Jeff Johnson, District 7

Thank you for visiting my webpage. It is an honor to represent northwest Hennepin County on the Board of Commissioners. I hope you find this site helpful and encourage your input and opinions regarding the county. In particular, as we continue to seek ways to spend your money more wisely in a difficult economy, I welcome your suggestions on how you think Hennepin County can cut costs and operate more efficiently.

As your county commissioner, I’m committed first and foremost to being a voice for the sometimes forgotten property tax payer in Hennepin County. We in government at times lose track of the fact that every dollar we spend comes from the constituents we serve. We need to be more careful and responsible with that money and be certain that we are spending it on those things that are most important.

For me, those most important things are public safety, transportation and a safety net for the most vulnerable citizens in the county.

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Priorities and initiatives

Current initiative — Water governance in Hennepin County

Water governance in Hennepin County includes at least six state agencies, eleven watershed organizations, 44 municipalities, the Metropolitan Council, a Soil and Water Conservation District, two park districts and county environmental services. Our laws and policies are piecemeal and siloed; our governance is fragmented and our programs are disjointed across agencies and political subdivisions that often have conflicting statutory mandates. While the system we have in Hennepin County has seen some success in the past decade, many of us believe we can do better.

We have the opportunity to coordinate our approach to prioritize and focus on the improvement of the quality of our waters and better treat water as a system. We can design an improved system and we have started to evaluate the potential for change. Below are resources for your review. One is a report completed for Hennepin County by the Center for Science, Technology and Public Policy at the University of Minnesota that identifies potential opportunities. Based on this study, I have drafted a proposal, a starting point for discussion moving forward. I look forward to your thoughts and suggestions.

Jeff Johnson Draft Proposal (PDF)

U of M Water Governance Study (PDF)

Public safety

There is no more important role of government than public safety. The county funds and operates a very large corrections department (which includes the Adult Corrections Facility in Plymouth and the Juvenile Detention Center in Minneapolis) and funds the County Sheriff’s Office, the County Attorney’s Office, and part of the Public Defender’s Office.


County roads and bridges are crucial to the citizens of northwest Hennepin County. We should make certain those roads and bridges are in good repair and able to meet the capacity needs of commuters before spending on expensive transit projects that will only be used by a tiny percentage of citizens.

Safety net for the most vulnerable

Generally, counties are the governmental entities in Minnesota that deliver human service programs. We should focus those programs on the most vulnerable in our county (for example, physically or developmentally disabled citizens, elderly citizens or mentally ill citizens) and, where possible, focus programs on promoting self-reliance.

Hennepin County Academy

Curious about the services county government provides? Want to learn more about what happens to your tax dollars? The Hennepin County Academy has a spring and fall session. Learn more about the curriculum or sign up at the Hennepin County Academy page.

Leadership positions

Hennepin County

  • Audit Committee, member
  • County Extension Committee, member
  • Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee, member
  • Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HCHRA), member
  • Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority (HCRRA), member
  • Hennepin Health, member
  • IT Advisory Board, member
  • Joint Committee on Community Corrections (Bench/Board), member
  • Public Safety Committee, chair

Other positions

  • Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) voting delegate
  • AMC Criminal Justice Committee, member
  • Community Action Partnership of Hennepin County (CAP-HC) Board, member
  • Crow River Joint Powers Board, member
  • Metropolitan Emergency Services Board (MESB), member
  • Metropolitan Mosquito Control District, executive committee member
  • Minnesota Association Community Corrections Act Counties, member
  • 911 Task Force, member


Jeff Johnson is president and founder of Midwest Employment Resources, a firm providing employment law training, investigation and mediation services to businesses throughout the country. He has previously served as an attorney with Cargill, Inc. and with firms in Minneapolis and Chicago. Jeff is a nationally recognized speaker on employment law and human resource topics, giving dozens of presentations throughout the country every year.

Jeff served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2000 to 2006 where he served as Assistant Majority Leader and chairman of the Civil Law Committee.

Jeff is a graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota and Georgetown Law School in Washington, D.C.

Jeff and his wife, Sondi, live in Plymouth, Minnesota, with their two sons, Thor and Rolf.

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