November 2016 E-Newsletter

Jan Callison banner 2016

Serving Deephaven, northern Eden Prairie, Edina, Excelsior, Greenwood, Hopkins, Long Lake, Minnetonka, Minnetonka Beach, northern Mound, Orono, Shorewood, Spring Park, Tonka Bay, Wayzata and Woodland.

November 2016


Jan Callison
6th District

Allyson Sellwood
Policy Aide

Christine Hoyles
Administrative Assistant


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

View map enlargement

Callison 2013 district map


Find past issues of my monthly newsletter.


County departments, agencies & other entities

Elected & appointed officials

Hennepin County libraries

Hennepin County Medical Center

Hennepin volunteers

Online services

Phone directory

Service Center information

Southwest light rail

Understanding your property tax

Bushaway Road

bushaway bridge


Bushaway Road opens on November 1

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

lead free

October 23-29 was National Lead Poisoning Prevention week. 

Last year, 387 children in Hennepin County were exposed to lead in levels high enough to cause potential damage to their health.

Fortunately, lead poisoning is 100 percent preventable. During Lead Poisoning Prevention Week October 23–29, Hennepin County  kicked off increased efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of lead exposure.

When young children are exposed to lead, they are at risk for developing brain and nervous system damage, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems and hearing and speech problems.

Sources of lead exposure

  • Lead-based paint
  • Drinking water
  • Certain products, like painted toys and toy jewelry
  • Soils, yards and playgrounds
  • Jobs and hobbies involving lead-based products

Over the years, we’ve helped more than 4,200 families replace windows and paint over lead-based finishes. Visit to learn more.

Homework Help

homework help

Did you know that Hennepin County Library's provide free homework help?  Our K-12 Homework Help program provides free homework tutoring and resources at 12 library locations during the academic year. 

Click here for more information.

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I hope you are enjoying my electronic newsletters, and find them interesting and informative about county activities. In addition to my monthly newsletter, the county sends various newsletters and notifications available by email or text message. To explore the many opportunities to subscribe or to change your preferences, visit the subscription webpage.

Please feel free to send me your comments through my feedback form on issues that concern you or you would like covered. I value your opinions.

Warm regards,

Jan Callison

Board meetings

October 4, 2016

Care program for homeless part of national research

The County Board voted to approve an agreement to work collaboratively with the National Health Care for the Homeless Council. Hennepin County’s program providing medical care to people experiencing homelessness was one of only six chosen to help evaluate the council’s model for providing a set of services for individuals experiencing homelessness who are being discharged from the hospital to shelters. The council provided $174,079 to fund the work. This is the second year Hennepin County has received this funding. The county’s Health Care for the Homeless respite program provides a 24/7 shelter bed and care for people lacking stable housing who have been hospitalized for major health problems. 

Learn more about the agreement with the National Health Care for the Homeless Council.

Incumbent reappointed to Nine Mile Creek board

9 mile creek

The board voted to reappoint Steve Kloiber to the Nine Mile Creek Board of Managers. There was only one candidate for two openings; additional volunteers are encouraged to come forward. 

Learn more about the Nine Mile Creek Board of Managers.

October 18, 2016

Project aims to stimulate growth at Hopkins Southwest Light Rail station

Hopkins Blake Road

       Photo credit: City of Hopkins

The board approved an agreement with the City of Hopkins for the reconstruction of Blake Road (County Road 20) between Excelsior Boulevard (County Road 3) and Minnesota Highway 7. The project meets a city vision to stimulate redevelopment and interest in the area of the future Southwest Light Rail station at Blake Road, and maximize pedestrian accommodations. The agreement makes as much as $14.45 million of state funds available for the reconstruction and transfers ownership of Blake Road to the city after three years.

Learn more about the Blake Road project.

Cedar Riverside Opportunity Project moves forward

The board approved a request to transfer $250,000 in contingency funds into the Cedar Riverside Opportunity Project to allow for construction of a one-stop shop for education, training, skills development, workforce resources and a pipeline to employment with identified public and private sector employers. It will be an opportunity center for all, with special outreach to the East African community.

Work by three anchor partners at the center will focus on employment, skill building and access to education and credentialing. The partners include Emerge Community Development,  Minneapolis Community Technical College (MCTC) and  Hennepin County (Human Services and Public Health Department, Library Department and Workforce Development).

The county’s share of the project is in addition to $700,000 contributed by the city of Minneapolis, the Otto Bremer Trust, the McKnight Foundation, the Minneapolis Foundation, the Pohlad Foundation, Frana Construction, the Pat and Tom Grossman Fund of the MN Community Foundation and the Mortentson Foundation.

Read more about the Cedar Riverside Opportunity Project.

Sheriff's deputies to help with Inauguration Day security duties


Photo credit: Hennepin County Sheriff's Office

The board voted to enter an agreement with the federal government and the Washington, D.C., police department to send Hennepin County Sheriff’s deputies to provide security during inauguration events in Washington, D.C., in January. The Sheriff's Office has provided deputies for the past three presidential inaugurations. The District of Columbia and the U.S. government will reimburse the county for associated personnel costs.

The deputies will be federally deputized by the U.S. Marshals Service to keep the peace, enforce federal and local laws and protect visiting foreign officials and official guests. Deputies will work with uniformed officers from the Washington, D.C., police to aid in crowd control along the parade route, at inaugural balls and at other critical sites around the city. 

Read more about Hennepin County Sheriff's role at the presidential inauguration.

