County board meetings

County board and committee meetings are normally held Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. in the Hennepin County Government Center, 24th floor (County Board Room), unless otherwise noted.

Board meetings, agendas, and minutes as of 2017 are available online. The agenda for the next board meeting is published as soon as possible prior to the meeting. For information on board actions from 2016 and earlier, please contact the clerk of the board.

Board and committee meetings are live-streamed on the web, broadcast live on Metropolitan Cable Network Channel 6, and re-broadcast on Channel 6 on Fridays at 8 p.m.

The seven members of the county board also make up the Regional Railroad Authority and the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, each separate political entities distinct from the county board.

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Committee and meeting structure

Prior to formal action by the board, agenda items are usually discussed in one of six standing committees:

  • County Administration 
  • Health
  • Human Services
  • Operations
  • Public Works
  • Public Safety

Committees meet in succession – the order in which they meet varies.

Board briefings and special meetings
Commissioners meet frequently with the county administrator and staff to informally discuss current issues. These board briefings are generally scheduled several Thursdays of each month at 9:30 a.m. in County Board Room A-2400 in the Government Center. Briefing dates and agendas are available by contacting board chair Commissioner Jan Callison at 612-348-7886 or email jan.callison@hennepin.us.

Occasionally the board may call either a special meeting or emergency meeting. The public can find notice of these meetings in our online calendar as well as other sources required by state law.

Addressing the board

Hennepin County Rules of Public Participation

The Hennepin County Rules of Public Participation govern public participation at meetings of the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners, Hennepin County Regional Rail Authority (HCRRA), and Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA). These rules govern all aspects of public participation at meetings, as well as decorum for members of the public that attend meetings.

The purposes of the rules of public participation are:

  • To ensure the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners, HCRRA, and HRA can conduct its business in a transparent and effective manner;
  • To ensure that members of the public who attend meetings can be heard in a fair, impartial manner;
  • To ensure that meetings are conducted in a way that is open to all viewpoints, yet free from abusive, distracting or intimidating behavior; and
  • To ensure that the rules governing public participation at meetings are understood by persons attending the meetings.

General rules of decorum for meetings

Meeting attendees

Members of the public attending meetings of the county board, HCRRA, and HRA, including any meeting of a committee of the board, board briefings, and public hearings shall not engage in any of the following activities during a meeting:

  • Shouting, chanting, disruptive behavior, clapping, stamping of feet, whistles, use of a bull horn or similar demonstrations;
  • Speaking out of turn or making remarks when not recognized by the chair of the board or presiding officer at the meeting;
  • Use of profanity, personal attacks, or threats of violence; or
  • Any other behavior that disrupts the orderly conduct of the meeting.

Placards, banners and signs

These are not permitted in the county board room. Such placards, banners, or signs are allowed outside the glass partition of the county board room as long as they are held in a manner such that they do not obstruct the view of any person or impede the free flow of movement by any other person at the meeting.  When meetings are not held in the county board room, such signs are only allowed in the back of the room in which the board is meeting as long as they are held in a manner such that they do not obstruct the view of any person or impede the free flow of movement by any other person at the meeting.

Rules of decorum for public comments at meetings

Public comments at county board, HCRRA, and HRA meetings are only allowed when authorized. The following rules apply to public comments:

Open forum

Pursuant to county board resolution, members of the public are invited to address the county board on any topic related to Hennepin County during the open forum section of the county administration committee meeting.

During open forum the following rules apply:

  • All individuals wishing to speak may call the clerk of the board prior to the county administration committee and indicate they wish to speak at open forum, or sign up as a speaker prior to open forum.
  • Individuals who notify the clerk of the board prior to the committee meeting will be called upon and invited to speak. In addition, the chair of the committee may invite anyone else in attendance at the meeting if they desire to speak.
  • Individuals choosing to speak during open forum must keep their comments up to 3 minutes, unless the chair provides them additional time. In addition, individuals must direct their remarks solely to county board members.
  • Speakers must be respectful to the board, staff, and others in the audience. Any speaker who uses foul, abusive or inappropriate language or uses foul, abusive or inappropriate displays or other support materials will be stopped and will not be allowed to continue with his/her comments, will be ordered to leave the microphone area and will be directed to be seated. Speakers failing to comply with direction from the chair of the committee may be removed from the meeting.

Public hearings

  • All individuals wishing to speak at a public hearing can call the clerk of the board prior to a meeting with a public hearing and indicate a desire to speak at the public hearing, or sign up as a speaker prior to the public hearing.
  • The presiding officer of the public hearing will call individuals who have indicated a desire to testify. The presiding officer has discretion to call individuals in any particular order.
  • Individuals must address the topic of the public hearing and must keep their testimony up to 3 minutes, unless the presiding officer provides them additional time. In addition, individuals must direct their remarks solely to county board members.
  • Speakers must be respectful to the board, staff, and others in the audience. Any speaker who uses foul, abusive or inappropriate language or uses foul, abusive or inappropriate displays or other support materials will be stopped and will not be allowed to continue with his/her comments, will be ordered to leave the microphone area and will be directed to be seated. Speakers failing to comply with direction from the presiding officer may be removed from the meeting.

Other opportunities

On occasion there may be other opportunities for the public to address the county board, HCRRA or HRA. On these occasions the rules of decorum governing public hearings apply.

Enforcement of the rules

  • If an individual (or individuals) violates the rules of decorum, the chair of the county board or presiding officer at the meeting will request that the individual(s) who is violating a rule cease the violation;
  • If the violation continues, the chair of the county board or presiding officer will warn the individual(s) that if the behavior violating the rules does not stop, he/she/they will be required to leave the meeting room;
  • If the individual(s) does not stop the behavior violating the rules and/or leave the meeting room as directed by the chair or the presiding officer, the chair of the county board or presiding officer in his or her discretion may request security to remove the individual(s) from the meeting room;
  • The chair of the county board or presiding officer may recess the meeting to allow security to remove individual(s) and restore order; and
  • Persons who knowingly disrupt the meeting may be subject to arrest and prosecution pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 609.72 for disorderly conduct or other offenses.

Clerk of the county board

The clerk serves as the official record keeper of all decisions made by the Hennepin County Board and its authorities, the Regional Railroad Authority and the Housing and Redevelopment Authority. Residents and officials are welcome to ask questions of the clerk's office regarding attendance at board meetings, meeting agendas, contacting your commissioner, and citizen advisory board applications and appointments.

Duties of the clerk

  • Publishing board agendas
  • Recording meetings and board actions
  • Preparing meeting minutes for publication in the official county newspaper and for permanent record in accordance with state law
  • Certifying board resolutions and meeting minutes
  • Serving as deputy county auditor to accept claims against the county
  • Serving as the liaison for the citizen advisory board open appointments process
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