Photo by Kent Landerholm, 2012

The League of Women Voters of Dakota County is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences policy through education and advocacy. We meet monthly and also host candidate forums, issue forums, and other events of interest to the community. Please attend one of our meetings or contact us for more information!


Updated: Mar 18

At its meeting on January 14, the Apple Valley City Council appointed Councilmember Clint Hooppaw as Mayor for the next two years. That appointment created a vacancy on the City Council and applications were accepted from those wishing to be appointed to fill that vacancy through the end of 2022. 12 people applied including John Dusek III, Linda Garrett-Johnson, David Goble, Noel Hammill, Joseph Landru, Johnson Madamu, Thomas Melander, Gloria Myre, Nancy Paradeise, Helaine Powell, Becky Sandahl, and Paul Scanlan. The applications of those individuals are available here. Interviews were held on February 23 and 24 and March 4. More information is available from this Sun ThisWeek story.

At its meeting on March 11, the Apple Valley City Council appointed "Planning Commission Chair Tom Melander to fill the vacancy on the City Council. Mr. Melander has served on the City’s Planning Commission for 24 years and has been the Chair of the Planning Commission for five years. He has also been a member of the Apple Valley Economic Development Authority for eight years. His service on the City Council will begin on April 8, 2021." More information is available from this Sun ThisWeek story.

Background Information

Apple Valley Mayor Mary Hamann-Roland was elected as a Dakota County Commissioner representing District 7 during the November general election. As a result there was a vacancy in the office of mayor. City Council member Clint Hooppaw was appointed to fill the mayoral vacancy in January, creating a vacancy on the City Council. The term of the City Council seat ends on January 2, 2023.

Minn. Stat. § 412.02, subd. 2a, states that if a vacancy occurs any time other than during the period between the start of a candidate filing period and a regular election, then the vacancy must be filled by an appointment by the city council, and if the term of office that remains is "more than two years" at the time the vacancy occurs, a special election must be held to fill the vacancy. The statute says that if "less than two years remain in the unexpired term, there need not be a special election." The statute does not specify what process should be followed when the unexpired term is exactly two years.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021 is Township Day in Minnesota, the day that most townships hold their annual elections. Within the 11-county metro area the polls will be open at least from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. The polls in Eureka Township will open at 7 a.m. Each township holds an annual meeting on that date as well and this year many will conduct their annual meeting remotely due to the pandemic. Links to the websites of most of the 13 townships in Dakota County are available here.

Updated: Mar 3

Every voice in Minnesota should be heard and every vote should count equally. We must empower everyday Minnesotans and prevent maps from being drawn unfairly and stripping voters of their vote. Every Minnesotan deserves the opportunity to participate in the redistricting process.

At our March meeting we learned about gerrymandering and the approach to redistricting supported by LWV. Paul Huffman, Redistricting Coordinator for LWV Minnesota, was our featured speaker. For those who were unable to attend or are looking for more information, LWV of Minnesota has more information and resources regarding redistricting available on their website.

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