The Minnetonka City Council may hear a proposal Monday to open the door to ranked-choice voting in municipal elections. If the council approves the measure in June, it would go on the November ballot for voters to decide.
Ranked-choice voting enables voters in the general election to rank candidates in order of preference, eliminating the need for a primary. If no one wins a majority of votes, the candidate in last place is eliminated and their votes are dispersed among the others until someone wins 51%.
If the proposed ordinance is introduced Monday, the council will hold a public hearing. For more information, go to minnetonkamn.gov/rankedchoicevoting.
Egan won’t run again for County Board
Dakota County Commissioner Tom Egan has announced he will not seek a fifth term on the County Board. Egan represents District 3, which includes Eagan, Lilydale, Mendota and Mendota Heights.
Egan, 72, has spent more than four decades in public service, beginning in 1978 when he won a seat on the Eagan City Council. He was mayor of Eagan for most of the 1990s and served on the Metropolitan Council from 1998 to 2004. He was first elected to the County Board in 2004.
“We work together really well and respect one another,” Egan said of the board.
Several candidates already have thrown their hat into the ring for the seat, including state Rep. Laurie Halverson, DFL-Eagan, and Janine Hudson, who works in human services and lost to Egan in 2016.
County Board OKs trailhead building
The Washington County Board has signed off on a $3.9 million trailhead building for Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park, with construction expected to start this summer.
The 4,000-square-foot building will include a multipurpose great room, lobby, restrooms and a picnic shelter at the popular 515-acre park. It will replace a shelter built in 1985 that had deteriorated and was torn down this winter.
Gov. Tim Walz’s 2020 bonding proposal includes $2 million for the trailhead building. If the Legislature approves the funding, the county plans to use the state money to upgrade the park’s fishing pier and playground and possibly add lights to the trails.
The price tag includes the building’s design, construction, furnishings and equipment. The building is expected to open in 2021.
Callers hit by COVID using crisis line
The Anoka County Mobile Response Team is hearing the emotional toll of the coronavirus from callers using the free county resource.
Jessica Torrey, who supervises the team, said there is capacity for more calls to help residents manage mental health issues that have been intensified by the pandemic. She said telehealth interventions can help with short-term safety planning and long-term support.
Each caller may receive an assessment, counseling, referrals and direct links to a provider who can visit the caller while following social distancing guidelines. County residents can reach the crisis line, 763-755-3801, around the clock.