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Dakota County, Minnesota
Dakota County is 593 square miles in area and has a population of approximately 400,000. Situated in the southeast corner of the Twin Cities Metropolitan area, it is the third most populous county in the state of Minnesota. Dakota County maintains a land use mixture of 1/3 urban, 1/3 suburban, and 1/3 rural. This combination of land use and the confluence of two major rivers (the Mississippi and Minnesota) that form the county's northern and eastern borders makes Dakota County a unique geographic area.
Founded in 1849, Dakota County was one of the original nine counties created by the Minnesota Territory Legislature. Thus, it was established before Minnesota was considered a state. The County seat moved to Hastings in 1857, where it has remained.
Between 1990 and 2000, Dakota County's population grew by nearly 30%. This growth continues, with another five percent increase expected by the end of the decade. In recent years, second and third ring communities in Dakota County (Burnsville, Eagan, Inver Grove Heights, Apple Valley, Farmington, Lakeville, and Rosemount) have dramatically increased in population, as development continues to move outwards from the urban core of Minneapolis and St. Paul, into suburban municipalities.
Last rated on September 17, 2012.
- Budgets are posted.
- Meeting schedule, minutes, and agendas are posted.
- Elected Officials
- Board members are listed with contact information.
- Building Permits and Zoning
- There is information on permits and zoning.
- Audits are posted.
- Bids and contracts are posted.
- Local Taxes
- Tax information is posted.
- Administrative Officials
- Officials are not listed with contact information.
- No information regarding lobbying.
- Public Records
- No information on how to file for public records.
Minnesota is unique in that it is one of the few states in the Union that maintains a county-administered program delivery system. This model means that the county becomes the access point to state and federal programs. It also means that the county government has a much larger role in the provision and creation of services.
The Dakota County government performs all of the normal activities of county government like record collection, property evaluation, and road maintenance. And because of the extra responsibilities placed on counties in Minnesota, Dakota County also provides a wide range of social and humanitarian services that are accessible to its residents.
Dakota County has seven elected County Commissioners that determine policy direction. Other elected officials include the County Attorney and the Sheriff. Dakota County also maintains a County Administrator management structure. The County Administrator is responsible for general management of operations and implementing the policies and recommendations set forth by the County Board.
Board of Commissioners
Current County Commissioners as of April 2011:
|Current Term |
|District 1||Joseph A. Harris (Chair)||1981||2012|
|District 2||Kathleen A. Gaylord||2003||2014|
|District 3||Thomas A. Egan||2005||2012|
|District 4||Nancy Schouweiler||1999||2014|
|District 5||Liz Workman||2009||2012|
|District 6||Paul J. Krause||1995||2014|
|District 7||Willis E. Branning||1997||2012|
Brandt Richardson, County Administrator. The County Administrator is the administrative head of the County who is responsible for managing County operations and for carrying out all decisions, policies, ordinances and resolutions of the Board of Commissioners. The County Administrator's duties include the preparation of the recommended annual budget and long-range Capital Improvement Program.
The 2011 adopted budget is $307.5 million, compared to the 2010 adopted budget of $368.0 million. The operating budget for the county is adopted at $234.6 million. Property tax revenue to finance the budget increased to $129.4 million.
Public employee pay and benefits
- Main article: Minnesota public pensions
As of April 2011, there are Fifty-Nine (59) county jobs that have the potential of earning $100,000 or more a year (with $8,333 a month equaling $100,000 a year).
