Hennepin County News


MARCH 2012

I hope you are enjoying my electronic newsletters, and find them interesting and informative about county activities. Please feel free to send me your comments on issues that concern you, or issues you would like covered. I value your opinions.
If you have questions or concerns, please share them with me through my feedback form.
Warm regards,
Jan Callison


February 7, 2012
  • Interim Governance Structure Established for Integrated Health Care Model (Hennepin Health) 
    Commissioners Mike Opat, Peter McLaughlin, Gail Dorfman and Randy Johnson were named to the governance board of the Hennepin Health demonstration project;
  • Volunteers appointed or reappointed to the following citizen advisory boards: Capital Budgeting Task Force, Minneapolis City Planning Commission, Community Action Parnership of Suburban Hennepin (CAPSH) Board, Human Resources Board, Mental Commitment Attorney Panel Advisory Board, and the Workforce Investment Board. 

February 28, 2012 
  • The Board approved $9.5 million in capital improvements for Hennepin County Medical Center's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and the Cancer Clinic 
    $6.9 million was approved to remodel the PICU.  HCMC is a Level I Pediatric Trauma Center and the new PICU will be a state-of-the-art facility with space for patients and their families to heal together.  Also approved, $2.95 in improvements to expand the HCMC Cancer Center to relieve capacity constraints to allow for new patient growth.
  • Project aimed at expanding job opportunities, reducing dependency on county services in north Minneapolis
    To address the area's long-term challenges of poverty, expand economic opportunties for residents and reduce dependency on county services, the Board authorized $150,000 for Sanctuary Community Development Corporation to act as fiscal agent for a Dependency Reduction Project.
  • Program provides job training to County Home School residents
    The Board approved an agreement with East Side Neighborhood Services to provide job training for up to 32 residents of the Hennepin County Home School - the county's residential treatment center for juveniles.
  • Volunteers appointed to citizen advisory boards
    The Board appointed or reappointed residents to the following citizen advisory boards: the Library Board, and the Adult Mental Health Local advisory Board. 
  • Court Security
    County Administration presented recommendations for improving court security, including closure of the Southdale court facility.  The Board will consider these recommendations in committee on Thursday, March 8 and act on them on Tuesday, March 13. 
In addition to our regularly scheduled board meetings, the board often meets on Thursday mornings to receive "Board Briefings."  These are informal opportunities to discuss emerging issues.  No decisions are made.  Board Briefings occur in the Boardroom on the 24th floor of the Hennepin County Government Center and are open to the public.
February 9, 2012
The board was briefed regarding foreclosure response in Brooklyn Park.  Information was provided relating to the number of foreclosures (599 in 2011) and vacant properties, the challenges posed by foreclosed properties and Brooklyn Park's response plan.  To date, Brooklyn Park has assisted in the rehabilitation of 215 units and also assisted buyers to purchase foreclosed units.
February 23, 2012
The Board received information on two topics: redistricting and public health.
1.   Redistricting -- Now that legislative lines have been drawn, the focus of redistricting shifts to local units of government.  Hennepin County will draw its own boundaries for commissioner districts.  It will be the last unit of government to act and may not do so until all 45 Hennepin County cities have drawn their precinct boundaries.  (County commission districts may not split precincts.)
The following calendar of events related to redistricting was presented:
  • March 8 -- County Board (in committee) considers a resolution setting out the county redistricting process
  • March 13 -- County Board adopts the redistricting process
  • April 3 -- Cities complete their redistricting activities and County Board (in committee) considers redistricting principles
  • April 10 -- County Board adopts redistricting principles
  • April 17 -- County Board considers proposed redistricing plan and holds public hearing
  • April 24 -- County Board considers (and adopts if appropriate) redistricting plan
  • May 1 -- County redistricting must be complete
On May 22, the filing period for county offices will open.  It closes June 5.
2.    Public Health -- Staff reviewed the county's public health role.  It provided information and data related to public health promotion, public health protection and public health clinics.  This was in response to requests by commissioners for more information on this area of county activity, including effectiveness, expenditures, and strategic direction.


What: A public hearing was established for the purpose of issuing debt under the county's Five-Year Capital Improvement Program
When: Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 1:30 during the Budget and Capital Investment Committee
Where: 24th floor boardroom of the Government Center - 300 S. 6th Street, Mpls.


Jan Callison
Commissioner, 6th District

Dave Nuckols
Principal Aide

Cassi Holmstrom
Administrative Assistant &


The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners consists of one commissioner from each of the seven districts. I am proud to represent Deephaven, northern Eden Prairie, Edina, Excelsior, Greenwood, Hopkins, Long Lake, Minnetonka, Minnetonka Beach, most of Orono, Shorewood, Tonka Bay, Wayzata and Woodland.

Click on map to enlarge

6th district map


Hennepin web interactive property map gets a new look     

Interactive property maps
One of the most popular features on the Hennepin County website - the interactive property map - got a new look, with more features and enhanced capability for users.  Check out the new and improved site.

Hennepin County to offer drop boxes for unwanted medicines 

Medicine Disposal Program
Beginning Monday, March 5, residents will be able to drop off unwanted, unused medicines at disposal boxes at three Sheriff’s Office facilities in Brooklyn Park, Spring Park, and downtown Minneapolis. The service is free for Hennepin County residents.

The green medicine drop boxes are located in the lobby at each location. 

Properly disposing of unused medicines is important to prevent abuse or poisoning and protect the environment.

For details and drop-off locations, read the news release.

Small business dreams begin at Hennepin County Library  

Small business - library
The start of your own successful small business may be as near as your local Hennepin County Library.

Hennepin County Library's knowledgeable staff welcomes your business questions.  Staff can help you navigate resources available in the libraries and online - on small business start-up and management, researching your product and competition, finding marketing information, creating client lists, buying a franchise writing a business plan, and other topics.

Some Hennepin County libraries regularly offer free, confidential,
one-to-one small business consultations with experts from the nonprofits SCORE and LegalCORPS.

Ridgedale Library
SCORE® Small Business Consultations
Tuesday, March 6, 1–4 p.m.
Tuesday, April 3, 1–4 p.m.
Tuesday, May 1, 1–4 p.m.

Meet with a business counselor to develop your business plan, discuss a new idea or tackle a business problem. Consultations are free and confidential. Walk-ins welcome. 

Learn how to reduce waste and recycle more at upcoming classes at Hennepin County Libraries 

Master Recycler
Learn how you can help the environment by reducing waste and recycling more in this series offered at Hennepin County Libraries. 

For example:   How to hold your own green celebration:  Learn how you can greatly reduce the amount of waste created from entertaining with a little planning ahead of time.

When: Monday, April 2, 7 to 8 p.m.
Where:  Ridgedale Library - 12601 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka

For details and to register, visit www.hclib.org , keyword search “Master Recycler” under Events & Classes tab, or call the library.

The classes will be taught by Hennepin County Master Recyclers. 

Master Recyclers/Composters take a two-month training course on waste reduction, reuse and recycling and then volunteer to implement programs and educate others in the community.

More information on the Master Recycler Program is available here.