December Newsletter: Hennepin Commissioner Debbie Goettel

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debbie goettel

Hennepin Happening

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

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Minnesota leads the nation in voter turnout

Hennepin votes


Minnesota led the nation in voter turnout for the November midterm election at 64.3%, and Hennepin County was ahead of the state with 77% voter turnout. 631,100 ballots were cast in the county. 182,400 people voted early in person or by mail. Thank you to all of the volunteers, staff, candidates, and neighbors who have made this an exceptional year for our local democracy. We are a stronger, more educated, and participatory community because of your efforts.

Congratulations to all of the new and returning elected officials in District 5, including:

  • Ron Case (Mayor of Eden Praire), Kathy Nelson and Mark Freiberg (Eden Prairie City Council Members)
  • Maria Regan Gonzalez (Mayor of Richfield), Mary Supple (Richfield City Council Member)
  • Mike Freeman (Hennepin County Attorney), Dave Hutch (Hennepin County Sheriff), my current colleague Marion Greene (District 3 County Commissioner) as well as my new colleagues Irene Fernando (District 2 County Commissioner), Angela Conley (District 4 County Commissioner)
  • Representatives Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn (48B), Laurie Pryor (48A), Steve Elkins (49B), Andrew Carlson (50B), Michael Howard (50A), Jean Wagenius (63B)

I would also like to thank my colleagues Linda Higgins and Peter McLaughlin for their years of hard work and service to Hennepin County. They have been wonderful mentors and coworkers in my time on the Board, and I wish them all the best in their next endeavors.


Big wins for District 5 transit

Transit improvements


Eden Prairie, Bloomington, and Richfield are all set for major transit improvements in the coming years. Southwest Light Rail received final approval from the federal government and is slated to connect downtown Eden Prairie to the Green Line light rail in 2023. Meanwhile, the Orange Line bus rapid transit will open in 2020 with four stations in Richfield and Bloomington, providing faster connections for commuters along the 35W corridor.

These projects are a result of cooperation and collaboration between Hennepin County, MnDOT, the Metropolitan Council, Dakota County, Bloomington, Burnsville, Lakeville, Richfield, Eden Prairie, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Hopkins, St. Louis Park, and numerous other local and federal agencies. It takes time and effort, but the results will be worth it.

66th Street Reopens

66th Street


66th Street (County Road 53) reopened to all traffic in Richfield earlier this month, as construction winds down for the season. Crews will be back in 2019 to finish restoration and other minor activities.

Thank you to the residents and businesses who have worked with us during two years of major reconstruction. You can learn more about the project at

Fare For All - food access in Bloomington

Fare for All

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 11:00am to 1:00pm
Creekside Community Center
9801 Penn Ave S, Bloomington

Phone: 952-563-4944

Fare For All provides packages of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as frozen meat items. Pay with cash, credit, or EBT.


  • Produce Package ($10) Typically includes five varieties of fresh vegetables and two varieties of fresh fruits.
  • Mini Meat Pack ($11) A minimum of four assorted meat items (3 - 5 lbs). Does not include pork.
  • Combo Pack ($20) Save an extra $1 by combining the produce and mini meat packs.
  • Mega Meat Pack ($25) Typically includes 7 - 9 meat items.

More information about Fare For All.

Debbie around the district

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

SWLRT Groundbreaking


At the groundbreaking ceremony for Southwest Light Rail. From left to right, Commissioners Linda Higgins, Marion Greene, Peter McLaughlin, US Senator Amy Klobuchar, Metropolitan Council Chair Alene Tchourumoff, Commissioner Jan Callison, and myself.


Veterans Day


Veterans Day in Richfield. We are eternally grateful for the servicemembers who gave their lives to provide us with the hope of a better future. The work we do now wouldn't be possible without their sacrifice.


Commuter Choice Awards


Attended the Commuter Choice Award ceremony. The City of Bloomington won a Commuter Choice Award yesterday as well as both the Richfield Bike Advocates and the Bloomington Bicycle Alliance. Eden Prairie Council Membe Brad Aho presented the awards to Bloomington City Council Member Jack Baloga and bicycle activists Judy Jones and Sean Hayfor O'Leary (pictured).

  • Hosted a meeting with Tubman.
  • Attended budget hearings for Health, the Capital Budget, Human Services, Public Works, Public Safety
  • Attended a board briefing on the jail population
  • Met with County residents at the Truth in Taxation meeting. We received excellent feedback from many people about our budget and how it impacts their own lives.


Partners in Policymaking


Attended a Partners in Policymaking session in Bloomington. The weekend focused primarily on the county's role in developmental disabilities services. Class members gave presentations to a panel of commissioners, and we provided them with our thoughts and feedback.


Dunkin Donuts grand opening

Dunkin' Donuts grand opening in Richfield.

Hennepin County Library

Oxboro Library


Oxboro Library renovation is underway

Exterior demolition at Oxboro Library, including the former meeting room and entrances, is now complete. The library will reopen next spring with more open and flexible spaces.

Stay up-to-date with library construction projects.

See more photos of the Oxboro renovation.


Library Board


Open positions on the Library Board

Hennepin County invites residents to apply for three open positions on the Hennepin County Library Board. The term of service is three years. Applications for this advisory body will be accepted online through December 31.

Learn more about openings on the Library Board.


Read This newsletter


Read This newsletter

Our Read This newsletter focuses on adult readers. It will be published four times a year and will share reading recommendations, highlight online resources, and provide subscribers with tips and tricks to make using the library easy.  

Learn more and sign up to receive the Read This newsletter

Road construction

35W 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 |

Casey Krolczyk
Principal Aide
612-348-7885  |

Michael Ohama
Policy Director
612-348-7885 |

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