News from District 3


March 2015



Marion Greene
Commissioner, 3rd District

Ray Hoover
Principal Aide

Pam Fahlstrom
Administrative Assistant

Check me out on Twitter: @MarionGreene

Or on Facebook:


The 3rd District serves the city of St. Louis Park, and parts of west and downtown Minneapolis.

3rd District map

View larger map


Bicyclists- be heard! 

Take a minute to help make biking to light rail transit (LRT) as easy and as convenient as possible.

Tell us which stations you might use, how you might get to them, and what bike amenities are important online here. The survey will be open through March 13.

2014 Year in review

I recently sent out a letter and a email blast about what happened in 2014, and what we're looking forward to in 2015. Check it out here.

Hennepin County in the news

The passage of the e-cigarette ban will have large impacts across the county. See what media outlets had to say about it:

Star Tribune, MPR, WCCO, WJON, Kare 11, KSTP, MinnPost


County departments, agencies & other entities

Hennepin County libraries

Hennepin County Medical Center

Hennepin volunteers

Online services

Phone directory

Service Center information

Southwest Light Rail

Understanding your property tax

City of Minneapolis

City of St. Louis Park





I hope the District 3 newsletter serves as a resource for connecting to Hennepin County activities and staying updated on county news and services. Visit our website to find more ways to connect with the county.  

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  I value your opinions. 

My best,




Board votes to ban electronic smoking

Hennepin County has enacted a ban on electronic cigarettes that alligns e-cigs with Hennepin's Clean Indoor Air Policy. The use of electronic cigarettes is not allowed anywhere conventional cigarette use is also not allowed, such as work places, restaurants and bars.

I championed this ordinance because smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Minnesota, and this change is a necessary step in protecting the right of Minnesotans to breathe clean air. We are also committed to health for our youngest populations. Nicotine is addictive, affects youth brain development. E-cigarette flavors are heavily targeted to youth and normalize smoking behavior.

This ordinance change helps protect the general public from exposure to electronic cigarette emissions, which are known to contain ingredients harmful to human health. Further, this ordinance upholds a smoke-free norm and protects youth from exposure to these products, which is important given that electronic cigarettes are becoming popular with high school students. The recent Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey, released in November, shows 28 percent of high school students have tried e-cigarettes, and 13 percent have used or tried them in the past 30 days. Nearly a quarter of those who have tried e-cigarettes have never tried conventional tobacco products. 


Hennepin County performs free Valentine's eve weddings

Twenty-three couples tied the knot for free on Valentine’s Day eve during an event at the Hennepin County Government Center.

This is the third year for the event that unites couples free of charge on or near Valentine’s Day. It’s a collaborative effort between the Fourth Judicial District and Hennepin County Taxpayer Services.

“This is a great opportunity for our bench and staff to make a memorable Valentine’s Day for so many people,” said Judge William Koch.
Judge Ivy Bernhardson sang "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?," accompanied by Judge Laurie Miller on piano, and a quartet including Judge Elizabeth Cutter played throughout the ceremonies. Weddings occured about every 15 minutes.


Hennepin County hosts Geo:Code code-a-thon

Hennepin County’s first ever open data event, Geo:Code, was held over the weekend of February 21 and 22, 2015 at the Hennepin County Library, and was a big success. More than 70 people attended, and eight teams worked on projects during the event and were offered advice about ways to enhance and improve their work from a panel of civic and information technology experts during the presentation and feedback session Sunday afternoon.

The projects presented made use of many different types of data Hennepin County has made available, addressing a range of community interests and desires. Teams explored:

  • An on-line tool to make finding social services available to Hennepin County residents easier
  • An interactive site that would comb pictures, plat maps, historical census data, and aerial imagery to look back in time at the history of a specific location in Hennepin County
  • A mobile responsive website to help families find free and low-cost activities for kids in Hennepin County that can be searched by a child's age and other factors
  • A Hennepin County-tailored interactive map of biking trails and resources, including bike fix-it stations
  • A tool to identify vacant parcels suitable for urban gardening in Hennepin County

Project teams completing the event were offered resources to continue their work and access to local start-up experts to help them should they wish to explore turning their idea into a business. To read more about Geo:Code, click here.


Board members attend NACo event

The National Association of Counties (NACo) Annual Legislative Conference took place from February 21st through the 25th in Washington DC, and I attended along with Commissioners Higgins, McLaughlin, Randy Johnson and Jeff Johnson. The meeting brought more than 2,000 elected and appointed county officials from across the country to focus on legislative issues facing county government. Attendees heard from key Administration officials and members of Congress, and engaged with federal policy makers on a range of issues like transportation, infrastructure, healthcare, and public safety.

A day of lobbying on the hill rounded out the conference, and we met with members of the Minnesota delegation, including Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar (see photo), and Congressman Keith Ellison to talk about federal policies that are particularly important to Hennepin.

For more information on NACo, click here.

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Hennepin County profile


To learn more about the work of Hennepin County, we've started a profile series with county employees who live in District 3. Each month will spotlight a person from varying departments and occupations.

Sarah Gaskill

Sarah Gaskill is a resident of the Linden Hills neighborhood, and is social work investigator in Child Protective Services at Hennepin County, which investigates and assesses situations when a child's health or welfare may be at risk due to abuse, neglect or maltreatment. Sarah will be retiring next year after 38 years at Hennepin County. Click here to find out more about how Sarah helps make Hennepin County tick.

We’ve particularly chosen to learn from Sarah this month, because Hennepin County is currently engaged in an in-depth review of children and youth services. The review is already generating recommendations, some of which we acted on at the March 3 board meeting (I will say more in my end-of-March newsletter). A full report and recommendations will be made to the board in June, at which time we hope to make further changes to better support Sarah and her colleagues in their efforts to protect the health and welfare of Hennepin’s children.

Board meeting highlights

February 10

County plans for 9-1-1 back-up access in emergencies 

A backup telephone system will ensure that emergency calls always will reach 911 dispatchers in Hennepin County. In partnership with the Metropolitan Emergency Services Board (MESB), the county has set up a shared/hosted next generation 9-1-1 telephone answering system. It was jointly purchased and will be used by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, Minneapolis Emergency Communications Center, the City of Edina Police Department, Hennepin Healthcare System, and Allina Health Systems. The system will be hosted at the Sheriff’s Emergency Communications Facility in Plymouth, with a redundant backup system at the Hennepin County Government Center. The board approved a contract with the Zayo Group, LLC to provide redundant fiber paths to ensure access to 911 dispatchers.

Board appoints members to citizen advisory boards

For the Adult Mental Health Local Advisory Council we appointed Rolanda DeShield to the at large position; Elizabeth (Lisa) Childs and Char Coal to consumer positions; Kathleen Oganovic, Patricia Croal, Atashi Acharya and Jackie Adair to family member positions; and Maisha Giles and Debbie Paine to Mental Health Provider positions. 

To the Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin County Board we reappointed Cynthia Bemis Abrams, Mary Brindle and Marvin Johnson.

To the Human Resources Board we appointed Anthony Untiedt, Angelines Pabon and Jesse Winkler. The decision on the fourth appointment was laid over to the next board meeting.

The board also appointed Gene Kay to the Three Rivers Park District Board of Commissioners.

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Board briefings

You're invited! In addition to our regularly scheduled board meetings, the County Board often meets for updates on Thursday mornings. These are informal opportunities to discuss emerging issues. No decisions are made, and the topics are subject to change. Board briefings occur in the board room on the 24th floor of the Hennepin County Government Center and are open to the public.

March 12

Southdale Regional Center

March 26th

HRA Strategic Plan
Vegetation Management

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