February 2020 E-Newsletter

Jan Callison - News from District 6


  February 2020


I hope you are enjoying my electronic newsletters, and find them interesting and informative about county activities. In addition to my monthly newsletter, the county sends various newsletters and notifications available by email or text message. To explore the many opportunities to subscribe or to change your preferences, visit the subscription webpage.

Please feel free to send me your comments through my feedback form on issues that concern you or you would like covered. I value your opinions.

Warm regards,

Jan Callison

In this edition

Board meetings

January 7, 2020

Board leadership appointments

County board

  • Board chair: Commissioner Marion Greene, District 3
  • Vice chair: Commissioner Mike Opat, District 1

Committee chairs

  • Administration, Libraries and Budget: Commissioner Debbie Goettel, District 5
  • Health and Human Services: Commissioner Angela Conley, District 4
  • Intergovernmental Relations: Commissioner Jan Callison, District 6, and Mike Opat, District 1
  • Public Safety: Commissioner Jeff Johnson, District 7
  • Public Works: Commissioner Mike Opat, District 1

Regional Railroad Authority

  • Chair: Commissioner Jan Callison, District 6
  • Vice chair: Commissioner Mike Opat, District 1

January 21, 2020

Board approves contractor for regional medical examiner's facility


A new regional medical examiner’s facility is expected to open as early as 2021 in Minnetonka. The board approved the $36.8 million contract with Knutson Construction Services Inc. for construction of the 64,000 square-foot-facility. 

County to replace assistive voting devices

The board approved an application for a grant of up to $600,000 from the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State for replacement costs of assistive voting devices. The devices help voters with disabilities to mark their ballot privately and independently. The board committed matching funds for devices to be purchased in 2020.

$1.8M for affordable supportive housing

The board awarded $1.8 million for affordable supportive housing for people experiencing chronic homelessness.

This action aligns with Hennepin County's new affordable supportive housing strategy approved by the board in May 2019. Supportive housing includes onsite social services for those who require ongoing support to live independently.

Board briefings

In addition to our regularly scheduled board meetings, the board often meets on Thursday mornings to receive board briefings. These are informal opportunities to discuss emerging issues. No votes are taken. Board briefings occur in the board room on the 24th floor of the Hennepin County Government Center and are open to the public.

January 23, 2020

Public Health Update

Hennepin County's public health department is the largest local public health department in the state of Minnesota, with a staff of approximately 400. It is also one of five community health boards within Hennepin County. The services that the department provides includes: infectious disease investigations and case follow-up for reportable diseases, responding to outbreaks, infectious disease consultations, create and share infectious disease information, and data analysis and reports. 

The main reason for the briefing was to discuss ending epidemiology services in Minneapolis and the next steps.  Minneapolis has contracted with Hennepin County for epidemiology services for over 35 years.  They are ending the contract on March 31, 2020. Minneapolis intends to take on all disease prevention and control activities for their residents by the end of 2020.  Staff is concerned about the scope and speed of the transition, the lack of capacity, resources, and infrastructure at the city, and the continuity of ongoing outbreak responses. 

Staff has identified the following as next step options: do nothing, maintain the status quo with City leadership agreeing to renew the contract, extend the transition timeline to allow for necessary planning, or manage coordination with Minneapolis through mutual aid requests on a case-by-case basis.

County calendar

February 9, 2020

Opportunities to reuse and recycle building materials


About 85% of the materials in a typical demolition or remodeling project could be salvaged and kept out of landfills. But currently, only about 30% of building materials are actually reused or recycled.

Choosing deconstruction can help change that, and homeowners in certain cities may be eligible for grants to offset the higher costs of deconstruction.

Learn more

February 14, 2020

Free Valentine's Day weddings

VD Weddings

Registration is open for the eighth annual free Valentine’s Day weddings event. Up to 12 District Court judges will perform free marriage ceremonies over the noon hour on Friday, February 14, at the Hennepin County Government Center. Registration details are available on the event flyer.

March 2, 2020

Early voting for Presidential nomination primary


All eligible voters can vote absentee — either in-person or by mail — now through March 2. Minnesota’s presidential nomination primary is on Tuesday, March 3.

View your sample ballot from the Secretary of State’s website.

Vote early in person or by mail

View instructions for voting early.


Hennepin County Public Health 2019 annual report


View a snapshot of the department’s 2019 highlights, conveyed through stories, photos, videos, and related media coverage.

Report highlights include

  • Updates to Hennepin County ordinance 21 on tobacco sales
  • Response to Big Island and Hep A outbreaks
  • Opioid interventions, like medication assisted treatment
  • Notable stats, national recognition, 2019 funding

More information

  • Questions/comments – contact allison.thrash@hennepin.us
  • Obtain report in a different format – call 612-600-9782

School recycling grants


Apply now for a school recycling grant to improve school programs to reduce waste and keep recycling and organic materials out of the trash. Learn more at hennepin.us/schoolrecycling.

Real ID deadline

Real ID

The third big moment coming up this year is the REAL ID deadline on October 1.

If you plan to board a plane after the deadline, you’ll need a passport, REAL ID, or other TSA-approved form of ID. In other words, your regular license won’t get you on a flight.

Want to save time getting your REAL ID?
1. Pre-apply online: bit.ly/2mELrqP
2. Schedule your service center visit: bit.ly/2lAnfWs
3. Check current wait times: bit.ly/2l6nLek

How to view board meetings

The county board usually meets Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. at the Hennepin County Government Center. Find minutes, agendas and more at hennepin.us/boardmeetings.

Board and committee meetings are live streamed on the web, broadcast live on Metropolitan Cable Network Channel 6, and re-broadcast on Channel 6 on Fridays at 8 p.m.


2020 board meeting calendar

The board approved the meeting calendar for this year. The calendar can be viewed at at hennepin.us/boardmeetings.

About District 6

District 6 map

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners consists of one commissioner from each of seven districts. I am proud to represent Deephaven, north Eden Prairie, Edina, Excelsior, Greenwood, Hopkins, Long Lake, Minnetonka, Minnetonka Beach, northern Mound, Orono, Shorewood, Spring Park, Tonka Bay, Wayzata and Woodland.

County information

Jan Callison
6th District

Allyson Sellwood
Policy Aide

Bill Fellman
Administrative assistant/scheduling


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