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Find out what's happening in the blog. Below is a list of blog items.

Mar 25

March 22, 2019

Posted to City Manager Blog by Chad Bergo

Meetings and Announcements:

Council Workshop and Meeting on Monday, the  25th. Workshop will start at 5:30 pm. Workshop items include the Public Safety Strategic Plan and Commission Interviews. Dinner will be available at 4:45pm.

Click to view document
March Council Calendar
Please note that the North End Study Group Meeting scheduled for March 27th has been cancelled.

Greetings from District 622
As you may know, District 622 will be holding a bond referendum election on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. The purpose of this bond referendum is for the improvement of District 622 facilities.

You are invited to attend a 622 bond info session for elected officials on Friday, April 5, from 10:30 AM-11:30 AM, at the District Education Center in North St. Paul.
If you are available to attend, please RSVP by selecting the following link 
Learn more about isd622 bondPlease connect with any questions. John Anderson


SPRWS Mediation Meeting
The mediation session will be held on March 26th.  Mayor Abrams, myself, Shann Finwall and Sergeant Nye will be representing the City at this meeting. We hoping for a successful outcome for the residents.

Rush Line BRT Project – Ramsey County Rail Right-of-Way Master Plan Workshop
Rush Line BRT Project staff will be hosting a Ramsey County Rail Right-of-Way Master Plan Workshop on Wednesday, March 27 from 3:30-6:00 p.m.  Members of all three Rush Line BRT Project advisory committees (Policy, Technical and Community) have been invited.  All members were invited with hope those folks who have a particular interest in the Bruce Vento Trail will participate in this workshop. This workshop will focus on developing guiding principles for this year's design process for the Ramsey County Rail right-of-way, where the Bruce Vento Trail and Rush Line BRT will be co-located. 

The workshop will be at Realife Cooperative of Phalen Village (1355 Phalen Boulevard in Saint Paul).

Promo Please contact Lois if you would like her to register for the conference. I am planning on attending. Melinda

Updates from Staff and Council:



Maplewood kicked off its tree Sale Monday  

The Nature Center and communications division have teamed up to get out the word on the tree sale.  Announcements have been running on the City website’s main page a few weeks prior to the sale open. It was prominently featured in the March (and April) edition(s) of Maplewood Living.  On Monday, communications posted a series of Facebook and Twitter messages announcing the sale. On Wednesday, communications did a paid Facebook “boost” targeting people within a 10-mile radius of City Hall (it’s the smallest geographic target FB allows), who have identified as DYIs, gardeners and landscapers. We’ve been running ads on channel 16 and on the digital display boards in City Hall. The Nature Center has flyers at their facility and 1902. Communications will continue with the social media strategy through the sale and adjust other marketing as needed.


From the  Ramsey County 2019 Assessor’s Report on behalf of Luis Rosario, County Assessor. Note that this is a preliminary report. I final report won’t be out until August.  I haven’t reviewed this fully but overall values in Ramsey County and Maplewood are increasing. According to the report the retail market is holding steady. Overall vacancies are trending lower and rents are trending slightly higher. The market value of all properties in Maplewood had an 5.85% increase. The median value of residential went up 8%. The median value home increased from $212,000. To $235,000. or 10.5%. This large increase is due to many factors, but primarily inflation catching up. Also, with the tight housing market, Maplewood is more attractive with our existing, lower cost housing stock. We typically have seen increases in the 4.5 to 6.5% range. This will have an impact on our residential owners taxes but we won’t know how much until we get all of the commercial and industrial data and the final report.

Please let me or Ellie know if you have any questions. In addition, Joe and Mike Martin responded to a call from the Pioneer Press about this report. 
Click to view document There may be a quote in the Pioneer Press.


Pathways to Policing Program, by Human Resources and the Maplewood Police Department-From Mike Funk

The following link brings you to an article called, “New Police Recruitment Program Increases Diversity” that is currently featured in the Mar/Apr Minnesota Cities publication from the League of Minnesota Cities.  The City of Maplewood has participated in the first two years of the program and as a result, have successfully hired 2 officers in year one and 1 officer in year 2.  For the City of Maplewood, this program has opened the door for broader recruiting beyond traditional means.
Take me there
For the entire article, click on the link.


