County Government Month

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What Are Counties?Map of Anoka County with department names contained within the border.

County government is one of the most important layers of government but also the least understood. We serve everyone in some capacity every single day from birth to death. Many county programs and services may not mean much to most people until they need them. That's why counties are often called the invisible layer of government.

Counties can be be considered regional offices for the state because there are many services we're required to provide on the state's behalf. 

We manage multi-million dollar budgets, levy taxes, and make important decisions about everything from public health and public safety, to transportation and managing waste.

Anoka County provides the essential services to create healthy, vibrant, and safe communities. We're here to serve you.

Anoka County Board Resolution

The Board of Commissioners passed a resolution proclaiming April as National County Government Month during their March 23, 2021, meeting. The goal is raise awareness and understanding about the role county government plays in everyone's lives.

Discover How Anoka County is Here to Serve Youphoto collage of smiling children, happy teens, a family on a walk and a group of seniors

During each week in April, we'll highlight how our services impact citizens across different age groups.

Anoka County: By the Numbers

  • We manage and maintain 423 miles of roadway, including 4 roundabouts, 55 bridges, and 231 traffic signals.
  • Central Communications/911 staff answer nearly 400,000 calls for help. 94% of calls are answered within 10 seconds.Did you know
  • Our 8 libraries have 2.4 million items available to check out, either in-person or online.
  • We maintain a record of all vital statistics, typically recording more than 3,000 births and processing nearly 2,000 marriage licenses annually.
  • In the last presidential election, we counted 212,016 ballots, including about 118,000 absentee ballots.
  • We keep records on more than 140,000 properties. Around 75,000 real estate documents are recorded every year.
  • Our License Centers process more than 96,000 driver's license applications annually.
  • The Medical Examiner investigates around 1,600 deaths a year in Anoka County and services as the official medical examiner for 27 other counties.
  • Anoka County is the 4th most populous of the 87 counties in Minnesota. 

flat icon of courthouse or government facility

How Are Counties Governed?

County commissioners are elected by district and serve a four-year term that is staggered with other members of the board. The Anoka County Board of Commissioners is a policy-making body and responsible for the operation of the county and delivery of services. Here's a map showing our seven districts and the commissioner for each area.7 commish counties

Structure and Responsibilities

Anoka County uses the commission form of government. Commissioners serve on committees and other county-related boards. The establish a budget and levy; manage county roads, buildings and property; provide assistance to constituents; authorize expenses; ensure federal and state requirements are fulfilled; plan land use, and more. Board meetings are broadcast live via our Youtube channel.

County Administration

Anoka County uses the county administrator form of professional management. Under this plan, the administrator is appointed by the board to oversee policy implementation and daily operations, supervise managers and directors, and is responsible for preparation and execution of the budget. This chart shows how Anoka County divisions and departments are organized.

Other Elected OfficesAnoka County Sheriff's Office and County Attorney's Office logos

Because the Anoka County Sheriff and County Attorney are elected positions, commissioners approve their budgets but have little say in operations.


Resources

The National Association of Counties (NACo) provides a lot of information and activities designed to educate young people and adults about county government while having fun at the same time!