County board takes meeting on the road to Ham Lake

The Anoka County Board took its show on the road for the first time in 2012 when the April 10 meeting took place at Ham Lake City Hall.

It was one of six county board meetings that are scheduled to take place in the county’s communities and not at the Anoka County Government Center this year.

The others are scheduled for Tuesdays, May 8 in Spring Lake Park, July 10 in St. Francis, Aug. 14 in Anoka, Sept. 11 in Centerville and Oct. 9 in Columbia Heights.

Preceding each county board meeting, which starts at 9:30 a.m., is an 8:30 a.m. meeting of the board’s Management Committee.

Anoka County Board Chairperson Rhonda Sivarajah came up the idea of taking the county board on the road for some of its meetings and initiated the program when she first became board chairperson in January 2011.

The intent is to make county government more accessible, according to Sivarajah.

“By taking board meetings on the road to communities across the county, we hope to engage citizens more directly in the issues that impact their lives,” Sivarajah said at the time she announced the program.

Sivarajah’s ultimate goal is to schedule a county board meeting in each of the county’s 21 municipalities.

In 2011, the county board had meetings in Andover, Blaine, Lino Lakes, Ramsey, Fridley and Coon Rapids.

At Ham Lake City Hall April 10, Sivarajah thanked the city of Ham Lake for hosting the meeting and invited Ham Lake Mayor Mike Van Kirk to say a few words.

“I think it is a great idea for the county board to come out to its communities,” Van Kirk said.

Also speaking was Ham Lake resident Dick Lang, who retired as county commission at the end of 2010 after serving many years on the county board, representing District 2.

According to Lang, Ham Lake City Hall is a historic place; it was once a grade school and he went to school there when he was a child.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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