Suburban residents in the metro area decided numerous races Tuesday involving local government leaders, school board members and ballot questions.
Four years after the city implemented organized trash collection, Bloomington voters strongly confirmed that they want to continue the system of city trash management they’ve had for four years. More than 54% of voters affirmed that residents should be allowed to vote on organized collection, and nearly 71% said the city charter shouldn’t be changed to block it — indicating that they wanted to keep the city’s current system in place. Shortly after the city went to organized collection in 2016, a group of residents sued the city and said they should have been allowed to vote on the issue. The state Supreme Court ruled this year that a petition to put the trash collection question on the ballot was legal after city officials had rejected it. “This is what the people want, this is what’s best for the city,” said Mayor Tim Busse. “I think they’re just affirming what the other council decided.”
Stillwater school board
With most precincts reporting, Stillwater school district voters appeared to have thrown out four incumbent board members, turning instead to newcomers Beverly Petrie, Alison Sherman, Katie Hockert, Annie Porbeni and Matt Onken. The election had been expected to be a referendum on the board’s handling of district finances and the fallout from the 2016 decision to close three elementary schools, which led to bitter and ongoing divisions in the 8,400-student district. Fourteen candidates were vying for a total of five seats — three of the seats at-large and two seats vacated by two board members who resigned this summer.
Blaine residents elected Tim Sanders as mayor, the city’s first new mayor in more than two decades after Mayor Tom Ryan decided not to seek re-election. Sanders, a nonprofit executive and former legislator, won more than 62% of the votes with nearly all precincts reporting, easily defeating former City Council member Mike Bourke.
Edina voters elected the city’s first modern-day Black member of the City Council, Cargill employee James Pierce, to one of two council seats opened by incumbents who chose not to run again. Pierce captured 24% of the vote, followed by Carolyn Jackson, vice president of the Edina Community Foundation, with 21% of the vote. The open seats drew a field of seven candidates, including three Black candidates. “Without question, it was the most diverse field of candidates that residents of Edina have ever had the chance to vote for,” City Manager Scott Neal said. Mayor Jim Hovland faced no formal opposition for a fifth term.
Inver Grove Heights
With Inver Grove Heights Mayor George Tourville opting not to run for re-election, residents knew they would see a new mayor after a tumultuous year involving charges of bullying and sexism at City Hall. Businessman Tom Bartholomew edged out fellow City Council Member Brenda Dietrich, owner of a local concrete and masonry company, by 445 votes. The state website late Tuesday had earlier reported that Dietrich was ahead by 91 votes with all precincts reporting. John K. Murphy and Susan Gliva won City Council seats, getting 29% and 28% of the vote, respectively, and defeating incumbent Kara Perry.
With all precincts reporting in the mayoral election, City Council Member Mark Kuzma had a 122-vote edge over Michael Olson, a political newcomer who works in the printing industry.
Kim Hyatt, Erin Adler and MATT MCKINNEY