After a controversial year for the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District's leadership, more people are vying for two open spots on its board.
The district, one of the largest financially in Minnesota, is governed by a seven-manager board. Two of the terms are up in March, and the deadline to apply was Thursday, prompting 11 applications. By comparison, in the past three years, open board spots have drawn three to four applicants each year, according to Hennepin County.
It's now up to the County Board to interview applicants and appoint two managers.
The applicants are William Becker, Thomas Casey, Richard De Los Santos, Thomas Fletcher, Thomas Geng, Dennis Libby, Kurt Rogness, Kristine Sundberg and Mary Ann Van Cura. The other two are current board managers Sherry White and Jeffrey Casale, both of whom are seeking reappointment when their terms are up March 8. The managers get $75 per meeting.
The board fired longtime district administrator Eric Evenson-Marden last year in a 4-3 vote, spurring months of board division and community scrutiny.
The district manages everything from flooding to the spread of invasive species in a 181-square-mile area in 27 cities — from Minnehaha Falls to Lake Minnetonka. Six of the seven board managers are appointed by Hennepin County and one by Carver County. The watershed collects about $8.3 million from property owners in both counties for a $14 million budget.