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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Jan 18

January 12th, 2018

Posted on January 18, 2018 at 11:27 AM by Chad Bergo

COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK:  1. 12.18   Please note an email I sent you earlier this afternoon about the need to talk to you about the Fire/EMS study and upcoming discussion at the next Council meeting. Could you check in me with at your earliest convenience. Thank you.

Meetings and Announcements:

Our next City Council meeting will be held on Monday, January 22nd, 2018.   Workshop will begin at 6 pm. We will have a discussion on the sale of the former Mancheski property.

White Bear Chamber Event will be held on January 16th from 8 am to 10 am at the MCC- Driverless cars. Several staff, Mayor Slawik, Councilmember Abrams are attending.

Police Advisory Commission Meeting will be held on January 18th at 6 pm at the Gladstone Fire Station 

Rice/Larpenteur Avenue Vision Plan Meeting will be held on January 18th at 6 pm at the Washington Tech Magnet School.

Please join Metropolitan Council Chair Alene Tchourumoff to celebrate 50 years of partnerships that built success in the metro area.

Our region is stronger because we’ve collaborated on shared priorities and formed partnerships on clean water, transportation, parks, and housing. These partnerships will serve us well as we face the challenges of the future.

Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018 | 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
McNamara Alumni Center, U of M
200 Oak St. SE, Minneapolis

Speech at 2 p.m. Panel discussion with former Council chairs and reception to follow.

Please RSVP at https://metrocouncil.org/50invite.aspx by Jan.19. Seating is limited.


Updates from Staff and Council


Misc. Updates

I would like to congratulate Mayor Slawik on a fantastic State of Maplewood Address. I received excellent feedback from the attendees on how nice our event was and how great the speakers/content was as well. This event involves much staff time planning and making sure communications go out without a hitch.  There will be a replay of the luncheon on Channel 16 in the next few days. Thanks to all who were involved and to Council for attending.

Mayor Slawik and I were interviewed this week by a reporter from the City Pages. Thanks to David Schultz and the Assemblies Project connection, we are going to get an update story on how things have changed since 2006 when we had the moniker of being the most Dysfunctional City.  Stay tuned for the article.

City hall improvements- staff will be meeting with the contractor for the city hall improvements next week. Shortly after the meeting, we will have a work schedule and will be able to update you on the construction schedule and the impact on the use of Council Chambers.



I am repeating this info so you will have the schedule and see the update from last night’s meeting.

2040 Comprehensive Plan Public Meetings, Engagement Efforts and Next Steps

Upcoming Meetings

The next phase of the development of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan has begun. We are now asking the public to review and provide comment on the draft 2040 Comprehensive Plan. Throughout January there are neighborhood meetings and open houses being held to provide opportunities for interested parties to learn more about the plan and to provide feedback.  Below is a summary of the public meetings coming up.

  • Lions Park Neighborhood Meeting

January 11, 2018; 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Carver Elementary, 2680 Upper Afton Road – I am told that this meeting was well attended from neighborhood residents and that the conversations went well. The residents had concerns about possible tall buildings and incompatible uses but that staff was ready and able to address those concerns and for the most part  the responses were accepted. I really appreciate staff and Rita Trapp, our consultant, on their professional approach to the neighborhood feedback and well prepared and knowledgeable they are. 

  • Hillside/Beaver Lake and Vista Hills Neighborhood Meeting

January 25, 2018; 6 – 7 p.m. at Carver Elementary, 2680 Upper Afton Road – Focus on proposed high density residential land use changes at 1300 McKnight Road (Origination, Inc.) and 2501 Londin Lane (City-owned fire station site and vacant land to the west)

  • Community Open House #1

January 25, 2018; 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Carver Elementary, 2680 Upper Afton Road – The Community Open Houses will be organized with information at stations so residents can come and go when it works best for your schedule. 

  • Community Open House #2

January 30, 2018; 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Maplewood Community Center, 2100 White Bear Avenue – The Community Open Houses will be organized with information at stations so residents can come and go when it works best for your schedule.

