Wayzata is a premier suburb located 11 miles west of downtown Minneapolis. With a population of 4,500 people, Wayzata is a tight-knit community which is known for its vibrant downtown and picturesque setting on Lake Minnetonka. A popular destination for visitors, Wayzata’s downtown is home to a number of specialty shops, boutiques, professional services, and restaurants.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

2020 James J. Hill Days & Beach Bash Cancelled Due To COVID Concerns

The Wayzata Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday that the 2020 James J. Hill Days has been cancelled.

The Chamber said that due to Covid-19 related guidelines and concerns for the health of the community, the James J. Hill Days Steering Committee, the Wayzata Area Chamber Board of Directors, and the organizers of the Wayzata Beach Bash have made the decision to cancel the 2020 James J. Hill Days and Wayzata Beach Bash.

The next James J. Hill Days will be September 10-12, 2021.

School Districts Will Determine Fall Instruction, Wayzata To Announce Initial Plan Around Aug. 5

Gov. Tim Walz announced Thursday that individual Minnesota public school districts will determine their own instruction plans for the upcoming school year as a part of the Safe Learning Plan.

COVID-19 cases in each school district will impact how school districts determine the plan for fall.

Gov. Tim Walz at news conference July 30, 2020

The State of Minnesota recommends the following learning models according to the number of COVID-19 cases.

These are recommendations that are given to the individual school districts to help determine what is best for their students and staff.

There are basically three options: 1.) Students return to class full time, 2.) Students return to class part time and do distance learning part time, 3.) Students do only distance learning.

According to a recent survey of families done by the Wayzata school district, more than half of parents interviewed were either very comfortable or comfortable with in-person instruction.

Meanwhile, more than half of school district staff stated they were very comfortable or comfortable in returning to their school/work location this fall according to a school district survey.

According to a statement released by Wayzata Public Schools on Tuesday, the school district will share an initial school reopening plan around August 5. 

Wayzata Public Schools Superintendent Chace Anderson

“The best scenario is what is in the best interest of our students, families and staff,” said Wayzata School District Superintendent Chace Anderson in a recent interview with “The pandemic is an ever-changing situation and what may be a preference today can change tomorrow. We are learning right now from other schools across the country that are opening and others that will remain closed. We will be prepared for all of the scenarios in the event one or all of them need to be implemented.”

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Wayzata City Council Member Johanna McCarthy Running For Mayor

Wayzata City Council Member Johanna McCarthy officially filed for candidacy for Mayor of Wayzata Tuesday.

Wayzata City Council Member Johanna McCarthy

McCarthy officially filed a affidavit of candidacy on Tuesday, the first day of the filing period.

This comes less than a week after Mayor Ken Willcox announced he will not seek re-election.

McCarthy was first elected to the Wayzata City Council in 2014 and was re-elected in 2018.

Meanwhile, fellow City Council Members Dan Koch and Alex Plechash filed to run again for their city council seats.

City Council Members Dan Koch and Alex Plechash

Filing for the mayor and the two council member seats began on July 28. That window closes on August 11.

Below is a list of city council election results since 2000.

Source: Minnesota Secretary of State/City of Wayzata

(* = winner)



*Barry Petit 1,194 (votes)
Sue Bangert 1,129

City Council (two seats)

*Robert (Bob) Ambrose 1,372
*Robyn Cook 1,190
Lynn Gruber 1,020


City Council (two seats)

*Andrew Humphrey 1,028
*Sue Bangert 1022
Barry Birkholz 763
Gayle Wilson 677



*Andrew Humphrey 1,989 (unopposed)

City Council (two seats)

*Ken Willcox 1,244
*John Berns 1,211
Jim Gooley 933


City Council (two seats)

*Sue Bangert 1,126
*Jack Amdal 758
Tom Tanner 695
Doug Hudson 539



*Ken Willcox 1,803 (unopposed)

City Council (two seats)

*Andrew Mullin 1,210
*Mary Bader 1,196
Tom Tanner 948


City Council (two seats)

*Tom Tanner 898
*Jack Amdal 861
Jim Wilson 749



*Ken Willcox 1,842 (unopposed)

City Council (two seats)

*Andrew Mullin (re elected) 1261
*Bridget Anderson 1079
Alex Plechash 1076


City Council (two seats)

*Steven Tyacke 865
*Johanna McCarthy 799
Alex Plechash 789
Jack Amdal 730



*Ken Willcox 2,226 (unopposed)

City Council (two seats)

*Dan Koch 1,718 (unopposed)
*Alex Plechash 1,715 (unopposed)


City Council (two seats)

*Johanna McCarthy ,1337
*Jeff Buchanan 1,028
Cathy Iverson 956
Barry Petit 821

Monday, July 27, 2020

Back To School: What Will It Look Like For Wayzata School District?

No doubt, the biggest question on the minds of Minnesota parents is whether public schools will open back up in the fall.

The state should be releasing guidelines soon. Those guidelines will need to be followed by the school.

There are three options: 1.) Students return to class fulltime, 2.) Students return to class part time and do distance learning part time, 3.) Students do only distance learning.

“The best scenario is what is in the best interest of our students, families and staff,” said Wayzata School District Superintendent Chace Anderson. “The pandemic is an ever-changing situation and what may be a preference today can change tomorrow. We are learning right now from other schools across the country that are opening and others that will remain closed. We will be prepared for all of the scenarios in the event one or all of them need to be implemented.”

Kim Anderson and family live in Wayzata

This past spring parents needed to quickly switch gears as their students adapted to distance learning.

“We probably were thriving at it three days in total and the rest of the time, simply surviving it,” said Kim Anderson, Wayzata resident and mother of three students in the Wayzata School District.
Anderson said she, her husband and kids were committed to sticking with the online program.