Community Development Director Recruitment:  Good news, I will be announcing our new Community Development Director early next week. We are still working on finalizing the terms of employment. I am especially grateful for Stacie Kvilvang from Ehlers and Associates, our new Financial Advisors, who helped us find new candidates by reaching out to her partners in local government. Her assistance found us two highly qualified candidates that were interviewed on Wednesday.



Sandy Lake Neighborhood Meeting

A facilitated meeting between the Sandy Lake neighbors, Saint Paul Regional Water Services and the City of Maplewood is scheduled for this coming Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Maplewood Community Center. This meeting is being facilitated by Aimee Gourlay from the Mediation Center with the purpose of sharing information, discussing issues, and considering whether there are mutually acceptable solutions to address concerns related to the use of the Sandy Lake site under the current Conditional Use Permit for the storage, stockpiling, and recycling of materials. Staff will update the City Council on the outcomes and next steps as a result of this meeting.


North End Vision Study - Working Group and Business Council Updates - Working Group Postponed 

The planned Working Group Meeting for this coming Wednesday has been postponed by the Project Team as we continue to hold discussions with key landowners in the North End. Staff is working to ensure these landowners have ample opportunity to review the city’s proposed vision drawings for the North End and provide input to be used as we worked towards a final draft vision plan. The Working Group will meet in April.





Take me thereReference to a new park planned for Ridgedale Mall in Minnetonka.


Take me thereReference to new affordable housing initiatives in Shoreview. Perhaps we borrow from their playbook.



District 622 e-news for Friday, March 22, 2019

At a Glance 

Facilities bond referendum

SPARC meeting on Monday, April 1

Project Family Connect on Saturday, April 13

Results from DECA State Career Development Conference

Community Education news

Follow the link or open the attached PDF
 to read this week's District 622 e-news: Click to view document


As always, please call or email with questions or concerns with this information or material contained in the City Council packet. Enjoy the weather this weekend.




Feb 27

Maplewood Police Department – Ever Evolving, Always Serving

Posted to Council Account by Chad Bergo

It’s hard to imagine the days when the Maplewood PD consisted of a constable and a few deputies. As Maplewood grew from a conglomeration of villages into an incorporated city by 1957 to today’s fully developed suburb, city leaders have sought to change, refine and improve the system of services to meet the needs of a growing and diversified community.

This service evolution includes a professional public safety system, a full-service public works department, a business and environmental development department, and an envied park and trail system. It ensures the community maintains a high quality of life for everyone in a financially and operationally sustainable manner.

For example, Maplewood Police Department’s 52 sworn officers wear body cameras and well-equipped duty belts. A professional civilian staff keeps them informed in the field with state-of-the art records technology systems. Everyone, from those on the job a few weeks to the chief, have attended extensive, nation-leading training.

We can best understand and appreciate their dedication and level of service when we comprehend their mission, policies and plan of operation.

21st Century Policing
– Long before former President Barack Obama commissioned a task force and released a report on best practices in 21st Century Policing to build community trust, transparency and legitimacy, Maplewood PD had established and was practicing many tenants of the final report’s key pillars. New Public Safety Director Scott Nadeau is committed to building relationships with the community with programs such as Coffee with a Cop and outreach in our schools. The Maplewood Police department is committed to examining its records to ensure cultural bias isn’t influencing enforcement. It’s also striving to ensure training is relevant to what officers need to know in the field.

Police Department Strategic Plan 2018
– The police department recently completed its first strategic plan to ensure officers and command staff are meeting community expectations and are accountable for carrying out the plan. It emphasizes community-oriented and problem solving policing, building community relationships, better utilizing technology and implementing a health and wellness guidefor officers’ physical and mental fitness.
Analysis of 2017 Enforcement Action – Chief Nadeau recently released the department’s first comprehensive enforcement action report. When looking at discretionary arrests (where officers have the option to take enforcement action) and demographics, it suggests that officers are not exhibiting bias in their enforcement. It also identifies key demographic changes and highlights certain disparities in non-discretionary enforcement (where officers are mandated by statute or department policy to take an enforcement action). This latter finding highlights broader societal factors that need further exploration.

New Training Initiatives – The department is working to ensure officers’ training goes beyond the tactical mandates. One key training goal is to ensure officers are prepared for crisis intervention and de-escalation, especially when confronting someone struggling with mental illness.

To learn more about recent Maplewood Police Department goals, please visit their website. It is my hope that seeing this information will help us all to be aware of, and appreciate the dedication, values and accountability of the Maplewood Police Department.

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