Much of the focus on “the election” hasn’t been on next week’s off-year election, but that should not diminish the importance of getting to the polls and casting your vote on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Local elections are important. They impact more of your day-to-day life than most national and statewide races, because local elected officials (depending on the race) help determine countless things, such as how much you’ll pay in property taxes (or at least a portion of the total you’ll pay), the quality of your local schools, upkeep of local roads, policing and public safety, local ordinances, affordable housing … the list goes on and on.

In the Lake Minnetonka area, there are various races on the ballot depending on where you live. Here’s a list (you can see exactly what’s on your ballot by visiting and entering your address):

  • Hopkins School Board: seven people are running for four seats on the board.
  • Minnetonka City Council: eight people are running — voters will elect one candidate in their ward and one candidate for the at-large seat that’s up for election.
  • Minnetonka School Board: 11 people are running for four seats on the board.
  • Orono School Board: four people are running for three seats on the board.
  • Orono Public Schools ballot measure: the proposal would replace the current technology levy with a new technology levy.
  • Wayzata School Board: nine people are running for four seats on the board.
  • Westonka School Board: three people are running for four seats on the board.
  • Westonka Public Schools ballot measure: the proposal would revoke and replace the three existing tax levies with one 10-year levy.

If you’re not sure who to vote for, no worries. The Lakeshore Weekly News has published Q&As with the candidates in each local race listed above, as well as details about the ballot measures in the two school districts. You can find all this at

With all the talk about the 2020 election, do not forget about the 2019 election. Exercise your right to vote by heading to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 5, and casting your ballot for whoever you believe best represents your values.

If I still haven’t convinced you to go vote, at least go do it for the “I voted” sticker.

Melissa Turtinen is the community editor for Lakeshore Weekly News and Eden Prairie News. She's passionate about adding context to stories and informing people about what's going on in their community. She enjoys being outside, traveling and good beer.


Recommended for you