Anderson family e-learning chart

“When things were starting to go off the rails, we stopped and took a break, went outside, rode bikes, got some fresh air,” said Anderson.  “I knew in the back of my mind that we were in it for the long haul and I wasn't willing to fight and get frustrated over getting it done when I knew how hard this was on them and us.”

Wayzata Public Schools Superintendent Chace Anderson

“We learned a lot from our distance learning last year and believe we will be even better capable to continue distance learning if needed this year,” said Chace Anderson. “As for in-person learning, we have been working throughout the summer with our staff to make sure we will have the safest environment for learning given the circumstances. A team of 40 staff from across the district are in the midst of planning for each of the scenarios that may be directed by the state and will be sharing more information with families and staff in early August.”

"Parents in the district have been reaching out to me, to other school board members, to principals and to the superintendent, in a variety of combinations, to articulate their hopes and concerns for the upcoming school year,” said Wayzata Public Schools Board Member Seanne Falconer. “These parent communications have been invaluable in bringing to light nuanced issues and offering novel solutions and I really appreciate that they've connected with me. I've kept a log of them as well as passed them all on to Dr. Anderson and his team who are building out the plans for every possible learning scenario.”

Wayzata Public Schools Board Member Seanne Falconer 

“As a working parent of two young grade-schoolers, I've heard from many parents who are in my family's exact same situation who offered very different ideas of what the district should do,” said Falconer. “But all of the communications I've received shared the same urgency and concern for their kids' physical and emotional health, academic progress and access to the teachers and paraprofessionals that their kids rely on for their Wayzata education." 

“I believe a hybrid is probably the best, most reasonable and realistic approach,” said Kim Anderson. 

 “I believe in the risks and seriousness of COVID-19, so the idea of continuing to send my kids into an environment where they could catch it, bring it home and/or infect family members weighs on my mind and heart.  But I balance that against their emotional, mental, and physical well-being and believe that some (if not all) in-person learning will be better for them, than staying at home.”

Wayzata Public Schools recently completed a survey that showed most parents prefer to have their children in school. The survey said that parents want this to be done in a safe manner.

“The challenge is how to accomplish that, which is what we are working on,” said Chace Anderson. “Our mission is to teach each and every student as safely as possible considering this global pandemic. “

Kim Anderson worries about her children getting sick and about the safety of teachers, friends and extended family members. But she acknowledges there is a balance between physical and mental health.

“I go back to the data, the general likelihood of mild symptoms in most people, especially children and weigh that against the overall emotional, physical and mental well-being of them being back at school,” said Kim Anderson.

Another survey found that most of the schools’ staff are comfortable with returning. 

“We are experiencing something that we have never experienced before, that alone is enough to create concern,” said Chace Anderson. “We have dedicated professionals who believe in what they do, believe in their students and believe in our community and will be there with them every step of the way however learning may look in the fall.”

“I just want to thank all the teachers and staff of Wayzata Schools for all they did during the very difficult distance learning period of last school year,” said Kim Anderson.  “And what they are continuing to do to evaluate the right, smartest and safest options for moving foward in the coming school year, in light of the ongoing pandemic.  There was always updated and sufficient communication from the district, our teachers and staff at Gleason Lake were incredible.”

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Four Compete For Third Congressional District Seat


U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips is up for re-election in Minnesota Congressional District 3.

Wayzata is located in Congressional District 3.


Phillips will be challenged in the August 11 primary by fellow Democrat Cole Young.

Both Phillips and Young did not respond to questions from

Meanwhile, Republicans Leslie Davis and Kendall Qualls will square off in the primary.

Below are the answers to questions posed to Davis and Qualls. The candidates’ responses are listed in alphabetical order by the candidate’s last name.

Leslie Davis

 Why run?

What would the Founders have done if the Brits told them to stay home AND CLOSE THE SCHOOLS?

How has your background/experience prepared you for this position?

I am a parent, army veteran, salesman, lobbyist, NRA gun certified, money expert, and founder/president/owner 
of the Veteran Certified Earth Protector Licensing Corporation for 36 years.

Tell me about your family.

4 children - attorney, gemologist, teacher, bum.
12 grandchildren - all smart and doing well.

What do you see as the priorities in the 3rd District?

Safety, Health, Babies, Money, Jobs, Energy, Drug War.

What differentiates yourself from your opponent?

I am experienced in money, politics, pollution, and economic subjects.

How has the development of COVID-19 and the economic downtown impacted the role of Representative to Congress in your mind?

They don't understand the hoax part of Covid and are acting irrationally by allowing and supporting the creation of more debt money.

How has George Floyd’s death, protests and riots impacted the role of Representative to Congress in your mind?

While George Floyd's character is of ill repute, Congress is OUTRAGED at his murder and thinking about what to do. 

Kendall Qualls

Why run?

Residents of the Third District deserve courageous leaders who are focused, disciplined, and honest; who will take a stand when times are hard.

Third District residents deserve leaders who won’t say one thing then throw those promises out the window when they get to Washington.

We face tough problems today, problems I can address in a meaningful way because of my personal and professional experiences.

In doing so, we’ll build bridges that will make America better, stronger and more united than ever before.


How has your background/experience prepared you for this position?

I’m a leader with both military and corporate experience that is outside the world of politics.

 After college, I went on active duty as a Field Artillery Officer in the U.S. Army, including time in the DMZ in Korea. 

For 27 years, I led global teams in the healthcare industry with Fortune 100 companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Roche Labs and Medtronic. 

For the past 15 years, I’ve worked to transform stagnant or declining business units in the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries by introducing transformative strategies. Most recently, I worked for an innovative health-care startup that helps cancer patients tackle their disease.

