A St. Anthony City Council member has stepped down, citing a desire to concentrate on her family as the reason behind her resignation.

Bonnie Brever, the only woman on the five-member council, explained her decision in an Aug. 17 letter submitted to city officials and said that she was “distracted by cares for my family.”

City leaders approved her resignation at an Aug. 22 meeting and are looking into options for replacing her, either by appointment or special election, City Manager Mark Casey said Monday.

Brever was appointed to the council in February 2015 before running for a four-year term that extends through 2019. There will be two open City Council seats on the November ballot.

Hannah Covington

Brooklyn Park

City’s first emerald ash borer case confirmed

The emerald ash borer, an invasive pest that has ravaged ash trees in Minnesota since at least 2009, has been found in Brooklyn Park.

City officials and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture announced late last month that they confirmed the insect in at least one tree in the city, according to a news release.

An arborist working for a local tree company discovered the infected tree on private property in the 3900 block of 85th Avenue.

The city has been getting ready for the ash borer’s arrival since 2011, when city leaders adopted a plan to prepare for and manage it.

Crews have removed unhealthy ash trees and used two-year, ongoing treatment cycles for larger, healthy trees. City officials are encouraging private property owners with ash trees to consider plans for treatment or removal.

Residents with questions may contact City Forester Mark Anderson at mark.anderson@brooklynpark.org or 763-493-8126.

Hannah Covington

Seitz appointed interim fire chief

Deputy Fire Chief Todd Seitz will become Brooklyn Park’s interim fire chief, taking over for Chief Ken Prillaman, whose resignation took effect Saturday.

Council members unanimously approved Seitz’s appointment at their meeting on Monday.

The vote came a month after news of Prillaman’s departure revealed stormy divisions among city officials and sparked calls for the resignation or censure of Council Member Mark Mata, who some say was a key reason behind a “culture of hostility” that pushed Prillaman out.

Mata, who works as a paid, on-call firefighter, said that he has no plans to resign his City Council position and refuted claims that he drove out the fire chief.

Seitz, a lifelong resident of Brooklyn Park, has worked at the Fire Department for more than 30 years, according to the city.

Hannah Covington


Lake Elmo Park to get pollinator prairie

Washington County will receive a $35,000 grant from Great River Greening to buy seed to restore 25 acres of pollinator prairie at the Lake Elmo Park Reserve.

The county’s Parks Division will plant the seed and maintain the habitat on converted cropland.

Should resources be available to collect the pollinator seed, Great River Greening will receive 30 percent of it for restoration projects.

Great River Greening received $200,000 from the Butler Family Foundation to increase pollinator habitat in the metro area.

Kevin Giles

River Falls, Wis.

Kinnickinnic potential to be explored

The importance of recreation, tourism and economics to a Kinnickinnic River improvement project in western Wisconsin will be discussed at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the River Falls, Wis., public library.

Hundreds of residents have attended city-sponsored forums to examine the future of the Kinnickinnic, including the possible removal of two century-old hydroelectric dams that would return the river to its free-flowing state.

Because the 30-year license to operate the hydroelectric dams expires in 2023, city officials decided to initiate a detailed community discussion on the future of a 6-mile stretch of the Kinnickinnic through River Falls and surrounding townships.

The upcoming “Tech Talk” will feature waterfront planner Ed Freer, St. Paul planner Bob Kost, and Patrick Seeb, economic development director at Destination Medical Center in Rochester, Minn.

The 90-minute forum will be held in the library’s lower level at 140 Union St., River Falls.

Kevin Giles


League supper to examine executive orders

The League of Women Voters chapter representing Woodbury and Cottage Grove will host a nonpartisan, in-depth discussion of presidential executive orders at its annual salad supper on Sept. 18.

The supper and program are open to the public.

Guest speaker Andrew Karch, author and political science professor at the University of Minnesota, will talk about “Executive Orders, Purpose and Use.”

Executive orders date to President George Washington’s day, who signed eight during his eight years in office, while President Franklin Roosevelt signed a record 3,728.

Dinner will be provided at 6 p.m. at the Woodbury Public Works Building, 2301 Tower Drive, Woodbury, and the program will begin about 7 p.m.

To reserve a place, call or e-mail Tam at 651-238-7483 or tjmittel@hotmail.com/.

For more information about the League of Women Voters, go to lwv.org/local-league/lwv-woodbury-cottage/.

Kevin Giles