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. 

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Dec 21

December 18, 2020

Posted on December 21, 2020 at 11:02 AM by Chad Bergo



Meetings and Announcements:  


• The next City Council meeting will be held virtually on Monday, January 11th, 2021. 

• Here are this week’s updates from various departments

• We hosted a send-off /reception for Council members Smith and Neblett on Monday, the 14th just prior to the final Council meeting of the year. The reception was well attended and it was a great way to say our good-byes and honor their service to the community.  I will miss you both very much and am grateful that I had the opportunity to work for you. I know you two stated that you learned a lot from me and staff but I would say that I likely learned more from you. Good luck in your next adventures and stay in touch.


Updates from Staff and Council:




National Community Survey - Results

The City of Maplewood has received the results from the National Community Survey and Polco. 83% of Maplewood residents rate it is a great place to live. This is up 4 points from 2018 community survey.


The survey gathers input on the livability of the community and measures resident’s opinions on ten facets of community:




Community Design



Natural Environment

Parks and Recreation

Health and Wellness

Education, Arts, and Culture

Inclusivity and Engagement


427 residents were sampled from September 29th through November 24th.


Staff is pulling together the data and intends to share the results widely with the council, community, and staff. Stay tuned for more updates.


Holiday Wellness Tips from your Wellness Committee Members


We thought we would bring our employees some resources and ideas to help our employees improve their mental wellbeing, physical health and social connections. Read below to meet a few of our wellness committee members and what they have been doing over the last few months.


Mike Sable-HR Director/Assistant City Manager

I’m an active yogi and take classes 3x per week. I practice Baptiste Yoga. There are free classes here: http://upyoga.buzzsprout.com/

I’ve also been walking outside each day. One-mile per day.

Lastly, I’ve been reading more and spending time cooking each week. Hello Fresh is helping me find new recipes and I’m trying to be more deliberate about cooking.


Judy DeBilzan-Accounting Technician

One thing that I think is really important this time of year is drinking water. Summer time it is so easy but in the winter we forget. Especially this winter when we might not be working out as much as before. Buy yourself a new water mug. Make it special!

Every morning before getting out of bed tell yourself this is going to be a great day. Start out positive!

Get outside every day. Even if it is a walk to the end of the driveway. There is nothing like fresh air!


Terrie Rameaux- HR Coordinator

Take advantage of our EAP thru Medica/OPTUM as a resource to reach out to.

Do a white elephant exchange with co-workers and/or family members.  The dumber/uglier the gift, the better!! If your co-workers don’t want to do it….YOU still do it, for the fun of it.  Make it anonymous.


Lindsay Herzog-Wellness Coordinator/HR Assistant

Stick to a routine as much as you can. Control what you can control by scheduling your workouts, prepping your meals and sticking to a consistent sleep pattern

Some great apps to follow for yoga and meditation are the Down Dog App, Calm App and headspace


CALM – an app for sleep, meditation and relaxation


For the holidays take a drive or walk to look at Christmas lights or do a cookie or fruit exchange with friends, family or co-workers.

Derek Fritze-Police Sergeant

Check out 1,000’s of verified benchmark WOD’s , plus demos, scaling and progressions


BearFitness - YouTube  This is the CrossFit gym I go to in  White Bear Lake. Check out workouts tips and other resources


Michelle Larson, Licensing Specialist

I came across this blog about mindfulness, which I think is more important now than ever.   https://www.thepathway2success.com/10-mindfulness-activities-you-can-try-today/

I recommend employees take advantage of the Medica app.  It is a treasure trove of information, and the journeys are easy and insightful.

I have been keeping a Gratitude Journal since COVID started.  Below are some of the benefits:

1.      It Increases Positivity. When you take the time to focus on the good things in your life you naturally become more positive. ...

2.      It Improves Self-Esteem. Keeping a journal is a very personal activity and allows you to be present with your own achievements. ...

3.      It Helps You Sleep Better

4.      It Makes You Happier

5.      It Reduces Stress.


Meghan Janaszak, Administrative Office Supervisor

We have been taking walks outside before dinner to look at the neighborhood Christmas lights.  It gets everyone moving and the lights are so pretty to look at.