Because of my military and corporate experience, I know how to create a vision and move people toward a goal that is larger than each individual and that transcends racial, economic and gender differences.

Tell me about your family.

Sheila and I met in high school, and I’ve been committed to her ever since. We attended college together and got married in 1986 after Sheila graduated. We have five children and a Black Lab named Largo.

What do you see as the priorities in the 3rd District?

Ensure safe and secure communities.

Reopen, revitalize, secure, and strengthen our economy.

Improve healthcare protection and lower healthcare costs.

Ensure America’s safety through a peace through strength foreign policy that avoids nation-building entanglements. 

What differentiates yourself from your opponent?

I didn’t have a life of privilege. I grew up in poverty, and success came the old-fashioned way: I had to earn it.

Unlike my opponent, who campaigned as a moderate but has voted nearly 100 percent of the time with the far left progressive wing of his party, I will be a strong, pragmatic and independent voice for our communities.

I have over 25 years of healthcare experience that I will use as we manage, and emerge from, a global pandemic.

I’ll put aside partisan game playing and focus on the issues that matter.

How has the development of COVID-19 and the economic downtown impacted the role of Representative to Congress in your mind?

The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated the need for Congress to address the economic recovery of our nation, and the long term fiscal impacts caused by increased deficit spending.  My background includes significant work restoring the health of struggling business units by introducing transformative strategies that change their culture, mindset and financial bottom line. Congress is in dire need of similar leadership, and I won’t be afraid to fight for the fiscal discipline our country needs.   

How has George Floyd’s death, protests and riots impacted the role of Representative to Congress in your mind?

George Floyd’s tragic death illuminated the need for change in police strategy, training, and monitoring. That is why I have introduced a comprehensive proposal for police reform, retraining and support. At the same time, it is imperative that we give police officers the support and training they need. Calls to “defund” police departments from many in my opponent’s party are reckless and put the most vulnerable in our society, including seniors and the disabled at risk.

The majority of police officers risk their lives on a daily basis to protect and serve the community. As the child of a single mother during the turmoil of the late 1960s and early 1970s in Harlem, I know what it feels like to go to bed with violence and destruction outside my apartment window. The one thing I needed, like all children, was safety and security. Police officers are there to provide the safety and security for those who cannot defend themselves, and their property, from harm.

Anything else you would like to add?

Over the course of my life, I’ve been called many things–ghetto kid, trailer trash, veteran, businessman, husband, father–but I never dreamed I’d be called candidate for U.S. Congress. 

America is an exceptional place full of exceptional people with opportunity for all. I’m living proof of it. This country has provided me with a foundation of commitment, compassion and courage, as well as the leadership skills I’ll take to Congress to put to work for you.

To learn more about me or connect with our campaign, visit, or call 612-512-1155. I would be honored to earn your vote in the August 11 Primary Election, and November 3 General Election.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Wayzata Mayor Willcox Will Not Seek Re-Election

Wayzata Mayor Ken Willcox has announced he will not seek re-election this fall.

Wayzata Mayor Ken Willcox

Willcox stated that after 12 years as Mayor it was time for new leadership and fresh ideas.

Willcox was first elected to the Wayzata City Council in 2004. He was elected Mayor in 2008 and was subsequently re-elected for two additional 4-year terms.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Wayzata PD Warns Of Mailbox Thefts

The Wayzata Police Department has taken several reports of thefts from mailboxes. 

The residential mailboxes were located in the eastern portion of the city with a majority along Bushaway Road and Central Avenue South. 

According to police, several of the mailboxes were locked and were forced open. 

The police department states that this is a crime that can additionally facilitate identity theft, credit and check fraud, and other forgery and fraud type crimes. 

This is a metro area issue and is not exclusive to Wayzata. 

Police recommend that you do not put outgoing mail in your mailbox. 

Collect any incoming mail as soon as practical after it is delivered. 

As always, watch out for your neighbors and call 911 to report any suspicious activity

Monday, July 20, 2020

Six Compete For Hennepin County Commissioner District 6 Seat

Jan Callison is not seeking reelection to the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners serving the 6th District. The city of Wayzata is within the 6th District.

Hennepin County Board of Commissioners District 6 Map

Callison was elected to the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners in 2008 and re-elected in 2012 and 2016. Callison served as Chair of the County Board from 2015-2019. She currently Chairs the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority.

Six candidates are seeking to fill Callison’s seat on the Hennepin County Board. Voters will choose two of these candidates during the August 11 primary. The two highest performing candidates will square off in November's general election. caught up with the candidates asking each of them a series of questions.

Below you’ll see the candidates’ answers. The candidates and their answers are listed below in alphabetical order by last name.

Brad Aho

Why run?

I love Hennepin County, the people, businesses and natural beauty that we are blessed to have.  I am passionate about local government and the benefits to our residents and businesses that it can provide.  To keep Hennepin County a premier community we must maintain the services that help keep things running smoothly, without overburdening the people who are paying for those services.  District 6 is the largest contributor of revenue to the county and we must see a return on that investment.  There is always a fine balance between taxes and fees and the services provided.  It requires thoughtful, experienced leadership to accomplish this balance, and I have that experience.

We need strong leadership especially in times of turmoil and challenges.  The recent events of COVID-19 and the racial unrest and rioting highlight that we need to make changes while maintaining peace and security for our residents and businesses.  The County provides many essential services for its residents and businesses with a $2.5 billion annual budget and over 9,100 employees it is paramount that we have experienced leaders that understand the governance model of the County and know how to work with everyone to achieve the solutions and outcomes that will keep our County the best place to live, raise a family, start and run a business in.

