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City Manager Blog

Each week I send out an FYI Update to City Council and staff on the latest happenings within the City of Maplewood.  I would like to share this information with the residents of Maplewood, as well. 

Follow my blog if you would like to be kept up to date on the behind the scenes happenings within the City. 

Jan 07

January 4, 2019

Posted on January 7, 2019 at 10:32 AM by Chad Bergo

Meetings and Announcements: The next City Council and Council Manager Workshop will be held on Monday, January 14th. Workshop will start at 6 pm and we will discuss the selection process for Council and Mayor Replacements. State of the City is Thursday, January 10th at 11 am to 1 pm at the MCC/YMCA. Joe is just finishing up Council members speeches. You should get those shortly. We have a full house on registrations. As of today, we have 125 signed up. Looking forward to this event. Watch for City Council packet and reports/process for the workshop. I have asked Ron and Andrea to work with me to make sure we have a clear cut path to determine the process for Mayor and Council seat appointments. It is our intent that you are well prepared for the discussion at the workshop and then the necessary actions at the Council meeting. Experienced Officials: 2019 Leadership Conference Various Dates & Locations in February Discover the keys to effective leadership as you learn how to use communication styles to build understanding and trust, discover tips to communicate clearly, and explore how you can effectively engage others to work better as a team. Plus, build connections with newly elected and experienced city officials. Save the Date! 2019 Legislative Conference for Cities February 20-21—St. Paul Your city has a voice! Join more than 150 city officials at the Capitol and make sure city priorities are heard. Just six weeks into the session, you'll hear updates on what's been happening so far, get tips on how to advocate effectively, and more! Please let Lois know if you would like to attend. Updates from Staff and Council: ADMINISTRATION 1475 Belmont-Zian Property Update The demolition of the Zian house will begin on January 10th. This is good news. Community Development Director update Mike and I have completed the review of applications for the Director position. We have scheduled the first round of interviews for January 8thand 9th. We will be interviewing 6 candidates. We are excited up the upcoming interviews. We are competing with Roseville and a couple of other communities so I hope we can find a great candidate and get someone hired quickly. You will hear more next week. Mike should have contacted you about completing my performance review on the Neo Gov system. Let Lois know if you need to come in and use a computer. Direct other questions to Mike. Thank you! Consultant Pool Interviews City staff is also holding interviews with 12 Planning and Engineering firms to create a consultant pool for a new term of 5 years. Interviews will also be held the week of January 7th. NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS https://www.twincities.com/2019/01/03/maplewood-vacancies-how-city-may-replace-mayor-council-member-up-in-the-air/ Reference: Nora Slawik, Tou Xiong, Andrea Sindt, Mike Funk, Ronald Batty, Bryan Smith, Marylee Abrams, Kathleen Juenemann This is a very brief FYI as we had many staff out on vacation or sick the last two weeks. Next week’s FYI will also be slim as I am in CD Director and Consultant interviews all week. See you at the State of the City on Thursday! Melinda
Dec 31

December 28, 2018

Posted on December 31, 2018 at 10:20 AM by Chad Bergo

Meetings and Announcements:   

 

The next City Council and Council Manager Workshop will be held on Monday, January 14thWorkshop will start at 6 pm and we will discuss the selection process for Council and Mayor Replacement.    

State of the City is Thursday, January 10th at 11 am to 1 pm at the MCC/YMCA. If you have not done so, please contact Joe Sheeran to discuss your comments for the State of the City Address.

 

Experienced Officials: 2019 Leadership Conference

Various Dates & Locations in February
Discover the keys to effective leadership as you learn how to use communication styles to build understanding and trust, discover tips to communicate clearly, and explore how you can effectively engage others to work better as a team. Plus, build connections with newly elected and experienced city officials.
  

Save the Date! 2019 Legislative Conference for Cities

 February 20-21—St. Paul
Your city has a voice! Join more than 150 city officials at the Capitol and make sure city priorities are heard. Just six weeks into the session, you'll hear updates on what's been happening so far, get tips on how to advocate effectively, and more! 
Please let Lois know if you would like to attend.


Updates from Staff and Council:

 

ADMINISTRATION

I have completed my comments for the Goals and Accomplishments for my annual performance review process. Mike will be contacting you about logging into Neo Gov to fill out your review comments. Let Lois know if you need to come in and use a computer or would like to check out a laptop for easier access to this software. Thank you.

