Minneapolis City Council
|Minneapolis City Council|
|New session started||January 6, 2014|
|President||Barbara Johnson, DFL
Since January 3, 2006
|Vice President||Elizabeth Glidden, DFL
Since January 6, 2014
|Majority Leader||John Quincy, DFL
Since January 6, 2014
|Minority Leader||Cam Gordon, Green
Since January 3, 2006
|Political groups||DFL (12)
|Length of term||4 years|
|Voting system||Instant-runoff voting|
|Last election||November 5, 2013|
|Next election||November 7, 2017|
|Minneapolis City Hall
The Minneapolis City Council is the governing body of the City of Minneapolis as part of a weak mayor–council government. There are 13 members from 13 wards who are elected to four-year terms. Barbara Johnson, a member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL), is the current president of the council. The council is dominated by members of the DFL with 12 members. The Green Party of Minnesota has one member.
The city has never had more than 13 wards, but at one time there were three representatives from each area, for a total of 39 city council members. The council assumed its current size in the 1950s.
In July 2001, DFL council member Brian Herron pleaded guilty to one count of felony extortion. He admitted to accepting a $10,000 bribe from a business owner who faced numerous health and safety inspections violations. Herron served a one-year sentence in federal prison.
On November 21, 2002, ten-year DFL council member Joe Biernat was convicted of five federal felony charges, one count of embezzlement, three counts of mail fraud, and one count of making a false statement. Biernat was found not guilty on extortion and conspiracy to extort charges.
In September 2005, Green Party council member Dean Zimmermann was served with a federal search warrant to his home by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The affidavit attached to the warrant revealed that the FBI had Zimmermann on video and audiotape accepting bribes for a zoning change. Zimmermann subsequently lost his re-election campaign, and was convicted in federal court on three counts of accepting cash from a developer and found not guilty of soliciting property from people with business with the city. Zimmermann was released from prison in July 2008.
In 2009, council president Barbara Johnson was accused of misusing campaign funds for personal spending. An administrative hearing was held January 26, 2010. The administrative judges at the hearing dismissed six of the eight charges; it upheld two charges—that AAA services were paid for both her and her husband's vehicle and that not all charges for hairstyling or dry cleaning were reasonably related to the campaign. She paid a $200 fine for these violations, the lowest fine possible.
In 2006, Minneapolis voters approved the use of the single transferable vote in its elections, beginning with the 2009 municipal elections. However, since the city council uses single-member districts, the single transferable vote functions the same way as instant-runoff voting. The single transferable vote is also known as "instant-runoff voting," although this is a misnomer since they refer to two different systems of voting. It is also commonly known as "ranked choice voting," although there are other voting methods that involve ranking.
The council elected November 5, 2013 that took office January 6, 2014 is composed of:
- Demko, Paul (October 10, 2001). "City council member Brian Herron's disgrace left a vacuum in his Minneapolis district". City Pages. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
- "Feds Indict Minneapolis City Councilman & Union Boss". UNION CORRUPTION UPDATE. National Legal and Policy Center. April 29, 2002. Archived from the original on 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2007-12-01.
- "Criminal Enforcement Actions 2002". Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS). United States Department of Labor. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
- Williams, Brandt (November 21, 2002). "Minneapolis councilman convicted on five fraud charges". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved December 1, 2007.
- "FBI says it has Zimmermann on tape accepting bribe". KARE. September 10, 2005. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
- Brandt, Steve (July 10, 2008). "Back from prison 'sabbatical'". Star Tribune. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
- Brandt, Steve (December 21, 2009). "Mpls. council president faces hearing over campaign spending". Star Tribune. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
- "Warren E. Kaari v. Barbara Johnson". Findings of Fact, Conclusions and Order. Office of Administrative Hearings. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
- "How the 2009 RCV Election Works". City of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 14, 2013.