How has your background/experience prepared you for this position?
Serving as a City Councilmember for 16 years in Eden Prairie has given me experience and understanding of how local government functions and what each level of government is responsible for.  This is very important to be an effective leader at the county level.  I have developed many strong relationships with other city leaders and state and federal officials as well.

I have important experience in many areas of government, but especially in the transportation sector where I am chair of SW Transit the bus service for three cities.  I have chaired the I-494 Corridor Commission with its Commuter Services staff for many years.  I also chaired the Flying Cloud Airport Joint Airport Zoning Board.  I also serve on the MnDOT Policy Advisory Commission for the I-494 Improvements being planned.  All of this work has prepared me well to serve the needs of the county to improve and maintain our infrastructure while also improving mobility for all.

My Electrical Engineering degree and small business experience provide me with a very practical problem solving mindset to find solutions to issues by first listening to all sides and then working with stakeholders to implement the best solutions in a cost effective manner.

On a more personal note, I was given two weeks to live on the first day of a health visit to Mayo Clinic six years ago.  After being diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, I then went through a trial treatment process including a stem cell transplant and am cancer free to this day.  That event has strengthened my resolve, focus and passion to only work in things that I believe strongly in, and helping local government is one of those things.

Tell me about your family. What do you see as the priorities in District 6?

I have lived in Hennepin County since moving to Minnesota, from Michigan in 1976.  I was married here, and Bev and I raised our three, now adult children here.  We have two beautiful young granddaughters and a grandson on the way.

The priorities that I see are: public safety, transportation and infrastructure, healthcare, workforce, affordable housing and environment and sustainability to name a few of the top issues.  One of the primary roles of government is to provide safety and security and that has recently been very strained given the current events.  If we want everyone to feel safe regardless of race or other designation it is critical to find solutions to the challenges we are all facing.  We also have to be very mindful of the cost of everything we do and balance that with the needs and effectiveness to avoid driving residents and businesses out of our county.

Please visit my website at for more details on each of these issues and my thoughts.

What differentiates yourself from your opponents?

I am the only candidate with strong local government administrative experience, serving for 16 years as a city councilmember and 4 years as acting mayor.  I am the only engineer and small business owner, which gives me a unique perspective and mindset to solving problems cost effectively.  My life experiences growing up in Detroit and moving to Minnesota as a high school senior, raising a family and being a second generation American of Finnish descent all combine to make me who I am today.

How has the development of COVID-19 and the economic downtown impacted the role of county commissioner in your mind?

It teaches us that we have to be prepared for anything and must always be developing and refining plans to ensure that we have the best crisis intervention plans in place.  It also highlights the need to have proper funding and reserves to handle economic downturns without destroying the organization and services that are necessary to provide.  I have great experience with this in Eden Prairie where we are a AAA Bond Rated city that is well funded without having funds that grow indiscriminately.  We have done all of this while keeping our tax rate in the lower quartile of like cities in the Twin Cities.  We have also made extensive security and business continuance plans for SW Transit.

How has George Floyd’s death, protests and riots impacted the role of county commissioner in your mind?

It highlights the fact that strong leadership is necessary to prevent needless deaths like George Floyd’s, and that we must work to reform and train law enforcement personnel, but certainly not defund them.  The lack of leadership led to his death and also allowed the ensuing riots and violence that destroyed our community.  As a commissioner, I will work to find and implement permanent solutions and not just talk about what could be done.

Anything else you would like to add?

My purpose, passion and focus are to make Hennepin County the premier place to live, work, raise a family, own a business, and retire.  I look forward to hearing all residents’ concerns, needs and ideas and will work diligently to represent the 6th District and all of Hennepin County.  Please join us in our campaign to make Hennepin County the best community.  I ask for your support and vote on August 11 in the primary, and also in the general election on November 3!

Dario Anselmo

Why run?

I have a passion for public service, and my 30+ year career as an entrepreneur, business owner, civic leader and elected official has given me the necessary experience and a track record of accomplishments to be able to lead on day one, and successfully serve as your next county commissioner.

How has your background/experience prepared you for this position?

I started my first business, a tech company at the age of 21 in Edina, and after growing and selling it I bought the Fine Line Music CafĂ© in downtown Minneapolis, which I ran for 20 years.  I have been in the commercial real estate business for 28 years.

For 25 years I have worked to support mental health services, serving on the board of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, and the Minnesota Mental Health Association.

I started the Warehouse District Business Assn (to deal with business and then safety issues, Served on Mpls Downtown Council (Civic group), and no am on the Mpls Chamber of Commerce board.

As a state representative for Edina I worked on infrastructure investment and expanding Interstate 494, increasing K-12 education funding, reducing teen smoking, passed legislation to reduce teen suicides, water quality and environment issues, and lowered taxes for seniors, small businesses, and working families.

Tell me about your family.

I was born in Duluth where father served as a District Court Judge, he also lived with bi-polar disorder for most of his life.  After my parents divorced my mother remarried, she was active in the Wayzata and Lake community as a non-profit leader, realtor, and mother to a blended family of 6 kids. 

I was raised in Orono where I graduated from in 1980.   My wife, Jeanne, and I have three children and have lived in Edina for 20 years where our kids attend Edina’s public schools.  We lived in Minneapolis for 7 years prior to that.  I have been a resident of Hennepin County for nearly 50 years.

What do you see as the priorities in District 6?

Mental Health: Individual mental health – and the mental health of our community as a whole – is a very important and personal issue to me. Making sure that Hennepin County’s mental health system can provide stability for those who need it is critical. More of our neighbors are experiencing mental health challenges than ever before, and I will work to strengthen our current systems.

Public Safety: Making sure that Hennepin County residents are safe and have equal access to our justice system is the most important job of a Hennepin County commissioner. As a county commissioner I will support the sheriff’s office and make sure that our jails and courts have the resources they need to do their work effectively.