|Position|| Min. Monthly
| Max. Monthly |
|Chief Deputy County Attorney||$7,208.33||$11,391.67|
|Director, Public Services and Revenue||$7,208.33||$11,391.67|
|First Assistant County Attorney||$7,208.33||$11,391.67|
|Director, Community Services||$7,208.33||$11,391.67|
|Director, Physical Development||$7,208.33||$11,391.67|
|Director, Operations, Management and Budget||$7,208.33||$11,391.67|
|Director, Financial Services||$6,975.00||$10,908.33|
|Legal Division Head||$6,966.67||$10,458.33|
|Director, Information Technology||$6,750.00||$10,450.00|
|Deputy Director Public Services and Revenue||$6,750.00||$10,450.00|
|Director, Employee Relations||$6,750.00||$10,450.00|
|Director, Transportation/County Engineer||$6,750.00||$10,450.00|
|Chief Deputy Sheriff||$6,508.33||$9,958.33|
|Director, Community Corrections||$6,508.33||$9,958.33|
|Director, Employment and Economic Assistance||$6,508.33||$9,958.33|
|Director, Operations Management||$6,508.33||$9,958.33|
|Director, Social Services||$6,508.33||$9,958.33|
|Deputy Director Community Services||$6,508.33||$9,958.33|
|Director, Public Health||$6,508.33||$9,958.33|
|Director, Property Tax and Records||$6,508.33||$9,958.33|
|Director, Assessing Services||$6,508.33||$9,958.33|
|Deputy Director Library||$6,291.67||$9,541.67|
|Director, Public Information and Communications||$6,291.67||$9,541.67|
|Director, Environment and Natural Resources||$6,291.67||$9,541.67|
|Assistant County Engineer WSC||$6,058.33||$9,091.67|
|Assistant County Engineer - Empire||$6,058.33||$9,091.67|
|Manager, Information Technology||$5,408.33||$9,091.67|
|Deputy Director Employment and Economic Assistance||$5,866.67||$8,700.00|
|Deputy Director Social Services||$5,866.67||$8,700.00|
|Deputy Director, Public Health||$5,866.67||$8,700.00|
|Deputy Director, Public Health||$5,866.67||$8,700.00|
|Deputy Director, Community Corrections-Juvenile Se...||$5,866.67||$8,700.00|
|Deputy Director, Community Corrections-Adult Servi...||$5,866.67||$8,700.00|
|Deputy Director, Employee Relations||$5,866.67||$8,700.00|
|Director, Environmental Management||$5,666.67||$8,333.33|
|Director, Service and License Center||$5,666.67||$8,333.33|
|Engineer-Program, Design, Construction/Maintenance...||$5,666.67||$8,333.33|
|Manager, Capital Planning||$5,666.67||$8,333.33|
|Deputy Director, Property Tax and Records||$5,666.67||$8,333.33|
|Manager, Finance Operations||$5,666.67||$8,333.33|
|Manager, Office of Planning and Analysis||$5,666.67||$8,333.33|
|Director, Water Resources||$5,666.67||$8,333.33|
|Manager, Risk and Homeland Security||$5,666.67||$8,333.33|
|Data Networking Specialist||$4,516.67||$8,333.33|
|Mainframe Systems Programmer||$4,516.67||$8,333.33|
Benefit coverage effective on the first day of employment:
- Basic and Supplemental Life Insurance
- Short-Term Disability - Covers time from date of illness or injury through end of 6th month
- Long-Term Disability - Covers time from beginning of 7th month to age 65
- Flexible Spending Accounts (Healthcare and Dependent Care)
- Long Term Care
- Wellness Credit
- Paid Holidays - 10 per calendar year
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
- PERA (Public Employees Retirement Association) - Required defined benefit pension plan.
- Deferred Compensation Plan - Voluntary defined contribution pension plan.
Flex Leave (paid time off) combines vacation, sick leave and funeral leave. Accrual rates per calendar year:
- 0 through 5 years – 20 days
- 6 through 10 years – 24 days
- 11 through 15 years – 30 days
- 16+ years – 38 days
Part-time employees are eligible for entire benefits program. However, you must earn enough to cover the required payroll deductions. The employer contribution is pro-rated, based on the budgeted FTE.
Data obtained from Minnesota State Auditor Lobbying Reports
The Property Taxation & Records Department computes property taxes by multiplying the value of property by the total tax rate of the district in which the property is located. Residential homesteads receive market value homestead credit, which directly reduces the property taxes up to a maximum of $304.00. Agricultural properties also receive a credit.
The Minnesota Data Practices Act is a series of laws designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of government bodies at all levels in Minnesota.
- Dakota County government's website
- Dakota County Library's website
- Park maps
- Dakota County Community Development Agency
- Dakota County genealogy and history from the Minnesota GenWeb project
- Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce
- County Overview
- Board Members
- Doing Business
- Bids and Contracts
- Role of County Government
- Dakota County, Board of Commissioners
- Strategic 2011 Board Priorities (dead link)
- County Administrator
- 2011 Budget Brief
- County Job Descriptions with Pay Ranges
- Public Employee Benefits
- Dakota County - Open Secrets
- "Scott County: Spending tax dollars to get tax dollars," Star Tribune, September 4, 2010
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- How Taxes are Calculated