District 3 May Newsletter

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Commissioner Marion Greene - News from District 3

May 2018

Greetings! We hope our newsletter serves as a resource for staying connected to Hennepin County activities and staying updated on county news and services. 

As always, please reach out with questions, comments, or to learn more about how to get involved.

My best,

Marion Greene


Autonomous Shuttle Demonstrated on Midtown Greenway


Hennepin County partnered with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and other agencies and community organizations to demonstrate use of the EasyMile EZ10 electric autonomous shuttle on a two-block section of the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis the weekend of April 27-29. 

Autonomous vehicles are no longer a thing of the future, and Hennepin County is interested in learning more about how the technology could work as one piece of a broader transportation system. The county has no current plans to implement an autonomous shuttle or other forms of autonomous transportation.

Learn more here. 


Minneapolis Farmers Market Returns Tuesdays to Government Center

Farmers Mkt

The Minneapolis Farmers Market will return to the Hennepin County Government Center South Plaza (South 7th St and 3rd Ave) from May – October. A variety of vendors will sell fresh produce, flowers and more, Tuesdays 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

The Farmers Market was previously held on Thursdays at the Government Center. The Thursday market will be located on Nicollet Mall this year. 

Learn more here. 

Board Meeting Highlights

April 10

Board awards Hennepin Youth Sports grants 

The board awarded annual grant funding to Hennepin Youth Sports for playground and small equipment projects including:

  • Washburn High School, track and field equipment
  • Nokomis East Neighborhood Association, youth sport equipment
  • Whittier Neighborhood Center, outdoor sports recreation equipment

Since it began in 2009, Hennepin Youth Sports has awarded $22 million for facility, small equipment and playground projects, along with water safety lessons. Proceeds from the Twins ballpark sales tax support this program.

Read more about Hennepin Youth Sports


April 24

Expanded Program Aims to Reduce Contracting Disparities

The board approved an action to supplement and enhance a program that promotes inclusion of minority- and women-owned businesses in contracts.

In 2016, the county participated in a joint disparity study led by the state, along with eight other state and local entities. The study documented that, despite the long-term use of a race- and gender-neutral contracting program, substantial disparities continue to exist in contracting dollars awarded to minority-owned and women-owned firms.

The county will take several measures to supplement and enhance its Small Business Enterprise program, its primary method of including local small firms in contracts. Among steps taken the county will:

  • Supplement and enhance the county’s Small Business Enterprise Program with narrowly-tailored race and/or gender-conscious contracting opportunities
  • Renew its participation in a collaborative that provides business development services and resources to local small businesses 
  • Streamline affirmative action/equal employment opportunity contract compliance for non-construction vendors
  • Coordinate department-level contract inclusion goals

Grants awarded to improve recycling in public spaces

The board awarded grants to improve recycling at parks, along business districts and in sports facilities. Cities will use funding to add more than 150 recycling containers throughout the county.

Cities will purchase recycling containers.

  • Minneapolis – Eat Street (Nicollet Avenue) and Stadium Village business districts  
  • Bloomington Ice Garden 
  • Brooklyn Park – eight park locations
  • Maple Grove Community Center
  • Richfield – Wood Lake Nature Center 
  • Rogers – North Community Park and Veterans’ Memorial Park
  • Shorewood Community Center

    These grant awards will help meet the county’s goal of recycling 75 percent of waste by 2030.

    Read more about these funding awards.

    District 3 Profile

    Brian Shek

    Brian Shekleton

    Fern Hill, St. Louis Park

    Principal Aide

    Office of Commissioner Peter McLaughlin 



    Describe your work.

    I am the Principal Aide to Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin and my days are incredibly varied. Much of what I do involves constituent work, strategic communications, and tracking legislative actions and the varying priorities of other counties and city councils. 

    What part of your job do you find most challenging?

    Keeping abreast of and staying conversant about the latest practices in fields as varied as transportation, health care, human services, public safety, and corrections is a real challenge. The constant education is crucial to succeeding at my job and while it’s a challenge, it’s also very rewarding.