Property Taxes: In recent years we have seen county property tax levy increases in Hennepin County of around 5% per year. Those kinds of tax increases are not sustainable and can have a significant impact on working families, small business owners and fixed-income seniors. We need to keep a close eye on the budgeting process and make sure our tax dollars are spent wisely and responsibly.

Environment: Whether it’s for swimming, fishing, hiking or any other activity, enjoying and preserving our lakes, rivers, and open spaces is a part of the DNA that makes us Minnesotans. I have been a leader on environmental issues and will continue to protect these precious resources

What differentiates yourself from your opponent?

I have lived in Hennepin County and the west metro longer than them.
I have a long time record of leadership in Business, Non-Profit, and Elected Public service
I listen, connect, and engage in being a practical problem solver.

How has the development of COVID-19 and the economic downtown impacted the role of Hennepin County Commissioner in your mind?

COVID-19 has added costs to the County medical system, Hennepin Healthcare that the taxpayers subsidize when it looses money, $100 Million dollars to date.  Depending on what sort of reimbursement is possible from the State and Federal level there will be a huge impact on the budget, and hence for (property) tax payers in the suburbs.  As a former State Representative with relationships both in St. Paul and Washington D.C. with elected officials.  I will work hard to make sure we get what’s owed to the County on this as well as other mandates so our taxes don’t continue to go up at unsustainable levels!

How has George Floyd’s death, protests and riots impacted the role of Hennepin County Commissioner in your mind?

I was moved deeply by what I saw on the video and attended a few of the solidarity events because of what happened.  The larger reaction occurred for many reasons I believe.  Both people looking to show their anger at what happened in plain sight, as well as the economic frustration with where they are at in life now (and have been for generations).  There was also a lack of coordinated leadership I feel that made a bad situation even whose.  I have worked hard to make early education a priority and job creation to lessen the disparities that still exist in our society.  The County really plays a safety net role in this space.  I want Hennepin County to be a bridge to better life for people.  Everyone deserves that opportunity.

Anything else you would like to add?

As a person who has run a business in downtown Minneapolis for 25 years I understand the effects of high taxes, which I will keep a close eye on.  I also know first had the outcomes of not having enough public safety and will fight just as hard to make sure people are safe via the Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff’s Deputies Assn endorsed me because of my prior commitments to public safety. 

I would love to have your support, and vote in the August 11th Primary.  To learn more about our campaign please go to:

Carmella Doby

Why run?

I am running to replace hurting people with hopeful people! To unite our community and extend humanity and self-thinking within our district! This will ensure my children and all children in our district are given unobstructed, valuable, optimistic opportunities and futures! 

How has your background/experience prepared you for this position?

Many people look at my past as a tragedy, I however chose to take each crisis as a lesson and have dedicated myself to being a life-long learner. As a child I learned to adapt rapidly.  I was taught manners, morals, and humanity from a young age.  I know how to think for myself and have good discernment because of my lack of guidance.  I gained my peace-making skills from my childhood dysfunction. Since finances were low, I became a hard worker as a child as well!  My first job was at 8, my sisters and I got shovels and went door to door asking to work!  I do not give up easily! Because survival was the theme of my younger years, I have been trained to take the punches and keep standing!  As a young mom, and down syndrome parent, I experienced unfamiliar territory and learned how to take a completely different approach!  My real-world experience is unmatched due to my past misfortunes and triumphs!

Tell me about your family.

I am apart of a large biracial, diverse, unusual family so I will do my best to some us up.  My mother is white and is from Saint louis and my father is a black man from Mississippi. I have 5 sisters and 1 brother.  My nieces and nephews vary in color and cultural background.  WE DO NOT DISCRIMINATE!  My older sister is a lesbian and has been with her wife for almost 10 years.  Even so my brother attended a catholic high school to combine his spirituality with education. My daughter ava is 6 and my daughter Milly is 4 and is a child with a genetic disability called down syndrome.  We also have several lifelong family friends who have come to be family over the years.
By implementing policies to advance the physical, mental, financial, and spiritual health of all community members.  As commissioner I will break down barriers to success and defeat the stereotypes that cripple our community and delay district advancement!

What do you see as the priorities in District 6?

My top priority for improving district 6 is transforming county programs such as MFIP, housing assistance, childcare assistance, Medicare, and medical assistance to lead to ultimate independence and stability.  By gauging county programs success on productivity of clients, rather than exhaustion of the budget.  Another top priority for our district is terminating racism.  We can no longer avoid stereotypes and cultural miseducation it is destroying all of us and our community.  It continuously uproots our lives and reminds us we still have a lot of changes to make! Though there is no handbook on ending discrimination and systematic racism we can all do our part to stop the escalation and put an everlasting end to the separation. Covid is also a big priority of mine with cases rising and protective measures lessening the county will need to implement stricter guidelines and enforce them to maintain the safety of all community members especially our most vulnerable!

What differentiates yourself from your opponent?

There are many obvious differences between me and the other candidates.  I am the youngest, I have the smallest financial backing and schooling, and my family and background is uncommon for politicians.  But I believe my survival in life stands alone in this group.  That my hard knock life experience has given me unmatched leadership, dedication, and righteousness.  I am not running for money or esteem, and the absence of political allies and advisors generates my honesty and authenticity. I have knowledge on the unaddressed challenges effecting community members not only from my schooling, but from experiencing the rise and fall of life.

How has the development of COVID-19 and the economic downtown impacted the role of Hennepin County Commissioner in your mind?

