January newsletter: Hennepin Commissioner Debbie Goettel

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debbie goettel

2017 at Hennepin County


As this first year at the county comes to a close, I find myself feeling deeply thankful for the partnerships we've formed between the District 5 office and our constituents, city/county personnel, and elected officials from every level of government. So many people have taken the time to meet with me and bring our office up to speed on different issues, and that's allowed us to have a highly productive first year in office. Coordination and communication between all kinds of bright, passionate, and hardworking people is helping us meet the needs of all three of our district's cities.

But there is still so much work to be done. Our office hosted a number of well-attended open houses this last year, and we will continue to actively engage with residents in 2018. If you have an event you would like me to attend, please give me a call or send me an email! I'd love nothing more than to join you to learn more about your own ideas for improving our community. My contact information is at the bottom of the newsletter.

2018 is sure to be a dynamic year for our county. We have a bright future, but we are also tracking the budget shortfall at the state capitol as well as cuts to local aid. Whatever comes down the pipes, we're positioning ourselves to handle it.

Wishing everyone a happy holidays and New Year,



Read more about...

2017 in review

Oath of Office ceremony

Judge Ivy Bernhardson administers the oath of office. I was joined by long-time friend Edwina Garcia (Richfield City Council) and my husband, Tor.

CAPHC visit

I have been an active member of the Community Action Partnership - Hennepin County board since taking office. Adding Minneapolis to the organization's service area has been a massive undertaking, and the Board has worked tirelessly to oversee the transition. 2018 will be another big year for the organization as we continue to unfold that expansion.

Bloomington public works meeting

If Hennepin County isn't on the same page with the cities we serve, we miss out on opportunities to collaborate and make taxpayer dollars go further. Meetings with city staff (like the one here with Bloomington public works engineers) have been so important as I work with my colleagues on the County Board to set priorities for transit, roads, and other infrastructure projects.

Eden Prairie library open house

This has been an exciting year to serve on the Hennepin County Library Board, especially since our district has two major renovations coming in 2018 at the Eden Prairie and Oxboro libraries. Our staff and local library users of all ages have worked together to design our new facilities, and I was happy to see so many excellent ideas come out of the open houses.

District 5 parks

It doesn't matter if it's Eden Prairie, Bloomington, or Richfield... we all love our parks. I've done extensive tours parks department staff in all three cities now, and we are pushing for more grant dollars from the Youth Sports Grant Program to bolster facilities and programs that promote active lifestyles.  

Civil Rights forum

Last November, I joined Vice President Walter Mondale, Congressman Ellison, and a host of other professors, students, and civil rights leaders for the Summit for Civil Rights held at the University of Minnesota Law School. Our suburban communities do better when everybody is at the table.

Coffee with a cop

Bloomington's "Coffee with a Cop" open house offered an opportunity to spend time with local police in a fun, festive environment. It is important that we keep bonds between our police departments and the community strong. It keeps us safer and happier when we know each other better.

Bicycle Advisory Committee appointment!

Bicycle advisory committee

There is an opening to represent District 5 on the Hennepin County Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC). If you’re interested in working to promote and expand the use of bicycles for safe and convenient transportation and recreation, I hope you will consider applying. The BAC plays an important role in shaping bicycle policy and projects by advising the Board of Commissioners and county staff on a range of issues and opportunities.

To qualify, you must:

  • Be a resident of District 5
  • Be interested in promoting the use of the bicycle for transportation and recreation
  • Attend monthly meetings and participate in the committee's work

BAC members are appointed to three-year terms. If you are interested in joining the committee, fill out the BAC application (DOCX) and submit it to Jordan Kocak at jordan.kocak@hennepin.us.

Visit the Bicycle Advisory webpage to learn more.

Hennepin History Museum

Glen Lake Sanitorium

I have served on the Museum's board this past year, and it has continued to amaze me with compelling stories and excellent exhibits. The Glen Lake Tuberculosis Sanatorium exhibit has been one of the best we've ever hosted, and I encourage everyone to visit the museum and step into the lives of the patients and physicians who made this one of the most progressive sanatoriums in the country.

2303 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55404
$5 for adults | $3 for students | Free for HHM members and children 6 and under

Bloomington Winter Fete

Bloomington Winter Fete

Join Bloomington Parks and Recreation and area sponsors in welcoming winter during the 14th Annual Winter Fete celebration.

This year, Winter Fete activities will take place throughout the City from Saturday, January 20, through Sunday, January 28, 2018.

Kick off Winter Fete by attending the Fat Tire Bike race in the Minnesota River Valley, sponsored by Penn Cycle.  Be sure to check out the many other activities including the Pond-Dakota Winter History Festival and other great events during this winter celebration!

For times and locations of events, go to the city's website. All events are free unless otherwise noted.

Richfield Winter Farmers' Market

Richfield Winter Farmers' Market

One of my favorite summer attractions is now making winter appearances! Find local, healthy, and affordable food on February 1, March 1, April 5, and May 3 at the indoor market. More information here.

Richfield Community Center (7000 Nicollet Ave, Richfield) | 4:00-7:00 p.m.

Constituent services

Casey and Michael

From the staff, Casey and Michael:

Some of the most worthwhile and fulfilling work we do is helping you out when you need it most. Housing crises, energy assistance, flagging and improving dangerous traffic areas; we are here to be your voice at Hennepin County and to help you navigate county resources. Please call our office at 612-348-7885 with any questions or for assistance.

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.


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


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