Goettel to be sworn in as county commissioner

Hennepin County will get a new commissioner Tuesday when Debbie Goettel is sworn in, giving the seven-member board a majority of women for the first time.

Goettel, who is stepping down as mayor of Richfield, will replace longtime Commissioner Randy Johnson. She defeated Maureen Scallen Failor, president of the Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, in the November election.

While the job is nonpartisan, Scallen Failor had Republican Party support while Goettel was endorsed by the Hennepin County DFL.

Johnson decided not to seek re-election this year after serving nearly four decades on the Hennepin County Board.

The Richfield City Council appointed Council Member Mike Howard mayor pro tempore to fill in for Goettel until a new mayor is chosen in a special election.

Goettel’s Fifth District includes Bloomington, Richfield, south Eden Prairie and part of Chanhassen.

Also retiring is Judy Larson, Johnson’s aide since 1985. Before she joined the county, she worked for Minnesota Gov. Rudy Perpich.



Piccadilly Square senior housing complex opens

A long-awaited Washington County senior housing project has opened in Mahtomedi.

Piccadilly Square, which has 79 affordable housing units, will help accommodate Washington County’s growing senior population.

It opened on the site of the former Piccadilly restaurant at 70 Mahtomedi Av.

Planning for the three-story, $16.8 million building began several years ago when the county’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority, now the Community Development Agency, reported an urgent need for affordable senior housing.

One-bedroom apartments sized at 700 square feet rent from $766 to $944 a month. For two-bedroom apartments, rents range from $956 to $1,126.

For leasing information, call 651-735-8000.


Brooklyn Park

Jacobson, Mata to join City Council

One political newcomer and another face already familiar to the Brooklyn Park City Council will take their seats this week at City Hall.

Lisa Jacobson and Mark Mata, a former City Council member, will be sworn in as City Council members at the beginning of Tuesday’s meeting.

Jacobson, the executive director of an area nonprofit, will represent the East District.

Mata won a Central District spot in the November election. Mata, a paid on-call firefighter and local business owner, was a member of the council from 2005 to 2008.

His father, Bob Mata, represents the West District along with political first-timer Susan Pha, the first council member of color. Pha took office shortly after being elected last year to fill a vacant seat.

There will be a council orientation session at 4 p.m.

Hannah covington


County will dispose of residents’ Christmas trees

Ramsey County residents may discard their Christmas trees, natural and unflocked, for free at Ramsey County yard waste sites.

Trees will be accepted at 1943 Pierce Butler Route and 1150 Sims Av., both in St. Paul, and 5900 Sherwood Road, White Bear Township, on weekends through March.

Hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

All decorations, lights, tinsel and tree bags should be removed from the tree.

Wreaths and other greenery will be accepted, without decorations or wire frames.

Natural trees and wreaths can be left outside through the winter as shelter for birds and animals, then in the spring taken to a county site for free disposal.

More information can be found at RamseyRecycles.com or by calling 651-633-3279, which is answered 24/7.