 

Community Development Director update

Mike and I have completed the review of applications for the Director position. We have scheduled the first round of interviews for January 8th and 9th. We will be interviewing 6 candidates.

 

Consultant Pool Interviews

City staff is also holding interviews with 12 Planning and Engineering firms to create a consultant pool for a new term of 5 years. Interviews will also be held the week of January 7th.

 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

 

Census 2020; Complete Count Committee

Ramsey County recently established a joint Complete Count Committee (CCC) to prepare for the 2020 Census. Maplewood is working with Ramsey County and other county municipalities on this effort. A member of Maplewood’s planning staff will be involved with the CCC and attend all of its meetings. The CCC is bringing together representatives from local government, community organizations, faith-based groups, education, media, and the local business community. Members will work together to raise awareness about the upcoming census and encourage participation, especially among historically undercounted communities. We expect the committee to meet quarterly through spring 2020. Subcommittees may meet more often.

 

A complete, accurate census count is necessary for equal political representation, fair distribution of federal and state funding, and sound planning and investment in infrastructure, real estate, business development, and public policy and programming. 

 

Trails Edge Apartments

Earlier this week, the building permit for the new Trails Edge Apartment building was submitted to Community Development for review. Trails Edge is a 152-unit market-rate apartment building and will be built on 5.6 acres of vacant land north of Costco. Grading and footing work will begin in January and total construction is expected to last almost a year. The developer is shooting for a late 2019 opening. Pictured below is a rendering of what this building will look like once completed.

 

Tono Pizzeria and Cheesecake – 3088 White Bear Avenue

This week staff received a building permit application for a new pizza and cheesecake restaurant to be located at 3088 White Bear Avenue. This is the location of the new commercial building that was built this year and replaced the former Bakers Square. This pizzeria will fill out the remaining lease space in this building. The other two tenants of this building include a dental clinic and cell phone store.

 

PARKS AND RECREATION

 

Youth Dance Performance

Sunday, December 16 marked one of our favorite times of the year – recital day! Our fabulous youth dancers got to perform on the Ashland Productions Stage at the MCC/YMCA which was packed with family and friend cheering them on.  This season’s theme was the Nutcracker Suite and showcased everything from ballet and tap to hip hop. The next season of dance begins on February 4 and we are excited that weekly classes will be held in the New Wakefield Community Building.

 


 NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

 

http://eastsidereviewnews.com/articles/2018/12/26/maplewood-mayor-stepping-down-head-met-council  Reference:  Nora Slawik

 

http://eastsidereviewnews.com/articles/2018/12/26/53a-rep-elect-part-state’s-first-asian-pacific-caucus  Reference:  Tou Xiong

 

http://eastsidereviewnews.com/articles/2018/12/19/myth-liquor-license-approved  Reference:  Nora Slawik, Bryan Smith, Kathy Juenemann

 

Please see: Maplewood faced with 2 openings  Star Tribune 12.28.18. Reference: Nora Slawik, Bryan Smith and Melinda Coleman

 

 

Below is a summary of highlights and accomplishments from the TAB in 2018 by Elaine Koutsoukos

 

Highlights of 2018 work:

 

  • Adopt Regional Solicitation and Highway Safety Improvement Program applications for release.  Discuss funding scenarios.
  • Adopt Transportation Improvement Program; approve 22 scope changes, 3 program year extensions, and 29 TIP amendments.
  • Adopt federal transportation performance measures.
  • Adopt Airlake Airport Long Comprehensive Plan and Metropolitan Airports Commission Capital Improvements Plan.
  • Adopt 2019 Unified Planning Work Program and one amendment to the 2018 UPWP.
  • Adopt update to the 2040 Transportation Policy Plan and two TPP amendments.
  • Hosted presentation on Aerotropolis.
  • Discuss a variety of information topics, including electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, shared mobility collaborative, Congestion Management Plan scope of work, VW settlement, Arterial Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network, and MnDOT project selection.

 

I enjoyed working with all of you in 2018 and wish you a very Happy 2019!