Now more than ever it is important that the county commissioners use their elected positions to protect vulnerable community members.  By ensuring all community businesses and members are following guidelines to stop the spread of the disease.  In the last month, the guidelines have become blurred to the public.  The board can implement better protection against this pandemic and take a more aggressive approach on stopping the spread of covid.  Though some people are at lower risk of dying there is not a vaccine yet, so we are all still at risk of contracting covid! I believe we are more fortunate than past recessions because our economic downturn is caused by a global pandemic rather than a lack of jobs or market crash.  We will recover economically but we cannot replace the human lives lost when this covid concludes.

How has George Floyd’s death, protests and riots impacted the role of Hennepin County Commissioner in your mind?

George Floyd did not choose to die to make the world a better place, he did not ask Derek Chauvin to turn him into a martyr!  The large masses of angry people both violent and peaceful are the product of ignoring and minimizing the deep roots racism has in our country and community.  Because of George Floyd’s murder myself and millions of others have decided to run for positions of power that have continued to be a privilege given to a select few, many with bias intentions.  The recent events compelled me to take my real-life experience with diverse cultures and lives and use this perspective to map out a new future that eliminates the disability that is racism!  The county board needs to support actions taken against racism and ending social inequality and support and impose them within our community!

Anything else you would like to add?

I am not running to win a competition or add a job to my resume.  I am seeking your vote to create authentic, perpetual chance.  I know that things can always get better because I have overcome immense challenges. Through my trials and tribulations, I have maintained my humanity, optimism, and smile.  I have learned to empathize and not to judge a book by its cover because I insist these things when meeting someone.  I am willing to help anyone in need on any given day and expect nothing in return. This is how I have always been, and this will help me bring an open minded, groundbreaking perspective to the board!

Chris Latondresse

Why run?

I’m running for Hennepin County Commissioner because we need good government now more than ever, and that path to a better government starts with us. With a $2.5 billion annual budget that touches the lives of 1 in 5 Minnesotans who call Hennepin County home, we need to elect leadership that believes in the power of government to improve people’s lives at scale and a proven track record of getting that done. 

How has your background/experience prepared you for this position?

As Vice-Chair of the Hopkins School Board, I’ve led our district through the COVID-19 crisis, remotely educating and feeding 6,000 students in a $100 million per year public institution—while balancing our budget to keep our district strong for years to come.  I also served in the Obama Administration on the President’s team at USAID, bringing diverse stakeholders together—from the private sector to faith-based and civil society groups—to fight hunger and strengthen global food security. 
Tell me about your family.

My wife Ashley and I are raising our two young boys Walter (4) and Hugo (1) in Hopkins, where I grew up, my parents still live, and I have lived for most of my life. Ashley serves a nurse practitioner at Hennepin Healthcare in the coordinated care clinic. I’ll never forget the day in early February she sent me a text saying she had just attended a packed briefing on COVID-19 and said they were preparing for the worst. As Vice-Chair of the school board I knew our district had to do the same. So I called my Superintendent and our district took action; we started preparing immediately. 

What do you see as the priorities in District 6?

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed just how much we all rely on good government, especially in times of crisis. The unlawful killing of George Floyd unmasks the reality that we have not yet fully delivered on the American promise of equal justice for all. 
These themes will define the work of the Hennepin County board for years to come. 
As your next Commissioner, I will prioritize stabilizing the county budget and reimagining government on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic through smart upstream investments in affordable housing, healthcare, and transportation.
I will take bold action to reduce racial disparities in our criminal justice system, starting with breaking down silos between our human services and public safety lines of business, increasing collaboration, and reallocating resources where necessary.
Finally, I will provide leadership on climate change and protecting our natural resources, from Lake Minnetonka to Minnehaha Falls—and everywhere in between.

What differentiates yourself from your opponents?

As Vice-Chair of the Hopkins School Board I’m the only candidate with experience and skills that come from executive leadership in local government. With COVID-19 that has meant rapidly shifting core business functions in a $100 million institution to meet rising community needs at a time of decreased budget revenues. There’s no manual for that. As your next Commissioner, I’m prepared to hit the ground running on day one, navigating large, complex systems, and aligning those systems with our shared values. 
Anything else you would like to add?

Proud to have the endorsement of many leaders and organizations across our community, including: the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation AFL-CIO, AFSCME, the Minnesota DFL Party, Minnesota Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan, Met Council Member (and former Hopkins Mayor) Molly Cummings, State Legislators Laurie Pryor and Cheryl Youakim, and City Council Members Brian Hunke (Hopkins), Kissy Coakley (Minnetonka) and Brian Kirk (Minnetonka).

Cheri Sudit

Why run?

The answer is easy. I am running for Hennepin County Commissioner because I love my community! I grew up in Edina and have lived in Minnetonka for the last 35 years with my family. I have deep roots in my community, and there is no place I would rather live. I have worked as an attorney in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office for 30 years, representing every department throughout Hennepin County and the hospital. I believe our next Commissioner must have extensive knowledge and background in Hennepin County government in order to understand the numerous challenges facing our community today.

How has my background/experience prepared me for the position?

I have committed my entire career to public service. I have worked as an attorney in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office for 30 years. As an employment lawyer, I have represented, trained, and advised every department throughout Hennepin County and the hospital in civil legal matters. The position of Hennepin County Commissioner is complex and varied. This year the Hennepin County Board approved a $2.5 billion budget. My experience and knowledge of Hennepin County, combined with the relationships I have formed over my extensive career, make me uniquely qualified for this position.

I believe I can make a difference on the Hennepin County Board and in my community. As a litigator, I will be a strong advocate for my community. I have a common-sense approach to government and believe in listening to all sides. I believe that tax dollars should be spent wisely. I also have the temperament to work with the other commissioners to get things accomplished.