Agendas and minutes of action taken by the Hennepin County Board are posted under Hennepin County meetings and agendas. For greater detail on the above agenda items and additional board actions, visit county news releases.

County calendar

November 8, 2016

Election Day



In Hennepin County we have had 93,000 early voters and more than 759,000 voters preregister.

Election day is your opportunity to take part in our democracy and have your voice heard.

Visit our election webpage to find out how to prepare for election day.

Fix-It Clinics

fix it

Get free, guided assistance from handy volunteers on disassembling, troubleshooting and repairing small household appliances, clothing, electronics, mobile devices and more at a Fix-It Clinic. Upcoming Fix-It Clinics are scheduled for the following dates and locations:

  • Saturday, November 12 from noon to 4 p.m. at Wayzata City Hall
  • Sunday, December 11 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Grace Center for Community Life in northeast Minneapolis
  • Saturday, January 14 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Ridgedale Library in Minnetonka

Fix-It Clinics are now scheduled through June 2017. See the full schedule.

Volunteer fixers who have skills in electrical, mechanical or electronics repair, wood working, sewing or general tinkering are essential to making the clinics successful.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Nancy Lo at or 612-348-9195.

Upcoming 2017 budget dates

The board will decide on the 2017 budget and tax levy at 1:30 p.m. on December 13. Residents still have several opportunities to offer feedback. Unless otherwise noted, the hearings are held on the 24th floor of the Hennepin County Government Center, 300 South 6th Street, Minneapolis. Hearings and other important dates include: 

Truth-in-Taxation public meeting

Tuesday, November 29, 2016, 6 p.m. Participants can park for free after 5 p.m. in the Government Center ramp. Enter on 3rd Avenue.

Administrator amendments

Wednesday, December 7, 2016, during Budget and Capital Investment Committee meeting

Commissioner amendments

Monday, December 12, 2016, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Voters in 43 Hennepin County cities will check-in using iPads on Election Day

Hennepin County elections officials will check-in voters using a secure e-poll book system in all Hennepin County cities except Minneapolis. The city of Minneapolis will change to an electronic check-in process in 2017.

Hennepin County is one of two counties in the state to use this technology. E-poll books are iPads that have voter rolls electronically loaded on them. They replace the paper check-in process. All election judges are trained to use the new system and successfully used them during the primary election on August 9.

Voters in 43 Hennepin County cities will experience the following differences:

  • Voters can choose any line to check-in. They no longer need to find a specific line designated by their last name.
  • Election judges will check-in registered voters via iPad, rather than paper binders.
  • Election judges will register new voters via iPad, rather than paper forms.
  • Voters will sign their name on a small slip of paper, rather than in the binder

E-poll books have been pilot tested in multiple past elections in Hennepin County, including in Minnetonka, and other Minnesota counties including Ramsey, Dakota, St. Louis, Crow Wing, and Blue Earth counties.

Benefits to voters:

  • Increased voter privacy
  • More accurate check-in process
  • Efficient check-in and registration

Benefits to elections officials:

  • More accurate registration and check-in – e-poll book system prevents voters accidentally signing in on wrong line, election day registration information is captured electronically
  • Helps election judges by walking through each step of the check-in or registration process
  • Decreased administrative work after election is complete to transfer 
  • More efficient check-in – no need to flip through pages of voter rosters

Paper records will be available at all polling places as back-up. Election judges will only use the paper back-ups in the case of technical difficulties.

The voter registration information in the e-poll books is never connected to the ballot counting machines or results reporting process. The two systems function independently and never transfer information among each other. 

On average, each polling place has four e-poll books, but that varies by the size of the precinct.

Across the country, jurisdictions in 32 states currently use e-poll books. Hennepin County’s specific e-poll book product, the KNOWiNK Poll Pad, has been used in 12 states and over 60 counties across the country. 

Recent events

In light of the situation currently taking place in North Dakota, I thought it would be appropriate to share the response that I have sent to individuals who have contacted me by email.  Please see the below email:

"Thank you for contacting me regarding the presence of Sheriff’s deputies and equipment in North Dakota.  I’ve heard from a number of people sharing their concern that Hennepin County resources be used to support just causes and concluding that that is not the case here.  I’ve waited to respond until I understood more of the facts.  I’ve also decided to provide this general response to all those who emailed me so that everyone will receive the same information. 

Over the past several days, I’ve learned that the request to the Sheriff’s office to provide support came via the State of Minnesota which acted in response to a North Dakota request invoking a nation-wide mutual aid agreement.  This is the same mutual aid agreement that permits Hennepin County resources to be sent out-of-state in instances of natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and for Hennepin County to receive aid if we have an emergency here.  I’ve also learned that a significant portion of the policing in North Dakota had been left in the hands of private security forces hired by the pipeline company.  That fact relates to concerns that have been raised about how protesters have been treated. 

I’ve taken seriously the issues that you have raised about justice and fairness and your desire that Hennepin County actions support those goals.  But I have balanced them against my belief that the presence of professional, highly trained law enforcement officers can contribute to a peaceful resolution of highly inflamed situations such as this, a resolution where the rights of all are respected.  I think the right answer is to have the right people present who will contribute positively to a fair resolution.  And I believe that Sheriff Stanek understands this responsibility.  Moreover, I can’t distinguish between this situation and the back-up support that was provided by Hennepin County to Minneapolis and St. Paul/Ramsey County in recent similar cases. 

The Sheriff is responsible for decisions about how he deploys the resources under his control.  But I understand that it’s appropriate for me to share my thoughts with him as I have done both verbally and through this email.

Again, thank you for contacting me."