November newsletter: Hennepin Commissioner Debbie Goettel

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debbie goettel

Hennepin Happening

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

Election Day is November 7


Election Day is next week on Tuesday, November 7. You can check your city website for all information about early voting, your polling location, and the candidates/referendums that will be on your ballot.

Bloomington website

Eden Prairie website

Richfield website

Local artists shine at District 5 Open House

Debbie with Suzanne Runte and Ken Dobratz

The District 5 Open House was a huge success.  I thank everyone who attended, especially a number of local artists and authors who displayed there work that evening. These are just a few of my favorites stories:

Ken Dobratz (pictured above)

Ken is a Vietnam veteran, 35 year resident of Bloomington, and one of the most excellent painters I've ever met. He lost his sight about 15 years ago, but he has persevered to continue his passion as a painter, creating hundreds of works in the process. Mr. Dobratz attended with his wonderful wife, Ellyn.

Suzanne Runte (pictured above)
Suzanne is inspired by the fabric of her life and the society in which we live. She creates pieces to touch people, transmit hope, and lift up the human spirit. Her art regularly features themes about gun violence, environmentalism, and social justice. Suzanne has lived in Bloomington for the last 20 years.

Other authors and artists featuring pieces were Kathy Litwin (Eden Prairie), Kimberly Tornoe (Richfield), Lisa Rudolph (Richfield), Jon Oleson (Bloomington), and Doris Rubenstein (Richfield). There were also three jokes authored by Eden Prairie students in a children's joke book sold to raise funds for the United Healthcare Children's fund.

A message for Mogadishu

I offer my most sincere condolences to the victims of the bombing in Mogadishu and their families. Any instance of violence is reprehensible, but the loss of Bloomington resident Ahmed AbdiKarin Eyow is especially harrowing. It is often easy to dismiss horrific violence happening far away, but this occasion struck quite close to home. My heart goes out everyone affected, especially the Somali-American community here in Minnesota.

Debbie around the district

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

  • Briefed by Sheriff Rich Stanek and Chief Carlson on public safety issues.
  • Toured Bloomington Parks with Parks and Recreation Director Randy Quale
  • Attended county budget hearings regarding health, public works, and human services
Bloomington Ice Garden

Watched the Minnesota Wild practice at the Bloomington Ice Arena. The Arena won the Hockeyville Western Division and was the 2017 Hockeyville National Runner-Up. Kraft Hockeyville presented a check for $75,000 to the Arena.

  • Attended a child wellbeing meeting with a group of county staff and activists.
  • Joined the other commissioners for a hearing regarding a name restoration of Lake Calhoun to its native name, Bde Maka Ska.
District 5 Open House

Hosted an open house at the Hennepin County Government Center

  • Attended NACO's Conference for Large Urban County Caucus

Winter Is Coming

Bloomington Winter Fete

There are small things that we can all do to prepare for the cold season that have a big impact on our quality of life. Here are a few recommendations:

  1. Rake your leaves... and don't put them in the street!
    Leaves have a high level of phosphorus. When we leave them in our yards, on the street, or in our storm drains, they contaminate water runoff and lead to algae blooms, killing off fish and local varieties of plants.
  2. Disconnect hoses from water spigots, empty pools/ponds/fountains, and bring pumps inside.
    Hoses are not recyclable, and they become brittle when they've frozen. Same goes for many other water-channeling tools.
  3. Put paints, pesticides, etc. in a temperature-controlled space
    Freezing ruins many chemicals. If you need to dispose of a chemical, use the designated drop-off facility in Bloomington.
    South Hennepin Recycling and Problem Waste Drop-Off Center
    1400 West 96th Street, Bloomington, MN 55431

Hennepin County Library

Performances and Movies

Land of 10,000 tunes: A Journey through Minnesota music

1-2 p.m. on Saturday, November 4
Penn Lake Library, 8800 Penn Avenue South, Bloomington

Pianist Nate Hance will take you on a tour of Minnesota music and perform songs from Judy Garland to Bobby Vee, Morris Day to Owl City, Bob Dylan to Prince, and many more.

Learn more about this music event.


November is National Native American Heritage Month

Learn more about the indigenous people of North America with your library card. Look up the database, American Indian Experience: The American Mosaic, which includes treaties, speeches, traditional tales, maps and photos.

Access American Indian Experience.


Write your novel at a Hennepin County library

Whether you need quiet spaces, moral support or technical help to transform your idea into a novel, you can find it at Hennepin County Library. Learn about a new online publishing platform, and other resources available to writers.

Read more about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) at Hennepin County Library.


Read for gratitude

On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving, saying, "The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. ... It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People."

Here are some books about finding gratitude in our daily lives.

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 |

Casey Krolczyk
Principle Aide
612-596-7078 |

Michael Ohama
Policy Director
612-348-7885 |

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