Ramsey County will hold a special election on Nov. 5 to fill the seat soon to be vacated by Commissioner Blake Huffman.
Huffman, who represents the First District on the county’s north end, is resigning June 1 amid a county-ordered investigation into whether his defunct charity, Journey Home Minnesota, misused county-administered funds.
Candidates may file for the seat from June 4-18. If more than two candidates run, a special primary election to narrow the field will be held on Aug. 13.
The winning candidate will hold office through 2020, when the regular election will be held. The position, considered full time, paid about $92,000 last year.
The First District seat will be empty at a critical time. Earlier this month, Ramsey County filed a lawsuit against Arden Hills seeking to end its seven-year power-sharing agreement with the city, which has guided the redevelopment of the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (TCAAP) site.
Ramsey County purchased the 427-acre TCAAP property from the federal government in 2013, and the county and city had worked together to develop it under the name Rice Creek Commons.
County officials allege that Arden Hills has failed to engage in good-faith efforts to resolve disputes over financing, density and affordable housing. They are asking a judge to declare the city-county agreement null and void.
Arden Hills leaders have said it’s county officials who have not been forthcoming with information and plans. The city wants to stick with a preliminary development plan that called for a mix of offices, businesses and 1,460 housing units, with 10% of them affordable.
But county officials, confronted with a ballooning regional housing shortage, now want to build more homes, possibly as many as 2,500.
The First District includes the cities of Arden Hills, Gem Lake, North Oaks, Shoreview, Vadnais Heights, White Bear Township and parts of Blaine, Mounds View, Spring Lake Park and White Bear Lake.