Mayor, City Council to get pay raises starting in 2015

Wayzata City Council members and the mayor will get pay raises starting in 2015.

On May 20, the council approved raising annual salaries by $1,500, so the mayor will get $6,000 a year and council members $4,500, effective in 2015. Salaries for officials in the city of 4,000 haven't changed since 1995.

Council Member Tom Tanner opposed the vote, saying that people should want to serve their community and not be concerned about the pay.

Mayor Ken Willcox said he agreed, but the pay is "a mark of how the community values its City Council. To not have changed that for 19 years … it begs some action."

In Minnetonka, a much larger city of 50,000, leaders recently bumped up council members' annual pay from $9,000 to $11,000 and the mayor's salary from $12,000 to $15,000. Those changes won't take effect until 2016.

KELLY SMITH @kellystrib


County Board's newest member Greene sworn in

Marion Greene was sworn in Wednesday as the newest Hennepin County Board member during a private ceremony in Minneapolis. There will be a public ceremony in June.

Voters in the Third District, which includes parts of southwest Minneapolis and St. Louis Park, chose Greene in a special election May 13. She fills the seat vacated in March by Gail Dorfman, who left the board to become executive director at St. Stephen's Human Services.

Greene, of Minneapolis, is a former state representative and health care finance professional who lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Bart Cannon, and two stepdaughters.

PAMELA MILLER @nightnewspam


Despite Legislature's snub, zoo's Sparky carries on

Despite a rejection by the Legislature of nearly $14 million in bond funding to build a new marine mammal habitat building, the show will go on for Sparky the Sea Lion.

For the 58th year and starting this weekend, Sparky will take to the stage at Como Zoo to entertain and educate audiences for another summer.

This year, Sparky and her trainers will read classic bedtime tales reinterpreted with an environmentally friendly twist, including "Sparkylocks and the Three Seals," "Sparky and the Bean Stalk" and "Sparky and the Seven Recyclables."

The Sparky show runs daily at 11:30 a.m. through the summer, with an additional show at 3 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

The zoo also offers plenty of other daily events involving the other animals, including zookeeper talks at 10:30 a.m.; a gorilla program at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Gorilla Forest; a story time at noon at the Visitor Center, and a polar bear program at 2:30 p.m. at the Polar Bear Odyssey.

JIM ANDERSON @StribJAnderson


Dan Winkel retires after 19 years as town's fire chief

Andover Fire Chief Dan Winkel retired last week after building up the city's volunteer department over his 19 years as chief.

City Council members commended Winkel, 60, for his selfless leadership. They thanked him for caring about residents, whom he often met under difficult circumstances when fire or other emergencies struck their lives.

The city recently held a retirement celebration for Winkel, who said he plans to stay in town and to stop by when a new firetruck arrives this summer.

He was formerly chief of the Lake Johanna Fire Department in Shoreview.

JIM ADAMS @stribjim