October Newsletter: Hennepin Commissioner Debbie Goettel

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debbie goettel

Hennepin Happening

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

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Farewell to Lois

Lois Langer Thompson

It is a bitter sweet moment for Hennepin County as Lois Ann Langer Thompson (center) is moving on after serving us for nearly 30 years beginning as an adult and youth services librarian and currently as the library director.

She played pivotal roles in the 2008 consolidation of the Hennepin County Library and the Minneapolis Public Library, expanding the role and capacity of the Friends of the Hennepin County Library creating one robust library system, and overseeing the construction, expansion, or renovations of 18 libraries.

District 5 is in midst of projects at Eden Prairie Library and Oxboro Library, and I cannot recall a single community meeting without Lois in attendance. That passion and leadership has improved the lives of countless people from all walks of life. I wish her nothing but the best in this next stage of her career.

Maximum levy lowered to 5.25%

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After thorough consideration and debate, my colleagues and I approved a maximum levy increase of 5.25%, down from the 5.5% proposed by staff. The property tax levy we approve in December may be lower than the approved maximum, but it cannot exceed the maximum levy adopted at last Tuesday’s meeting. In November, property owners will receive a notice that shows the impact of the county’s maximum levy on their properties, as well as the impact of those taxes proposed by other local units of government, such as cities and school districts.

The operating portion of this budget totals $1.9 billion dollars, a decrease of $61.8 million from the adjusted 2018 budget. The capital portion totals $475 million, an increase of $38 million or 8.7 percent over the adjusted 2018 amount. This is the beginning of our budget process, and I am counting on all of our community members to provide the feedback necessary to shape a budget that reflects our needs and values.

Here is our 2019 Budget Hearing schedule. These meetings are also broadcast live and archived for later viewing on our website.

Board I would like to draw special attention to the Truth In Taxation meeting on November 27. This is the public hearing for you to provide comments directly to the board.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 1:30 p.m.
County Administrator presents proposed 2019 budget to County Board

Thursday, October 4, 2018, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 18, 2018, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Human Services     

Thursday, November 1, 2018, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
Capital Budgeting Task Force (CBTF) / Capital Presentation and Fees
Public Hearing for Transportation Sales Tax Projects (if needed)

Thursday, November 8, 2018, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Tuesday, November 20, 2018, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
Public Safety

Tuesday, November 20, 2018, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Public Works

Tuesday, November 27, 2018, 6:00 p.m.
Board holds Truth-in-Taxation public meeting

Thursday, November 29, 2018, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Administrator and Commissioner Amendments

Wednesday, December 5, 2018, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Administrator and Commissioner Amendments

Tuesday, December 11, 2018, 1:30 p.m.
County Board approves 2019 budget and levy at regularly scheduled board meeting

Hennepin County wins NACo awards

NACO Awards

The National Association of Counties (NACo) recognized some of Hennepin County's most innovative programs at their summer conference. County staff accepted awards for the following departments and programs:

  • Department of Community Corrections and Rehabilitation for their Pathway to Employment program
  • Information Technology for the nuisance property map they developed in conjunction with GIS and the County Attorney's Office
  • Information Technology Technology's Document Management and Imaging program
  • Public Works' Environment and Energy for their Solid Waste Management Master Plan to reduce waste going to landfills to zero by 2030.
  • Work Environment and Energy for their Zero Waste Challenge for domestic households
  • Resident and Real Estate Services and Human Service for their Navigator program, which supports homeowner who need help overcome barriers to paying their property taxes
  • Adult Detention Initiative team for their work to better understand the impacts of incarceration and diverting people away from the prison system whenever possible
  • Hennepin County Attorney's office for their Curfew Diversion program
  • Information Technology for modernizing our data center
  • Center of Innovation and Excellence for their Continuous Improvement Program

2018 General Election voting is underway

2018 Election

Voting has begun for the 2018 November election! Here are the key dates and information you need to vote.

Debbie around the district

Since my last newsletter at the beginning of the month, here are a few highlights from my work...

Beacon Interfaith

Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative brought over three hundred people together from dozens of places of worship to support housing for everyone in Minnesota. I was proud to be a part of it.

Penn Fest

Attended Penn Fest with Richfield Council Member Simon Trautmann. Thank you to his wonderful wife, Jennifer Trautmann, for the photo.


Facilitated a discussion with county employees about green initiatives and environmentalism in Hennepin County at the Millenial Employee Resource Group (MERG) book club meeting. Everyone is welcome to attend future lunch hour events.

Hennepin County Library

Pride History Month

October is Pride History Month

Here are some staff-recommended titles on local and national LGBTQIA+ historical events and important people.

Find resources to learn more about Pride History Month.

Stories Together with Drag Performers

Stories Together with Drag Performers
Saturday, October 6, 2018 (10:00AM – 10:30AM)
Eden Prairie Library, 565 Prairie Center Dr., Eden Prairie

Celebrate self-expression, dress up, and gender fluidity through stories, rhymes, music and movement with drag performers from our community. These events will be a safe, positive, and encouraging space for children and caregivers to express themselves in an open environment.

Learn more about this event.

Paranormal Investigations

Paranormal Investigations
Saturday, October 6, 2018 (11:00AM – 12:00PM)
Penn Lake Library, 8800 Penn Ave. S., Bloomington

Take an otherworldly journey with Johnsdale Paranormal Group, which investigates claims of hauntings throughout Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. Learn about their techniques and equipment for gathering evidence of spectral activity, and view an AV presentation of their most fascinating finds. Q&A to follow. Sponsor: Friends of the Penn Lake Library. Collaborator: Johnsdale Paranormal Group.

Learn more about this event.

Through Our Eyes: The American Dream

Through Our Eyes: The American Dream
Wednesday, October 24, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Augsburg Park Library, 7100 Nicollet Avenue, Richfield

Continuing the community conversation about immigration enforcement sparked by the children's art exhibit, "The American Dream: From the Light to the Darkness," hear from a panel of professionals and community members addressing immigration from legal, psychological, educational and personal perspectives.

Learn more about this community event.

Hennepin History Museum

History in Focus

History in Focus: Photographs in the Life of Hennepin County

Since the mid-1800s, photography has served to reflect and record with uncanny accuracy those moments, both historic and mundane, that help to define our lives, our cultures, our worlds. Hennepin History Museum has a collection of more than 14,000 photographs visually documenting the people, places, things, and events that tell the story of this region. As part of our 80th anniversary celebration, two guest curators spent several months combing through file drawers and picture boxes to find images that reveal something about where we have been and perhaps even where we are going. Please join us for an exhibition of photographs chosen by Peg Meier, former Star Tribune journalist and author of books about Minnesota, and Dan Dennehy, Photographer and head of visual resources at Minneapolis Institiute of Art.

Exhibit opening Thursday, October 18, 6 - 8 p.m.

October 18, 2018 through March 10, 2019

Visiting the museum at this time does require the use of stairs.

Learn more about the Hennepin History Museum.

Road construction

66th Street in Richfield and Eden Prairie's Flying Cloud Drive 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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