Arden Hills' search for a city administrator is over.

Bill Joynes, best known for a nearly 20-year run as city manager in Golden Valley, has been selected for the job, which has been vacant since October 2015. He starts Jan. 3.

The long vacancy became a political issue in the City Council elections this fall, when challengers pointed to it as a sign of dysfunction at City Hall. Incumbents said they were taking care to find the right person at a critical time for Arden Hills, which is seeking to develop its 427-acre former Army munitions plant site.

Joynes' social media profile lists him as owner of a consulting firm, Midwest Government Advisors; part-time city administrator in the small Lake Minnetonka enclave of Shorewood; and director of the Hamline University Center for Public Administration and Leadership. He led the staff in Golden Valley from 1984 to 2003. Shorewood hired a new administrator in October.

David Peterson


Area club to host skating championship

The contest may still be a year away, but preparations are already in full swing as the Northern Blades Figure Skating Club gears up to host a U.S. Figure Skating regional competition in Blaine next year.

The club's selection marks the first time that Northern Blades has hosted the Upper Great Lakes Regional Figure Skating Championship, said Jane Schaber, who is co-chair of the event. The event, to be held Oct. 4-8, 2017, is one of nine regional events for skaters aiming to compete at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

More than 700 skaters from seven states will converge on Schwan Super Rink at the National Sports Center, with winners advancing to a sectional contest in November. From there, the top four finishers in each discipline at each level will go to the 2018 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

The club is looking for volunteers to help with the event; those interested may call Schaber at 763-717-3891.

Hannah covington

Washington County

Board raises pay for county officials

Two of Washington County's elected officials and the county administrator received pay increases last week, while commissioners unanimously voted not to raise their own salaries.

County Attorney Pete Orput and Sheriff Bill Hutton both received 3 percent increases, raising their salaries to $159,609. County Administrator Molly O'Rourke received a 1.6 percent increase, taking her to the top of Minnesota's allowable pay scale at $167,978, but was awarded 40 additional hours in paid time off in 2017 as compensation.

The County Board has taken no pay increases since 2009.

In other salaries set last week, a 3 percent increase was given to Orput's deputy, first assistant attorney Brent Wartner. He will make $143,648. Orput's executive assistant, Cathy Rochel, received a 3.7 percent increase and will earn $61,529.

The chief deputy in the Sheriff's Office, Dan Starry, received a 3 percent increase that will raise his pay to $143,648.

Commissioners said they granted raises because of innovations, outreach and communications under the leadership of Orput, Hutton and O'Rourke. They also said they want to make Washington County's salaries competitive with those in other metro counties.

Kevin Giles

Cottage Grove

Big forest clean-out planned for winter

Crews this winter will rip invasive shrubs out of 61 football fields' worth of land in the Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park.

Ski trails will remain open during the work period, stretching through March, but there may be temporary closures listed on the park's website.

Shrubs on more than 61 acres are to be grubbed out because they hurt oak forests by outcompeting species that stabilize soil and help pollinators.

Washington County and the South Washington Watershed District are leading the efforts, with aid from the state's Outdoor Heritage Fund by way of the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.

David Peterson


City reminds parkers of heavy-snow rules

Woodbury is reminding people that they risk citations anytime they park on city streets after two or more inches of snow. Think of it as an automatic snow emergency, at least until the street has been completely plowed.

Parking on city streets is banned from 2 to 6 a.m. in every case to help with plowing. But the two-inch rule applies any time of day.

For more on winter parking regulations or snow removal procedures, contact the city's Public Works Department at 651- 714-3720 or

David Peterson