 

Elaine Koutsoukos

TAB Coordinator  |  Transportation Advisory Board

elaine.koutsoukos@metc.state.mn.us

P. 651.602.1717  |  F. 651.602.1739

390 North Robert Street, St. Paul, MN 55101

metrocouncil.org

 



This is the last FYI for the year! I wish you all a happy and healthy new year. Melinda

Dec 14

December 14th, 2018

Posted on December 14, 2018 at 12:57 PM by Chad Bergo

COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK:  December 14th 2018

 

Meetings and Announcements:   

·       Our next City Council meeting will be a Special Council meeting for the swearing in of our newly elected Council members on Monday, January 7th. The Special meeting will start at 5:30 pm.

·       The next City Council and Council Manager Workshop will be held on Monday, January 14thWorkshop will start at 6 pm and we will hear from Excel Energy on the Gas Main Replacement Project

Experienced Officials: 2019 Leadership Conference

Various Dates & Locations in February
Discover the keys to effective leadership as you learn how to use communication styles to build understanding and trust, discover tips to communicate clearly, and explore how you can effectively engage others to work better as a team. Plus, build connections with newly elected and experienced city officials.
  

Save the Date! 2019 Legislative Conference for Cities

February 20-21—St. Paul
Your city has a voice! Join more than 150 city officials at the Capitol and make sure city priorities are heard. Just six weeks into the session, you'll hear updates on what's been happening so far, get tips on how to advocate effectively, and more!


Updates from Staff and Council:

 

ADMINISTRATION

I am working on my Goals and Accomplishments for the annual performance review process. Lois will be contacting you to set up a one-hour meeting with me after the Christmas Holiday. After we have had a chance to meet, Mike will be sending out the NEO GOV notification for your individual input. We will have laptops available for you to check out if you need to access NEOGOV from a city computer. Mike or Lois can help with that.

 

Survey on Community Development Director Traits- please fill out the survey that was sent to you by Mychal Fowlds. We are looking for your input on Leadership Competencies. Thank you.

 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT 

City Hall Campus Wayfinding Signs

City Hall Campus will receive a new look.  Five new wayfinding signs with the City’s updated colors and logo are being installed around the campus.  The signs were approved by the Community Design Review Board as part of a City Hall Campus comprehensive sign plan in July 2018.  

 

The signs are being funded by Xcel Energy as an incentive for achieving the City’s energy goals as outlined in the Energize Maplewood! Energy Action Plan.  The plan identified energy actions the City could take to motivate local businesses and residents to reduce their energy impact.  Xcel Energy offered the incentive for signs that included a sustainable message and the Xcel Energy logo.  The GreenStep Cities logo, which is the sustainable message, and Xcel Energy’s logo are found at the bottom of the wayfinding signs.  

 

This week staff has installed three of the signs and will be assessing them to determine effectiveness.  Minor changes may be required.  Ultimately, the comprehensive sign plan will ensure standardized messaging for all new signs on Campus.
Maroon sign with text

 

FIRE/EMS 

The fire department has a couple of items worth noting for the FYI this week.  We had a mention in the article linked below.

 

Also, the Ramsey County Fire Chief’s Association will be recognized on 12/13/2018 as a recipient of a Local Government Innovation Award from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.  Maplewood was a leading agency on the closest unit dispatching committee.  The program began in October of 2016.  

Summary

City Category:  Ramsey County Fire Chiefs Association – Closest Unit Dispatching for Cities in Ramsey County

Fire Chiefs Association Closest Unit Dispatching (CUD) for Cities in Ramsey County brings 10 fire departments within a 170-square-mile area together to dispatch the closest agency for response within the county’s different combinations of highly trained full-time, part-time, volunteer and/or paid-on-call firefighters.  Ramsey County’s 12 cities entered into this CUD joint powers agreement in 2016 and have improved response times for critical calls, resulting in a higher survivability rate and less property loss.


Chief’s Lukin and Mondor will represent the department at the awards ceremony.

 
Parks and Recreation
Santa's Workshop Party

Maplewood Parks and Recreation had a full house at our Santa’s Workshop Party at the MCC/YMCA on Friday, December 7th.  Children ages 2 and their families got the party started with reindeer games and the bounce castle, then headed to the banquet room for holiday stories, music, snacks and crafts. Kids also got a chance to make their wish lists while they waited for their turn to talk with Santa. We are happy to report that they all made the “nice” list!


Santa and his helpers



Busy week but slow on news.  Have a great weekend. Melinda