I grew up in Edina with my parents and sister, Dr. Pamela Harris (who has consistently been named Top Doctor by Mpls./St. Paul Magazine). I have been married for 38 years to my husband, Michael (another consistent Top Doctor/Dentist by Mpls./St. Paul Magazine). Michael owns a dental practice in Minnetonka. We have two children. My son is an orthodontist in Linden Hills, and my daughter works for a large tech company. I have four grandchildren who mean the world to me.

Priorities Facing District 6.

Economic recovery
Environment & Natural Resources
Access to Affordable Healthcare & Housing         

What differentiates me from my opponents?

My extensive background working for Hennepin County for 30 years, combined with the relationships that I have built over the years, set me apart from the other candidates. David Hough, Hennepin County Administrator, is a former colleague of mine at the Hennepin County Attorneys Office. I have also worked extensively with most department administrators, directors, and managers. With a budget of $2.5 billion, this position is too important for on the job training.

How has COVID-19 and the economic downturn impacted the role?

The Hennepin County Board (made up of the 7 Commissioners elected from each district throughout Hennepin County) is responsible for overseeing the approximately 8,000 Hennepin County workforce. Overnight, the workforce has transitioned from predominantly working in a county office to working from home. Commissioners have many challenges to face with a remote workforce. Addressing the health issues of employees, their children, and parents is of paramount concern. Understanding, compassion, and creativity are needed now more than ever to face these unique issues.

The community impact of COVID-19 and the economic downturn facing our community can only be described as devastating. That is why, now more than ever, we need experienced leadership to tackle these significant issues facing our community.

How has George Floyd’s death, protests and riots impacted the role of Hennepin County Commissioner in your mind?

Current events and civil unrest have shaken our community and have underscored the injustice faced by Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Hennepin County’s Mission Statement reads, “We envision a future where residents are healthy and successful and where our communities are safe and vibrant. We will strive to meet and exceed expectations by engaging people and communities in developing innovative solutions to challenges. We will be a diverse, learning organization. We will partner with others to enhance the quality of life in Hennepin County and the region.” I support this mission and believe it will inspire the county to recover, improve, and drive progress in our communities to reach equity. The work of Hennepin County has always been to help the residents in need. Clearly, there is a lot of work that still needs to be done.

Anything else you would like to add?

Local government is often asked to provide solutions to society’s most difficult issues. The Hennepin County Board has a budget of $2.5 billion and oversees Hennepin County’s 1.5 million residents. This is an important position that requires experienced and knowledgeable leadership. This is a non-partisan position. When elected, I will aggressively work on behalf of my community.

Kimberly Wilburn

Why run?

I originally decided to run for county commissioner because I know that we can do a better job at serving the traditionally underserved and marginalized and because we don’t have enough voices and faces like mine at the table and because for too long I’ve watched politicians make promises and forget them, forget me and their constituents once the election is over.  I considered dropping out of the race when I did not get the DFL endorsement and then a few weeks ago, I witnessed a murder. I witnessed not just a murder, but an officer, sworn to uphold the law, kneel on another man’s neck as though his life had no meaning, secure in the knowledge that he would face no consequences. I could not step aside for the sake of party loyalty in the face of such a horrific act. Injustices like this are one reason we need more voices and faces like mine at the table.

How has your background/experience prepared you for this position?

I believe that a person learns how to be a county commissioner by being a county commissioner.  That being said - I’m a veterinarian with a background in Immunobiology.  I’m also a mother, a wife, a community organizer, an activist, and a community member.  I bring a scientist’s perspective and a belief in data driven solutions.  I also have an understanding of systemic racism that comes not only from training and study but also from living as a black woman in the United States.  As a non-traditional candidate, I will not have an expectation of or a desire to continue the status quo.

Tell me about your family.

I’m married with two adult children. We are a multiracial family and I have a large extended family.  I have family members that belong to marginalized groups (aside from race/ethnicity) but I do not wish to invade their privacy by making that public knowledge.

What do you see as the priorities in District 6?

Economic recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic including support for small business owners and residents.  Addressing the climate crises which in District 6 will include (but not be limited to) continuation of light rail and other public transportation options and creation of jobs through investment in wind and solar energy and building and retrofitting housing for energy efficiency.  Addressing the homeless and housing crises by working with cities, the Metropolitan Council, and non-government agencies to provide housing options for people in all stages of life. Reforming the criminal justice system to eliminate racial disparities in use of force, arrests, incarceration, sentencing, and parole.

What differentiates yourself from your opponent?

Besides everything I already said?  Well, there are six of us so some things only apply to some of us.  As far as I know, I’m the only scientist running.  My scientific background as well as my work as a community organizer and activist give me a unique perspective that has not been seen previously in District 6.  I am not a career politician and I’m not interested in advancing my political career. I'm interested in serving District 6 and Hennepin County residents.

How has the development of COVID-19 and the economic downturn impacted the role of state senator county commissioner in your mind?

The role of the commissioners hasn’t changed but economic and health impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak on residents will have to be addressed.  An examination of the county’s emergency preparedness with regards to healthcare and county operations will also be necessary. In addition, the effect of Covid-19 on people of color will have to be considered as the county develops its plan to address racism as a public health crisis.

How has George Floyd’s death, protests and riots impacted the role of state senator county commissioner in your mind?

The issues highlighted by George Floyd’s murder and the subsequent public response are issues on which many of us have been calling for action for years.  The current public awareness may make it “safer” to take action on some of these issues.  I argue that they are issues that should have been tackled long ago,

Anything else you would like to add?

