, and tax policy and for her strong advocacy for taxpayers, seniors and families.


Kathleen attended the University of Minnesota, where she earned a BA, Magna Cum Laude, in Economics with a minor in Chinese. She continued post graduate studies in Public Administration and Business Taxation at the U, and furthered her education at William Mitchell College of Law, graduating with a Juris Doctorate in law.


Kathleen Gaylord is an attorney and partner with the Weinblatt & Gaylord law firm which recently moved to Inver Grove Heights. She has taught Election Law to attorneys for the Minnesota Institute of Legal Education (MILE). Kathleen previously worked as Regional Manager of Properties and Facilities for Northwest Airlines, Inc. managing a portfolio of airport properties across the country prior to her promotion to the position of Senior Corporate Counsel. While at Northwest, she was successful in acquiring almost a billion dollars in airline assistance aid from the Minnesota Legislature to preserve 18,000 jobs in Minnesota. As the Chair of the Public Affairs Committee for the Air Transportation Association in Washington, DC, Kathleen also lobbied Congress and state legislatures across the country on behalf of the airline industry and has lectured on transportation issues across the United States. She now uses that experience on our behalf to push county issues forward for Dakota County.

Kathleen also worked eight years for the Minnesota Legislature. Her work focused on tax legislation and research. She developed an income-based property tax relief system known as the “Circuit Breaker” for Minnesota and, while Executive Director of the Minnesota Tax Study Commission, designed the first computer simulation of the state’s complex tax and local government aid system. The current Homestead Property Tax Refund evolved from her ground breaking work in property tax relief.

South St. Paul Mayor and Dakota County Commissioner

In 2002 Kathleen Gaylord was elected Dakota County Commissioner after serving ten years as the Mayor of South St. Paul. As Mayor, Kathleen chaired the National League of Cities Transportation Steering and Policy Committees and was elected to the National League of Cities (NLC) Board of Directors. As Commissioner, Kathleen has been elected County Board Chair three times (2006, 2009,and 2013). She is chair of the Administration, Finance and Planning Committee of the County Board, chair of the Dakota County Law Library Board of Trustees and President of the Minnesota Inter County Association. She serves on the Transportation Steering Committee of the National Association of Counties (NACo) and has served as Vice Chair of the Finance and Intergovernmental Affairs Steering Committee of NACo as well. Kathleen has also chaired numerous regional boards including the Metropolitan Emergency Services Board, the Metropolitan Mosquito Control Board, and the Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging and has served in many other leadership positions, including: President, Dakota County League of Governments; President, Metropolitan Public Airports Foundation; Co-Chair, Metro East Development Partnership, Association of Minnesota Counties Board of Directors, Dakota County Community Development Agency Board (Vice-Chair), Dakota County Government and Judicial Center Renovation Project Design Advisory Committee; Dakota County Regional Railroad Authority; East Metro Strong Board of Directors; Chair, Facility Operations Advisory Committee for Thompson Park Center; Greater MSP Economic Development Partnership Board of Directors; Greater Metropolitan Workforce Council; and Robert Street Corridor Alternatives Analysis Steering Committee (Co-Chair).