COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK: July 10th, 2020
Meetings and Announcements:
The next City Council meeting will be held next Monday, July 27th. Here are the updates from various departments below.
Updates from Staff and Council:
Absentee voting for the primary election continues. While Ramsey County has seen greater interest in voting by mail, we’ve seen 10 in-person voters in the Council Chambers. Election judge recruitment and training is on-going as well. With the uncertainty around COVID-19 we are actively looking for election judges. If you know anyone interested they can click here for more information: https://maplewoodmn.gov/94/Election-Judge
Passport processing continues to increase, but is still down from last year. One benefit is that scheduled passport appointments are transferred to staff. These calls help facilitate a successful application and clarifies each individual situations and necessary documents. Most applicants find this very helpful and see the pre-appointments calls as a nice service. The time taken results in a much higher percentage of successful first-time appointments and less in-person time with the applicant.
City Hall continues to see high call volumes with residents looking for information regarding DMV and other services. Staff are adapting well to the appointment only service model. Appointments for services can be made at www.maplewoodmn.gov/appointments
June Fitness Explorers Challenge:
Our June Fitness Explorers Challenge wrapped up last week and featured 29 teams/households of people working to complete 15 miles over a three week period to secure their “parks and rec swag bag” or challenge medals. Over the challenge duration, teams reported 680.91 miles of activity! We provided a conversion chart so people could count other activities that are not easily calculated by “miles”. We also had a number of teams submit “action photos” while participating which we posted on our webpage.
Some of the many activities reported during the challenge were biking, hiking, kayaking, golfing, running and geocaching.
Feedback from participants:
“Thank you for the opportunity to participate in a fun event that motivated my kids to keep moving! “
“Thanks for all your work on this. It motivated us to get outside and walk. “
“Thanks for all your work on this great project.”
Public Safety grant received
Over the course of the last year the Police Department, working with Community Development and other partners, has been looking at ways to expand partnerships and problem solving with landlords, as well as expand community outreach in both rental communities and the rest of the city. In February, 2020 the Police Department applied for a competitive grant from the US Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, for a position that would be dedicated to these purposes. Last week the Police Department was notified that they had received the grant, which is a three year grant, which will help to fund this position. This position will be an important part of our problem solving in our rental communities, which account for about 24% of our Police Calls for Service. Director Nadeau credits Sgt. Michael Nye with helping to prepare the successful grant application.
News from the week:
https://kstp.com/minnesota-news/officials-break-up-maplewood-homeless-encampment-where-man-drowned-july-9-2020/5787693/ Reference: (City Officials)
These are the reports for this week. It is vacation time with several staff and I am looking forward to my week away the 20th through the 24th. It was a very challenging week with the disbanding of the homeless camp. We will have additional challenges ahead as I have been told we are on our own with financing the relocation of the homeless. Stay tuned for more information next week.
As always, please call if I can address any questions or concerns. Melinda