Hennepin County commissioner resigning to lead affordable housing nonprofit

A Hennepin County commissioner has decided to leave his post next month to lead a local affordable housing nonprofit organization.

District 6 Commissioner Chris LaTondresse announced his decision Thursday, saying he’s accepted a role as CEO of Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative.

His last day on the board will be Sept. 21.

“My decision to leave this elected office early is not one I take lightly,” LaTondresse wrote in a message to his constituents. “At the same time, I also can’t ignore the extraordinary convergence between Beacon’s unique mission, my background as a leader, and the fierce urgency this moment demands.”

“On behalf of the board, we thank Commissioner LaTondresse for his leadership and service to residents,” Hennepin County Board Chair Irene Fernando said in a statement. “His new role allows him to continue advocating for affordable housing and we wish him success in his future endeavors.”

To replace LaTondresse, the county will have a special election, and the county auditor is expected to set the date for that in the coming days. Whoever is chosen in the special election will complete the rest of LaTondresse’s term, which runs through 2024.

District 6 covers Deephaven, Edina, Excelsior, Greenwood, Hopkins, Long Lake, Minnetonka, Minnetonka Beach, Mound, Northern Eden Prairie, Orono, Shorewood, Spring Park, Tonka Bay, Woodland, and Wayzata.

In his new role, LaTondresse will take over for Lee Blons, who is set to retire on Aug. 31.

“Commissioner LaTondresse brings the skills we need to secure resources for supportive housing and transform public investment in deeply affordable housing. I’m excited to see what Beacon can achieve under his leadership,” Blons said in a statement.

“Commissioner LaTondresse is a principled leader. He’s ready to leverage his skills and relationships to unite the affordable housing landscape, bringing more homes and growing public investment to scale solutions to the needs in front of us,” Beacon board member and search committee chair Nancy Burns added.

While on the Hennepin County board, LaTondresse has served as chairman of the Resident Services Committee and of Hennepin Health, vice chair of the Regional Railroad Authority (HCRRA) and of public safety. He also serves as vice chair of the Association of Minnesota Counties General Government Policy Committee.