    What do you find most enjoyable?

    I do what I do because I believe in public service. Irrespective of political affiliation, the people I work with share that belief, they are curious, opinionated, and want to make our world a better place. We may not always agree on issues or tactics but our shared values make the job really enjoyable.

    What is one thing everyone should know about the work you do?

    No issue is too inconsequential or too silly to come before a county commissioner. I’ll never forget the day a retiree spoke at the open forum held every two weeks. He asked “Could the County dump less salt on its roads by using brine instead?” The County engineer stood up to respond and promised an answer at a later date. Within months Hennepin County had changed its salting practices.

    Mondays with Marion

    May and June Schedule 

    Early spring meetings have been such a joy and so informative, thanks to all who have brought their feedback, ideas, and questions over the last two months. I'm excited to share my "coffee hours" schedule for May and June (I am always available for 1:1 appointments, so don’t feel limited to these hours; if something is on your mind please reach out).

    As a reminder, issues are taken up in two week cycles, first on Tuesdays in Committee meetings, then voted on on the following Tuesday during Board meetings. "coffee hours" are planned on Monday evenings the night before Committee meetings.

    Mondays before committee meetings, 5pm – 7pm

    May 14

    • Yum! Kitchen
    • 4000 Minnetonka Blvd, St. Louis Park

    May 28

    • Studio 2
    • 818 W 46th St, Minneapolis

    June 11

    • Wedge Table and Bakery
    • 2412 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis

    June 25

    • Butter Bakery and Cafe
    • 3700 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis

    Please come with friends, family, community groups, advocacy groups, or with your own perspectives. Contact me office ahead of time, or just show up; I look forward to talking about how to improve our community for everyone. 

    Board Briefings

    You're invited. In addition to our regularly scheduled board meetings, the County Board often meets for updates on Thursday mornings. These are informal opportunities to discuss emerging issues. No decisions are made, and topics are subject to change. Board briefings occur in the board room on the 24th floor of the Hennepin County Government Center and are open to the public. Call my office to confirm briefing time and location.

    Thursday, May 3:

    • 9:30am -10:30am: Pathways to Employment

    Thursday, May 17: 

    • 9:30am -11:30am: TBD

    County Calendar

    Meet a library board member from District 3

    Sheila Letscher, of St. Louis Park, recently began service on the Hennepin County Library Board.

    Meet Sheila.


    Master Gardener: Butterfly Gardening

    Saturday, May 12, 10 to 11:30 a.m.

    Washburn Library, 5244 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis

    Discover the life cycle of a butterfly, learn about choosing host and nectar plants, and get help from a master gardener to take the next step toward creating your own butterfly garden.)

    Learn more about this gardening program.

    Home is where the books are

    Hennepin County Library provides books and magazines for residents of Fort Snelling Upper Post, a housing complex for formerly homeless veterans and their families. It’s one of many efforts by the library system to serve people who often face barriers to visiting the library.

    Read more about the collection at Fort Snelling Upper Post.

    Learn a new song

    Songbirds are on the move again. Look up pictures and birdcalls of more than 760 bird species in the United States and Canada with Birds of North America Online, accessible with your library card.

    Explore Birds of North America Online.

    Get a free library card.

    Plan a smart summer

    It’s almost time for summer learning at your local library. Find events and registration after Friday, May 4, on the Hennepin County Library website, www.hclib.org.

    Step your way through a story

    Communities throughout Hennepin County will be joining the Step to it challenge in May. If you have decided to participate, add a story to your walk or run with a downloadable audiobook.

    Explore the library’s resources for audiobooks on the go.

    About District 3

    3rd District map

    The 3rd District serves the city of St. Louis Park, and parts of west and downtown Minneapolis.

    County Information

    Contact us

    Marion Greene
    Commissioner, 3rd District

    Elie Farhat
    Principal Aide

    Laura Hoffman
    District Aide


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