The Richfield City Council last week voted to dissolve the city’s Police Civil Service Commission, a group that governed the police department’s hiring and promotion processes.

The decision comes after a study on diverse recruitment conducted in March recommended the city abolish the commission, which had been in operation for more than 70 years.

According to city documents, the study concluded the group was no longer necessary, since the police chief and union now regulate most of the department’s functions. Only 17 Minnesota cities still have similar commissions.

By dissolving the commission, city officials hope to start a hiring program for officers focused on diversity.

The council voted to retain its civil service commission for the fire department.

Miguel Otárola


Mayor joins national climate action group

Eden Prairie Mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens is the latest Minnesota mayor to join a national climate action group, pledging to bolster local efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Tyra-Lukens joins six other mayors in the state involved with the Climate Mayors network: Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth Kautz, Carver Mayor Mike Webb, Duluth Mayor Emily Larson, Falcon Heights Mayor Peter Lindstrom, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. More than 300 U.S. mayors are part of the network to support efforts such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Eden Prairie met the goals of its 20-40-15 initiative, launched in 2006 to boost energy efficiency in city buildings by 20 percent and increase fuel efficiency by 40 percent by 2015. By 2016, the city said energy efficiency had increased by 21.8 percent and fuel efficiency had grown by 44.4 percent.

The city has replaced a sport-utility vehicle and public safety car with Chevy Volt electric cars, and installed solar panels at its community center. It started a commission to advise the City Council on sustainable development and conservation and also launched Sustainable Eden Prairie, an effort to educate the community on sustainability. The suburb is one of many metro area cities to switch to LED lights for its streetlights to save money and conserve energy.



Fireworks show gets record $20K donation

This year’s July 4th fireworks display on Lake Minnetonka in Excelsior has received a record $20,000 donation from the Lake Minnetonka Excelsior Morning Rotary Club.

The 129-year-old annual event, run by the Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Chamber of Commerce, draws more than 15,000 people for live music, an air show and other events. But it has struggled in years past to afford the popular fireworks show.

In 2014, volunteers went door-to-door to ask the community for donations to close a $10,000 budget gap that threatened to cut the show short.

To view the full schedule of events, go to



Feedback sought on pedestrian, bicycle plan

Edina is kicking off its new pedestrian and bicycle master plan with a public workshop on July 13.

The master plan helps guide the future of the city’s walking and biking infrastructure and provides recommendations for the maintenance of facilities, city policy and funding opportunities.

The kickoff workshop will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Edina Senior Center, 5280 Grandview Square. Presenters will give an overview of the plan, including a timeline and future workshop dates. Residents will be encouraged to ask questions and offer their thoughts on the future of walking and biking in the city.

For more information on the master plan, go to or call transportation planner Mark Nolan at 952-826-0322.

Rotating art sculptures on display

Edina is displaying seven new sculptures in different locations around the city, and members of the public have until Sept. 30 to vote on their favorites.

The sculptures, part of the city’s annual Rotating Public Art Exhibit, can be found at 50th Street and France Avenue, Grandview Square Park and the Edina Promenade.

They were chosen by the public and will be up through May 2018; winners of the 2016 competition also will be displayed.

Viewers can vote on their favorite in person at the Edina Art Center, Centennial Lakes Park, Edina Senior Center and Edina City Hall or online at

The prizes are $1,500 for first place, $1,200 for second place and $750 for third place, and the top three artists get to display their sculptures for an additional year.

All pieces are available for purchase. For a full list of sculptures, visit

Miguel Otárola


Music program returns for 45th anniversary

Music in Plymouth, the city’s annual free summer music event, marks its 45th anniversary Wednesday with a performance by the Minnesota Orchestra.

The program will begin at 5:30 p.m. with entertainment by the Okee Dokee Brothers and the R Factor. The orchestra will follow with a musical lineup that includes classics and modern scores.

The evening will conclude with a program by fire dancers and a fireworks show.

Attendees should bring lawn chairs or blankets, but can’t leave them at the concert site until 7 a.m. Wednesday. Roping off seating areas is prohibited. Attendees can bring picnic suppers, and concessions will be available.

The event will be held at the Hilde Performance Center, 3500 Plymouth Blvd. It is sponsored by the Plymouth Civic League, with the support of the city, businesses and residents. For more information, go to