St. Louis County, Minnesota
- Main article: Evaluation of Minnesota county websites
- The names and contact information of all county commissioners is published.
- County commissioner board meeting minutes and agendas are published.
- The current budget is published.
- Annual audits are published.
- Information on contracts is available.
- Tax information is provided.
- The names and contact information of administrative officials is provided.
- Contact information for the Public Information Officer is provided but there is nothing about public records requests.
- Zoning ordinances are posted but building permits are not.
- There is no information on building permits and zoning.
- There is no information on lobbying.
The county retains Mr. Ongaro as a lobbyist for general purposes and John Tuma through a cooperative arrangement with other counties. Each of the formal lobbyists does have a specific contract with the county/counties.
The commissioners themselves state they frequently lobby at the legislature and nationally. Expense for such lobbying efforts is intermingled with other travel expenses. Commissioners state they represent positions for the county that the county has not formally adopted.
Data obtained from Minnesota State Auditor Lobbying Reports
Recording public meetings
County commissioner Keith Nelson has requested a legal opinion concerning the right of an individual associated with a citizen group We Are Watching to record commission meetings and workshops. The group records the meetings and posts the audio and video on their website, which is permitted by the Minnesota Open Meetings Law. Commissioner Nelson stated that the beeping of the recorder was bothersome: “I’ve raised this question because of the disruption that these devices have made … and because these recording snips are being taken out of context and used to make people look bad. I’m not talking about restricting the media … and the public still can get a copy of the [audio] tapes we make. So we wouldn’t be limiting access."
Kevin Skwira-Brown, a spokesman for We Are Watching, claims that the request is aimed at cutting off access to public meetings by the average citizen. “It’s absolutely outrageous that county government would try to restrict citizen access to a county meeting,’’ Skwira-Brown said. “They’re saying if you can’t attend their entire six-hour meeting during a work day, then you can’t have access to what they do. That’s ridiculous."
County Board Chairman Dennis Fink has requested County Attorney Melanie Ford to investigate whether or not the board can ban recording of meetings. Ford has yet to render an opinion.
- St. Louis County official website
- St. Louis County genealogy from the MNGenWeb project
- St. Louis public records directory
- St. Louis County profile on The Political Graveyard
- Purchasing Dept
- Administrative officials
- Public Information
- Zoning Ordinance
- St Louis County - Open Secrets
- "Scott County: Spending tax dollars to get tax dollars," Star Tribune, September 4, 2010
- St. Louis County commissioner annoyed by cameras at meetings, Duluth News Tribune, February 9, 2009