On Fridays we pick a movie (lately it is Christmas Chronicles II on repeat), let the kids make a fort, and have a picnic on the floor with homemade popcorn.

Be intentional about staying connected with others.  Zoom and FaceTime are great ways to still “see” each other and catch up.



City Hall Holiday Hours

City hall will be closing at 1 pm on Christmas Eve as has been the practice the past few years. Staff will have the choice of using vacation, annual leave, personal holiday or comp time for the remaining hours past 1 pm. You may also stay and work the entire day if you wish. The DMV Counter will also be closed at 1 pm.  Please speak with your Supervisor and inform them of what you would like to do on the 24th. We will be closed on Friday, December 25th and on Friday, January 1st.



Maplewood Receives Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for 2020

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) has awarded its Distinguished Budget Presentation Award to the City of Maplewood for its 2020 Budget and Capital Improvement Plan.

The award represents a significant achievement by the City of Maplewood.  It reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting.  In order to receive the budget award, Maplewood had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation.  These guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity’s budget serves as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide, and a communications device.

There are over 1,600 participants in the Budget Awards Program in the United States and Canada.  Award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America.

Government Finance Officers Association is a major professional association serving the needs of local, state, and provincial government officials and finance practitioners.  The association is headquartered in Chicago, IL, with offices in Washington, D.C.


Maplewood Receives Certificate of Achievement for 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

The Maplewood Finance Department recently received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for the Comprehensive Annual Financial Statement (CAFR) for the Year Ended December 31, 2019.  The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.  The CAFR has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate the City’s financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.  Every member of the Finance Team works on the development and production of the CAFR. 

Government Finance Officers Association is a major professional association servicing the needs of nearly 19,000 appointed and elected local, state, and provincial-level government officials and other finance practitioners.  The association is headquartered in Chicago, IL with offices in Washington, DC.



The Fight Against Covid

The Covid virus has impacted the country in so many ways and the fight against this virus has taken many forms.  Since the beginning of the pandemic the City’s Facilities Maintenance staff has made fighting the Covid virus their top priority.  A lot of effort goes into disinfecting and cleaning the City’s facilities each day.  To aid in this work staff utilizes a number of pieces of equipment including various floor cleaning devices and a new Clorox sanitization spray device unit.


Along with disinfecting surfaces staff insures that soap and towel dispensers remain full, trash is emptied, and disinfect products are readily available in common areas and meeting rooms.  Often much of this works takes place after hours or goes unseen throughout the day.  However, this does not take away from the importance of the work being done or the impact it has on providing as safe of a work place as possible.

Along with the cleaning and disinfecting work facility maintenance staff has helped with upgrading the HVAC systems for the City Hall, Police Department, the 1902 Building, and the Parks and Recreation Maintenance Building to include air purification systems that help reduce airborne particles, control pathogens (such as flu and the Covid virus), and reduce odor while providing an overall nergy savings.  Recently staff has coordinated the installation of hand free sanitizing dispensers in City Hall, the 1902 Building, and the Parks and Recreation Maintenance Building.  Additionally, staff has also been able to complete building maintenance helpdesk request and other small project (such as painting in the Police Department area).


I would like to extend a big thank you to the facility maintenance staff for all their work and effort in helping fight this virus in order to provide as safe a work place as possible.



Skating Rinks

The Park Maintenance Crew has been hard at work getting Maplewood’s 13 ice rinks ready! Due to Executive Order 20 -13, warning houses will be closed through January 10 but the following will be done to facilitate skating during this time:

Satellite restrooms added at the warming house sites

Extra seating available near the rinks

Staff will turn lights on and off at Four Seasons, Gethsemane, and Afton Heights during normally scheduled warming house hours

Wakefield lights programmed to stay on until 10pm during the skating season

Hockey nets will be out, weather permitting


For rink updates, please check the website: https://maplewoodmn.gov/221/Skating-Rinks


These are the reports for this week. As always, please call if I can address any questions or concerns. I will not be sending a FYI again until January 8th due the holiday schedule. Have an enjoyable weekend and a wonderful holiday season.