News: Opat to leave Hennepin County Board November 7

commissioner opat



Opat to leave Hennepin County Board November 7

District 1 Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat will leave the county board on November 7, two months before the end of his current term. He did not seek re-election this year.

“It has been an honor beyond description to work for and serve the residents of District 1 and all of Hennepin County,” said Opat. “I’m excited to move on to a new challenge.”

Opat will begin a consulting practice, working initially with North Memorial Health. The Robbinsdale campus of North Memorial Health and several other operations are based in District 1.

First elected in 1992, Opat was re-elected seven times. He is widely known as the architect of Hennepin County’s public-private partnership with the Minnesota Twins that provided for the design, construction and long-term operation of Target Field in downtown Minneapolis.

During his tenure, Opat also focused on advancing a number of infrastructure projects, including the county’s investments in the Midtown and Humboldt greenways, building a coalition of local elected officials to accelerate improvements to Highway 100 through the northern suburbs and pressing for the advancement of the Bottineau LRT project.

In the area of health and human services, Opat has worked closely with county staff to prioritize new initiatives to reduce teen pregnancies and to reform the child protection system. In the early 2000s, Opat successfully advocated to expand and modernize the governance structure of the Hennepin Healthcare System.

Opat was elected by his colleagues to chair the county board nine times.

“I began my county career as an employee in 1981, walking cell blocks as a correctional officer,” Opat said. “Not for one day have I thought anything but that the county is a wonderful employer with truly dedicated employees. I’m eternally grateful for the many talented leaders with whom I’ve had the chance to work over so many years.”                    

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