 All property owners throughout the city that are within 500 feet of a significant proposed land use change have received a letter inviting them to one of the community open houses. These open houses were also publicized in the city newsletter and notices were published in the Maplewood Review. The entire Lions Park neighborhood was invited to the neighborhood meeting on January 11 and property owners within 500 feet of the two proposed high density housing sites were invited to the neighborhood meeting on January 25.


Additional Engagement Efforts
We are continuing to use the website and other online resources to further our engagement efforts. The www.maplewoodmn.gov/2040 site has all the draft chapters posted, as are overview summaries of each chapter that work to help residents understand what is being proposed. The www.maplewoodmn.gov/shapeyourcity is live again with new opportunities to provide real time, geographic-based comments on the proposed land use plan.

In addition to the public meetings and online efforts, staff and consultants will be following up with the business, civic and faith groups we met with during the first phase of public engagement for the comp plan. We will be bringing the draft plan to these groups so they can see what was developed and provided feedback before the next draft of the plan is issued.

Next Steps
The council will be updated on the comp plan at its January 8 workshop. In February, all the city’s board and commissions will also be provided with an update on the plan and given a chance to again review the chapters they have worked on while also taking a look at the plan as a whole.  The Steering Committee’s next meeting is scheduled for February 22. The Planning Commission is tentatively scheduled to hold a public hearing in March for the final draft of the plan. The council would then review the plan to consider approval for adjacent community review. Adjacent communities are given six months to complete their reviews. At that point we’d be looking to have the city council consider final adoption of the plan in December of this year.


Farrell-Ferndale Neighborhood Meeting Update

Staff held a neighborhood meeting last fall for the Farrell-Ferndale Area Street Improvements. At this meeting, staff informed the neighborhood of the street, utility, and sidewalk improvements proposed for their neighborhood. Sidewalks were being proposed due to the neighborhood containing such amenities as Lion’s Park and the Maplewood Nature Center. During the meeting, City staff heard a loud voice in opposition to sidewalks being installed on a wholescale basis within the neighborhood.

Utilizing the feedback received at the meeting, Engineering staff met with the Parks Department to find a balance between the City’s guiding documents and the desires of the neighborhood. The attached letter was then sent out to area residents depicting the proposed sidewalk layout. This was done to help them better understand how the proposed sidewalks could connect them to area amenities and the regional trail system.

After receiving the letter, a number of residents along 7th Street contacted staff to voice their strong opposition to a sidewalk along their street. While understanding of their concerns, staff feels that this is a necessary sidewalk segment, connecting the Nature Center to the future regional trail network.

Staff anticipates bringing the feasibility report for this project to Council in February. If you have any questions or comments on the project, feel free to contact Assistant City Engineer Jon Jarosch by phone at (651) 249-2405, or by email at jon.jarosch@MaplewoodMN.gov.



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News From local sources and agencies :

League Events & Training

JANUARY SPOTLIGHT! Experienced Officials: 2018 Leadership Conference
Jan. 26-27—Brooklyn Park
As a city official, a key part of your job is to keep calm and communicate as you work with residents, reporters, and fellow city officials. During this two-day training, you'll explore how to become a more effective communicator by focusing on developing key messages, how to communicate during a crisis, and more!

Newly Elected Officials: 2018 Leadership Conference
Jan. 26-27—Brooklyn Park
Get a strong start in your new role during this two-day conference! Join other newly elected city officials as you learn about your role in governing the city, get tips on working effectively with residents and other city officials, and discover your legal responsibilities.

Free Webinar: 2018 Legislative Preview and City Advocacy
Feb. 14—1-2 p.m.
What can cities expect during the 2018 legislative session? Set a date this Valentine's Day for this free webinar to preview the upcoming session and get tips on how you can effectively advocate for cities.

2018 Legislative Conference for Cities
March 22—St. Paul
Once the 2018 legislative session is in full swing, join your city colleagues in St. Paul for the 2018 Legislative Conference for Cities. Focus on how city priorities are faring at the Capitol, get tips on how to advocate for cities, and more!

At a Glance – From District 622

  • No School Monday, January 15, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr Day
  • Holiday Giving in 622!
  • Points of Pride: BPA District results, DECA District results and Triple A award winners for North and Tartan
  • Have you downloaded the District 622 mobile app?


Follow the link to read this week's District 622 e-news: www.isd622.org/e-news


Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Melinda