July newsletter: Hennepin Commissioner Debbie Goettel

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debbie goettel

Welcome to the District 5 July newsletter! Scroll down to read more about

Debbie and Rep. Keith Ellison Town Hall


I will be joining Congressman Ellison and Richfield Mayor Pat Elliott for a civics forum and town hall meeting at the Richfield Municipal Center. All are invited to attend.

When: Thursday, July 6th | 6-7:30pm
Where: Richfield Municipal Center | 6700 Portland Ave, Richfield

Legislative updates

Half-cent sales tax for transit and transportation

On June 13, my colleagues and I voted to increase the county’s transportation-dedicated sales tax from a quarter-cent to a half-cent and add a $20 tax on the sale of cars/trucks starting on October 1. This was preceded by three public hearings and extensive deliberation with District 5 residents, local leadership, county staff, and experts in economic development and transportation. These decisions are always complex, but the central issue is this: Hennepin County is growing, and we need to keep up.

We are projected to add more people, households, and jobs over the next 20 years. Of the projected regional growth by 2040, Hennepin County’s share is forecasted at 32% of the population growth, 33% of the household growth, and 48% of the job growth. Supporting that development is the most responsible action for the board to take.


The decision corresponds with other developments that have put Hennepin County in a position to move forward with Southwest LRT, the I-35W Orange Line BRT, and other critical infrastructure projects. The Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB) will dissolve on September 30. The next day, the counties of Hennepin and Ramsey will both implement a new half-cent sales tax to support transit and infrastructure projects. There are currently 27 counties utilizing the same half-cent sales tax to fund infrastructure investment, with Hennepin, Ramsey, and Wright counties joining them in the coming months.

More information about the sales tax and the projects it supports

2018 Budget Meetings

The County Board will begin 2018 budget planning sessions this September. This is a long process, and our careful consideration is required to balance the needs of many different priorities. Throughout this process it’s important that the county’s priorities align with the needs of our cities. I will be meeting with city staff and elected leadership in our district, (Bloomington, Richfield, Eden Prairie) during the summer months to ensure that budget considerations meet the needs of our suburban communities.

4th of July in District 5


Bloomington's Summer Fete | July 3 at Normandale Park
West 84th Street and Chalet Road

This year's fun starts with a carnival, includes two entertainment stages – the Kid's stage and the Main Stage – featuring a great lineup of performers, and as usual, culminates with a fantastic fireworks display just after dusk!

Eden Prairie Hometown Celebration | July 3 & 4 at Round Lake Park
16691 Valley View Road

Enjoy entertainment, food, activities and more throughout the day at Round Lake Park!

Richfield 4th of July | July 2 - 4 at Veterans Memorial Park
6335 Portland Ave

There's a Car Show, Family Night, Street Dance, Fireworks, Parade, and a wide range of entertainment. Click to learn more about the whole celebration!

Debbie around the district

Since our last newsletter in June, here are a few of the highlights from Commissioner Goettel's work...

  • Attended a board briefing on our libraries and renovation projects
  • Met with Dr. Chris Johnson to discuss paths to reducing opioid addiction and deaths

Toured the Hennepin County Jail


Toured the Hennepin County Crime Lab and was briefed on our crime scene processing services

  • Met with Jill Crafton to discuss the work happening at the Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District
  • Took part in a fundraiser for Cornerstone, an organization working to support vulnerable families
  • Attended a town hall hosted by Rep. Jenifer Loon at the Eden Prairie Library
  • Attended the MELSA board meeting, discussing ways that metro-area libraries can coordinate services and save taxpayer money

Hosted an open house at the Richfield Farmers Market

  • Met with members of People Power, a group in Eden Prairie working to protect the rights of immigrants and their families
  • Received a legislative update from People Incorporated Mental Health Services

Toured County security facilities

  • Met with staff and Assistant Chief Judge Todrick Barnette for an orientation on the 4th Judicial District and criminal justice in Hennepin County
  • Attended the CAPHC board meeting
  • Briefed the Hennepin County Library Board on recent board activity
  • Met with county and court staff to discuss reforms to the criminal expungement process.

Library news and events

Augsburg Park librarian wins writing award

Hennepin County Library–Augsburg Park librarian Phuoc Tran has won the Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Award for her work sharing Vietnamese stories and culture. Her book, “Vietnamese Children’s Favorite Stories,” came out in 2015. Her writing also was featured last year in “Sky Blue Water: Great Stories for Young Readers,” an anthology of short stories by Minnesota writers. Though her storytelling happens outside of her work for the library system, both passions ignite each other. Tran recently helped to organize a multimedia exhibit that launched on World Refugee Day in June, "If the Waves Could Talk, What Would They Say," in collaboration with the City of Richfield.


Learning is fun at the library

Keep the kids’ minds active and strong this summer with summer learning at Hennepin County Library. During summer vacation, neighborhood and regional libraries offer learning opportunities in science and nature, arts and crafts, games, computers and technology, and of course book clubs and discussion groups.

Ask about summer learning at your local library, or visit the library website.


Take better vacation photos with Hennepin County Library

Whether you are taking a world tour, seeing the great American sights or enjoying a Minnesota staycation, Hennepin County Library can help you memorialize your experiences. Library cardholders get free access to online courses on Lynda.com, a resource to learn creative, technical and professional skills. Create an account to access the “Mobile Photography Weekly” courses, to learn about composing, editing and sharing your photos online, and more.


Current Events Book Club, Thursday, July 20, 7 to 8 p.m.

Eden Prairie Library, 565 Prairie Center Drive, Eden Prairie

Read, listen to or watch something from our list of recommended titles, or bring in your own recommendation. Then join us to share what you've learned. July topic: Overlooked U.S. History.

Click here for the recommended title list.

Learn more about this discussion group.

Road construction

66th Street in Richfield and Bloomington's Normandale Boulevard are in the midst of major construction projects. Skip the traffic jams and sign up for updates on the projects impacting your commute.

You can also visit the Hennepin County website for updates on road maintenance projects and all other road construction.

Constituent services

Housing crises, energy assistance, child protection, emergency situations; we are here to advocate for you when it comes to navigating local and county services, and we want to help. Please call our office at 612-348-7885 with any questions or for assistance.


Commissioner Debbie Goettel
Hennepin County District 5
Bloomington | Eden Prairie | Richfield
612-348-7885 | debbie.goettel@hennepin.us

Casey Krolczyk
Principal aide
612-596-7078 | casey.krolczyk@hennepin.us

Michael Ohama
Policy director
612-348-7885 | michael.ohama@hennepin.us


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