Anoka County, Minnesota

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Anoka County is one of 87 counties in Minnesota. The county is bordered by the counties of Isanti on the north, Chisago and Washington on the east, Hennepin and Ramsey on the south, Sherburne on the west, and the Upper Mississippi River on the southwest.

As of 2010, Anoka County's population was 330,844.[1] The county comprises the north portion of seven-county Minneapolis – Saint Paul (Twin Cities) region, the largest metropolitan area in the state and the sixteenth largest in the United States with about 3.2 million residents.[2] The county seat and namesake of the county is the City of Anoka, which is derived from the Dakota word anokatanhan meaning "on (or from) both sides," referring to its location on the banks of the Rum River.[3] The largest city in the county is the City of Coon Rapids, the ninth largest city in Minnesota and the fifth largest Twin Cities suburb.

Website evaluation

This website was most recently evaluated an unknown date.

The good

  • Budget
    • Budget is posted and archived for three years.[4]
  • Audit
    • Audits are posted and archived for three years.[5]
  • Elected Officials
    • Contact information for elected officials is posted.[6]
  • Meetings
    • Minutes and agendas are posted.[7]
    • Minutes are archived.[8]
  • Lobbying
    • County officials list memberships taxpayer funded lobbying organizations.[9]
    • Contract for the lobbyist the county employs is posted.[10]
  • Taxes
    • Information on county property tax rates are posted.[11]
    • Information on other taxes and fees posted in county legislative platform.[12]
  • Permits
    • There is information on licenses and permits required in the County.[13]
  • Contracts
    • Contract bids are placed online.[14]
  • Public Records

The bad

  • Zoning
    • In Anoka County municipalities handle zoning rules and building permits.
  • Checkbook Register

Board of Commissioners

The Anoka County Board of Commissioners establishes county policy and provides oversight for county budget and operations. Anoka County Board Meetings are held twice monthly. Board members are elected to four-year terms and represent separate districts.

County Attorney

The County Attorney is a county-wide elected official. The current County Attorney is Tony Palumbo. The County Attorney's duty falls under several divisions:[16]

  • Civil Division - Provides legal advice to the County Board of Commissioners, county officials, and county departments
  • Criminal Division - Prosecutes adults and certified juveniles charged with felony crimes and designated misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor crimes occurring within the boundaries of Anoka County.
  • Family Law Division - Provides legal services to the Anoka County Office of Child Support to: establish paternity, establish a child support obligation, enforce a child support obligation, review child support orders, and other tasks.
  • Juvenile Division - Represents the state in matters involving children.
  • Protective Services Unit - Provides legal services to the Anoka County Community Social Services and Mental Health Department in the areas of civil commitment, adult protection, adult and child foster care licensing and family child care licensing.
  • Victim-Witness Program - The Victim Witness Program provides victims and witnesses of crime supportive services and assistance to deal with the actual crime itself and the expectations of the criminal justice system.

County Administration

Administration serves as the central management office of county government. It is the responsibility of the Administration Department, under the direction of the County Administrator, to assure that all county board policies are implemented and to coordinate overall operations of the county.[17]

The County Administrator works with the Management Team comprised of the County Attorney, County Sheriff, five division managers, Court Administrator, Human Resources Director, Information Services Director and Deputy County Administrator. The County Administrator supervises the Human Resources Director, Cultural Coordinator, Internal Auditor, Information Services Director, and Deputy County Administrator, as well as the five division managers of county government.[17]

The Administration Department is responsible for managing the county budget, assisting the county board to ensure the effectiveness of all county services, and providing county board agendas and minutes. The Administration Office also provides administrative support to the Anoka County Regional Railroad Authority and the Anoka County Housing and Redevelopment Authority.[17]

Budget

2011

The budget is funded with a combination of outside funds from other levels of government, fees and charges, interest earnings and other sources.[18]

2010 2011
Gross Expenditures $258,741,980 $268,993,188
Net County Share $116,410,339 $115,138,793

Total outside revenues, other than property taxes, are budgeted to increase by nearly 8%, from $142.3 million to $153.8 million. Much of that additional revenue will be received by the Highway department as revenues toward cost share projects.[18]

The balance of funding for the budget comes from the property tax levy and state property tax relief called County Program Aid. The property tax levy also provides the funds for principal and interest payments on our outstanding debt. Debt service is increasing for the public safety center, road improvement projects and the broadband project.[18]

Net Tax Collected:[18]

2010 2011
Certified Tax Levy $122,175,524 $126,437,295
....Less: Fiscal Disparities ....(17,792,096) ....(19,995,913)
Net Tax Levy $104,383,428 $106,441,382

With the slowdown in the economy and the housing market, the taxable market value of property in the county decreased from January of 2009 to January of 2010. The tax capacity of all taxable property shrank by approximately 9.26%. As a result, the County Board will increase the tax rate for 2011 by an estimated 13.3%.[18]

With property values on existing homes decreasing an average of 10.7% and the combined tax rate increasing by 13.3%, homeowners will see an increase in county taxes for 2011.[18]

Public Employee Salaries

Below are the top 10 public employee salaries in 2009:[19]

Name Agency Department Title Total Pay
JANIS C AMATUZIO HUMAN SERVICES MEDICAL EXAMINER MEDICAL EXAMINER $216,324
ANGELIQUE Q STROBL HUMAN SERVICES MEDICAL EXAMINER MEDICAL EXAMINER $191,235
ANNE H BRACEY HUMAN SERVICES MEDICAL EXAMINER FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST/HOMICIDE TOXICOLOGY $166,147
TERRY L JOHNSON COUNTY ADMINISTRATION ADMINISTRATION COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR $154,698
ROBERT M A JOHNSON ATTORNEYS OFFICE ATTORNEYS OFFICE COUNTY ATTORNEY $154,617
ROBERT C PARTA ATTORNEYS OFFICE ATTORNEYS OFFICE CHIEF DEPUTY COUNTY ATTORNEY $149,900
JEROME L SOMA HUMAN SERVICES ADMINISTRATION DIVISION MGR-HUMAN SERVICES $140,708
STEVEN G NOVAK GOVERNMENTAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION DIVISION MGR-GOVERNMENTAL SERVICES $139,577
CINDY A KEVERN COUNTY ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION SERVICES INFORMATION SYSTEMS DIRECTOR $137,031
CEVIN A PETERSEN FINANCE/ACCOUNTING FINANCE/ACCOUNTING DIVISION MGR-FINANCE AND CENTRAL SERV $135,807

Taxes

The County website does not have easily understood information on taxes imposed by the County.

Lobbying

Main article:Minnesota government sector lobbying

Anoka County has reported $280,000 spent lobbying the federal government since between 2006-2010.[20][21] Additionally, the Anoka County Regional Railroad Authority spent $369,000 on federal lobbying during these period for a total of $649,000 spent on federal lobbying by Anoka County.

The county has spent the following on government sector lobbying in the state from 2005-2009. This includes both contracts with lobbyists and membership in government sector lobbying associations

Year Amount
2009 $188,545.00
2008 $187,083.00
2007 $228,983.00
2006 $130,389
2005 $143,596

Data obtained from Minnesota State Auditor Lobbying Reports

Transparency/Public Records

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. However, the County does not provide information on how residents may file a public records request.

See also:

External links

References