I have conversations throughout the years about electability.  Invariably the person to whom I’m talking, usually a white male, will tell me why white male candidates are electable.  There isn’t time to delve into the myth of electability but I will ask the question.  Why do some people believe that white people are capable of governing people of all races and ethnicities but don’t believe the same is true for people of color?  I know there are some that would prefer that race not be mentioned but the fact is race is an issue whether it is mentioned or not.  I submit that I am better equipped to handle the issues we are facing because of my understanding of institutional racism and the role it plays in those issues.  My goal is to improve the quality of life for all residents of District 6 by seeing that they have access to necessary resources and services.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Wayzata’s Bellecour To Close Permanently

Gavin Kaysen announced that Wayzata’s Bellecour is closing permanently.

Owner Gavin Kaysen stated that the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic fallout contributed to the closing.

Below is the letter Kaysen posted on social media:


Dear Friends,

A little over three years ago when we opened Bellecour in the community of Wayzata, I realized a dream. I had envisioned having a French bistro and bakery since I first began cooking. The intention from the beginning was always the same, to provide delicious food and warm hospitality in a setting that would transport you to France. We’ve done that with the buttery croissants made by Chef Diane and her team, with the escargot by Chef Laurence, and with the welcoming service from our entire staff. This has never been just a restaurant to me, it has been part of my life’s work, and something I have spent over 20 years working for and towards.

As you know, the future of the hospitality profession has been rocked and will continue to be rocked by the pandemic. We have worked incredibly hard to create joy for the community and our team. In addition, over the last four months, we have done everything we can to pivot, adapt and change models in an effort to support the community, provide meaningful work for our team, and have a space to welcome you back to once again. As the days and weeks have gone by, we have realized that in a location that is so dependent on seasonal success we are losing more than we can sustain. When the pandemic came, it was just as we were gearing up for the season, and our ability to bounce back has been extremely limited.

As a result, we have come to the painful decision to close Bellecour effective immediately. The loss of this restaurant fills me with sadness and frustration, but I remain humbled by the overwhelming support from my management team and guests.

We are continuing to work hard to turn this moment into a positive and focus all of our efforts on Spoon and Stable, Demi and the Bellecour Bakery Pop Up located at Cooks of Crocus Hill in the North Loop. I want to thank each of you for your outpouring of support and for joining us at Bellecour to create lasting memories. It has been an absolute privilege to cook for you and to serve you in this space.

-Gavin Kaysen


The announcement comes just days after it was announced that one of Bellecour’s team members recently tested positive for COVID-19.

Editor's note: asked if the current construction on Lake Street was a contributing factor to the business closure.

Bellecour’s response did not specifically address that question.

City Of Wayzata Mulls Mask Mandate

There is talk about a statewide mask mandate, but so far, Gov. Tim Walz has not issued the order.

Several cities throughout the Twin Cities are not waiting and are implementing their own mask mandates in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Excelsior and Minnetonka are two of those cities.

The City of Wayzata is considering one too.

“It is ultimately a decision that the Mayor and Council would have to approve,” said City Manager Jeff Dahl. “The item will be on the agenda on Tuesday’s meeting. They have asked us to get more information regarding: what other cities are doing and why, what do Wayzata business want, how would we enforce.”

Minnetonka’s order specifically requires masks indoors. It takes effect Thursday, July 23.

Excelsior’s order is currently in effect. It requires face covering in indoor areas accessible to the public including restaurants, retail stores, spaces of public accommodation, entertainment venues and common spaces in multi-family residential and multi-tenant office buildings.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Lake Street Reconstruction update - drone video 07/12/2020

Catch this birds eye view of the final stages of the Lake Street reconstruction in Wayzata.


Wayzata Neighborhood Garden: Residents Transform Unkept Area, Seek Watering Options

The city of Wayzata is full of gardens that come in all shapes and sizes. But there is one that is tended by two residents and shared by the entire neighborhood.

Circle Drive neighbors Bill Berneking & Diane Silikowski

It’s located on Circle Drive on the eastside of town on the other side of Hotel Landing.

“The Circle Drive Triangle Neighborhood garden is the inspiration, dedication, and hard work of Diane Silikowski,” said neighbor Bill Berneking. “Diane has collected, dug, and planted, dozens of plants - extras from friends and neighbors' gardens and rescues from the lots of tear-down houses.”

The small piece of land is owned by the City of Wayzata.

Until several years ago the triangle was an unkempt space of weeds, dandelions, and fallen tree branches, mowed now and then by the city.

Berneking, who lives across the street and calls himself Silikowsk's assistant, planted
three flowering peach trees many years ago to go with the several hackberrys planted by the city.

“I like to garden but need direction,” said Berneking who has lived in the neighborhood since 1968.

When Silikowski moved into the neighborhood a few years ago she saw a project.

“It’s a labor of love,” said Silikowski.

It did not take her long to transform the space and attract the interest and
support of neighbors. Hostas, ferns, and lilies are accented by a variety of
shade-loving flowers including Igularia, hydrangea, phlox, primrose, ginger, and astilbe.

“The unique hostas were donated by Billy at, said Silikowski. “His residence is literally a hosta farm, with over 1,200 varieties of hostas that even the tier one nurseries like Dundee and Tonkadale don't sell.”

Berneking has a yard full of wildflowers and has moved many to the triangle. Springtime blooms include hepatica, bloodroot, bellwort, wood anemone, mayapple, columbine, Canada anemone, and even a trillium or two.

In addition to plant donations, neighbors have hauled wood chips from the city, contributed some annuals for color, added a couple of benches, and donated some solar lights.

“We have donations from many neighbors,” said Silikowski.

Now, they all enjoy a pleasant woodland garden and Silikowski and Berneking enjoy seeing the walkers stop and pause for respite.

Right now, water is carried by hand to the neighborhood garden.

Although Berneking and Silikowski enjoy the project, they are seeking a little assistance from local officials.

“We’re hoping the City of Wayzata will help us water it,” added Silikowski.