Two City Council members seeking re-election this year in Roseville are facing a challenge from the head of the city’s Human Rights Commission.
Wayne Groff, a real estate agent, won the DFL Party endorsement for the job and praised the party at its endorsing convention for backing marriage equality and making it possible for him to marry his longtime partner.
Filing for their current positions were incumbents Jason Etten, a teacher and choir director at Irondale High School in New Brighton, and Lisa Laliberte, who works in marketing and communication for a health care firm.
Groff’s civic experience includes service on the planning commission and Human Rights Commission in neighboring Falcon Heights before moving to Roseville.
In a city that recently has seen some fractious moments, Groff is stressing “understanding, peacemaking, negotiating, and cooperating” in addition to “openness and resident engagement in city government.”
With fewer than two candidates per vacancy, there will be no Aug. 9 primary for the council race.
Details available on new A Line bus service
Metro Transit is offering online background information for prospective users of its new A Line rapid bus service that travels through St. Paul between Roseville and the 46th Street light-rail station in Minneapolis’ Ericsson neighborhood.
The service is launching on Saturday with free rides offered for the first three days. Details for the new service can be found at www.metrotransit.org/a-line-faq/.
Bus rapid transit is designed to speed up travel with fewer stops, and light-rail-style fare systems rather than onboard payments. Doors and aisles on the buses are wider to speed up passenger movements. The service offers free Wi-Fi, better security and real-time arrival info.
A Line stops include the Rosedale and Har Mar shopping centers, Hamline University, Macalester College, Highland Village and Minnehaha Park, as well as light-rail connections for both the Blue and Green lines.
Board pay hikes to match those of workforce
The Ramsey County Board, which raised eyebrows years ago with some thumping salary increases, is proposing raises next year for commissioners that reflect increases granted to a large majority of the county’s workforce.
This year, most county workers saw raises of 2.5 percent. A board resolution, to be finalized this month, states that commissioners plan future raises for themselves to match “the general increase in wages given to employees in the previous year.”
Most commissioners this year earn $87,884, with Board Chair Victoria Reinhardt making $90,632. The figures for 2017 would be $90,081 for board members and $92,898 for the chair.
In the early 2000s, Ramsey County commissioners made about $50,000 a year, far less than in Hennepin County but also less than board members in Dakota and Anoka counties, which have fewer people than Ramsey. Two big raises of 20 percent or more brought greater parity.
Arcola Mills to have five Sunday open houses
Arcola Mills, the site of the 1847 Mower mansion and an early lumber mill on 55 preserved acres along the St. Croix River, will host five open houses on Sundays this year: June 12; July 10, Aug. 14, Sept. 11 and Oct. 9. The property will be open from noon to 4 p.m. each of those days.
The Greek Revival house, built by John and Martin Mower, is one of the two oldest timber frame homes in Minnesota still standing. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The site is about 6 miles north of downtown Stillwater on the northern leg of Arcola Trail, just off Hwy. 95.
Arcola Mills is a nonprofit organization operated for the public benefit and offers programs in local history, the arts and nature. For more information, go to www.arcolamills.org/.
Beaches, water park are open for summer
County beaches that are patrolled by lifeguards, along with the Battle Creek Waterworks park, are opening Saturday for the summer. Lifeguards will be on duty from noon to 8 p.m. daily, and Waterworks will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Guarded beaches are at Tony Schmidt Regional Park, Arden Hills; Lake Josephine and Lake McCarrons county parks, both in Roseville; Long Lake Regional Park, New Brighton; and Snail Lake, Vadnais-Snail Lake Regional Park, Shoreview. Groups planning to visit guarded beaches or the water park should make reservations at 651-748-2500. Swimming also is offered at unguarded beaches in county parks at Lake Gervais, Little Canada; and Lake Owasso and Turtle Lake, both in Shoreview.