New Olmsted County commissioners launch 2023 with first meeting

Jan. 1—ROCHESTER — Olmsted County's four newly elected commissioners will be sworn in at 9 a.m. Tuesday, making way for their first official meeting.

With more than half the county board taking their seats for the first time during the 10 a.m. meeting Tuesday, committee meetings typically held before the board meeting have been canceled.

The commissioners' first meeting of the year is slated to include a variety of annual approvals, along with a summary and review of the past year.

The meeting is also expected to include the formal selection of Commissioner Gregg Wright as the board chairman for 2023.

The four new commissioners — Laurel Podulke-Smith, Dave Senjem, Brian Mueller and Michelle Rossman — have been attending a series of educational meetings conducted by county staff to prepare them for their new roles, and they have attended some December board and committee meetings as spectators.

Since their new positions weren't official at the time, the educational meetings were held outside of public view, but County Administrator Heidi Welsch pointed out future sessions will continue as public meetings.

The future sessions will include introductions to individual county departments, starting with housing on Jan. 31.

Since a majority of the commissioners are slated to attend each department introduction, the meetings will be open to the public, which Welsch said will also give county residents a chance to learn about how the county operates.

The introduction sessions are slated to be held nearly every two weeks through mid-September. The current schedule is:

* Housing: 1 p.m. Jan. 31 at the Rochester Community Warming Center, 206 Fourth St. SE.

* Public Works: 4 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Public Works Service Center, 1188 50th St. SE.

* Public Health: 4 p.m. March 14 at 2100 Campus Drive SE.

* Environmental Services: 4 p.m. March 28 at 2100 Campus Drive SE.

* Children and Family Services: 4 p.m. April 11 at 2117 Campus Drive SE.

* Facilities and Building Operations: 4 p.m. April 25 at Graham Park, 1407 Third Ave. SE.

* Corrections: 4 p.m. May 9 at city-county Government Center, 151 Fourth St. SE.

* Property Records and Licensing: 4 p.m. May 23 at 2122 Campus Drive SE.

* Adult and Family Services: 4 p.m. June 13 at 2100 Campus Drive SE.

* Parks: 4 p.m. June 27 with location to be determined.

* Soil and Water: 4 p.m. July 11 at 2122 Campus Drive SE.

* Sheriff's Office: 4 p.m. July 25 at the Government Center.

* Planning: 4 p.m. Aug. 8 at 2122 Campus Drive SE.

* Family Support and Assistance: 4 p.m. Aug. 22 at 2117 Campus Drive SE.

* County Attorney's Office: 4 p.m. Sept . 12 at the Government Center.

At 4 p.m. Sept. 26, the commissioners are slated to wrap up department introductions with a question-and-answer session for the county's finance, informational technical services, human resources, and policy, analysis and communications departments.

Meetings scheduled to be held during the week of Jan. 2 include:

Rochester

* Park Board, 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in room 104 of City Hall, 201 Fourth St. SE.

Olmsted County

* Board of County Commissioners, 10 a.m. Tuesday in the board chambers of the city-county Government Center, 151 Fourth St. SE.

* Parks Commission, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Public Works, 2122 Campus Drive SE in Rochester.

* Planning Advisory Commission, 6:30 p.m. Thursday in board chambers of the Government Center.

Rochester Public Schools

* School Board, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the boardroom of the Edison Building, 615 Seventh St. SW.