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Sep 15

September 15, 2017

Posted to City Manager Blog by Chad Bergo

Big week in the great city of Maplewood! Picnics, Awards and More!

Meetings and Announcements:    

Our next City Council meeting will be held on Monday, September 25h. Workshop will begin at 6 pm. Dinner will be available at 5:30 pm.

Park/Development Tour will be Monday, September 18th. We will meet in front of city hall at 4 pm and return at 6:45. 

Maplewood Fun Run will be held on Saturday, September 30th. Registration is from 9- 10 am. Meet at the Upper Lot at the MCC.

Maplewood Community Business Engagement Breakfast, Wednesday, October 11th from 7:30- 9 am at the MCC

See additional meeting information in the EEDD section. 

Check out the articles from the local press covering many Maplewood activities. Content and links can be found at the end of this document.

Updates from Staff and Council

Director Paulseth tracked down a preliminary levy survey done by the City of Shakopee. Even at 3.5%, Maplewood is one of the lowest.  3% would have put us at the very bottom.

Comparable Cities Preliminary Levy & COLA Estimates

City 2018 Estimated Preliminary Levy
Savage 3.20%
Roseville 3.40%
Maplewood 3.50%
Burnsville 3.90%
Golden Valley 4.13%
Shakopee 4.43%
Coon Rapids 4.68%
St. Louis Park 4.95%
Lakeville 5.90%
Blaine 8.50%
Inver Grove Heights 10.90%


Blue Ribbon Game Day(Employee Picnic) on Thursday. See additional photos attached. Thank you Mayor Slawik and Council Member Juenemann for your participation.

Nebraska Park Neighborhood Meeting(From Audra Robbins)
We had a terrific turnout of neighbors for our Nebraska Park Playground Neighborhood meeting on Tuesday, September 12! Around 60 residents ranging in age from 3 – 80 took part in voting for the playground concept that they liked best. It was especially great to see how enthusiastic the children were about getting to choose their playground. One parent said that her daughter had talked about it every day for the last two weeks.
The winning proposal came from Northland Recreation and the company is excited to begin the building process as soon as possible with plans to have the project completed by mid-November.


Next week is a busy week for elected and appointed officials, along with EEDD staff.  Below is a brief summary of the important events and meetings being conducted next week and in October.

Parks and EEDD Tour – Monday, September 18, 2017 – The tour will begin at 4 p.m. in front of city hall and will be returning no later than 6:45 p.m.  This tour will highlight some of the city’s most recent and important parks and development projects.   

ENR Meeting – Monday, September 18, 2017 – The ENR’s meeting will be focusing on developing goals for the 2040 Comprehensive Plan Update.  This meeting begins at 7 p.m. 

CDRB Meeting – Tuesday, September 19, 2017 – The CDRB will be reviewing requests from Boater’s Outlet (2000 Rice) for a design revision and from the Hazelwood Medical Office Building (2945 Hazelwood) developer for a comprehensive sign plan amendment. This meeting beings at 6 p.m. 

PC Meeting – Tuesday, September 19, 2017 – The planning commission will be reviewing a side yard setback variance request (425 Laurie) and a conditional use permit request (1194 Co. Rd. C E) to operate a school in the city. The planning commission will also review the first draft of the proposed future land use map as part of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan Update. This meeting begins at 7 p.m.

Maplewood Business Council Meeting – Thursday, September 21, 2017 – The next Maplewood Business Council meeting will be a focused discussion with the city’s business community on the 2040 Comprehensive Plan Update.  This event is free but registration is requested.  To do so, please visit This meeting begins at 7:30 a.m.

2040 Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee – Thursday, September 21, 2017 – The next meeting of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan Steering committee will start reviewing the goals and purpose of each chapter in the plan.  This is a critical step in the development of this plan and lots of feedback and direction will be requested of the steering committee.  This meeting is being held at Fire Station No. 2 – in Gladstone – and begins at 5 p.m. 

Wakefield Building Design Update: At their meeting on September 11th, Council directed staff to work with the PC, CDRB, and the Parks & Recreation Commission to assist with the design work for the Wakefield Park Community Building. In order to achieve that objective, staff will be scheduling a joint meeting on October 17th (the PC and CDRB have a meeting scheduled already that evening) with these three commissions. The City Council will also be invited to attend and participate in the discussion.  In addition, staff will utilize the various commissioner’s expertise in an effort to solicit input on the final design for the building. The architect for the project will be leading the discussion, and additional details will be forthcoming. Staff is very appreciative of Council’s support for this project and look forward to the joint discussion on October 17th. The ideal outcome is to construct a community building that the City Council, residents, and businesses are proud of and that showcases the City’s commitment to strengthen and build community.

Harvest Park Planting: Please see the attached piece regarding an upcoming opportunity at Harvest Park to assist in the planting of 25 fruit trees and shrubs. This effort is part of the Harvest Park Farm Program in partnership with the Food Group and the Minnesota Food Association.

Conifer Ridge Apartments

The first of three 50-unit three-story apartment buildings being constructed between Hazelwood Street and Kennard Street, just south of County Road D, has been completed and tenants have started to move into the building. The apartment buildings consist of one- and two-bedroom units and have amenities such as heated underground parking, an elevator, and a fitness room. In addition, the building was constructed with state of the art fire suppression, one-hour tenant separations and full handicap accessibility to make these structures safe, convenient and comfortable. The second building should be ready for occupancy in the spring of 2018.

Rice-Larpenteur Gateway Area Vision 

The Rice-Larpenteur Gateway Area Vision planning project was awarded the Leaders in Local Government Award (Planning, Zoning, and Land Use) at the annual St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon this week.  The other projects included in this category were the planning processes for the TCAAP property in Arden Hills and the former Ford Plant site in Saint Paul.  This award is a great recognition of the innovative planning and policy work being coordinated between the cities of Maplewood, Roseville and Saint Paul.  Below is a picture of Shann Finwall, far right, along with planning staff from Roseville and Saint Paul.  


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News From local sources and agencies :  Reference:  Melinda Coleman, Chad Bergo  Reference:  New food shelf in Oakdale serves part of Maplewood  Not Maplewood again – but article on the DVS software update…

From MLC
Fair polls show marijuana support, toll road opposition
Tim Pugmire September 6, 2017, 11:42 AM

Results are out from the annual State Fair surveys conducted by the nonpartisan information offices of the Minnesota House and Minnesota Senate.

They’re an unscientific sampling but show how some folks feel about public policy issues that state lawmakers are considering.

The House survey of 7,122 fairgoers found just over half (50.6 %) support the recreational use of marijuana by people age 21 and over. Lawmakers introduced two bills related to legalized marijuana during the 2017 session, but they didn’t go anywhere.

In the same survey, an overwhelming 95.8 percent favor a requirement for telecommunications companies to obtain customer permission to sell their web browsing data. Lawmakers tried unsuccessfully last session to create online privacy protections, but the issue is expected to return.

Fairgoers also said in the House survey that they support a gas tax increase (60.6%) and a statewide increase in the age for buying tobacco products from 18 to 21 (66%).

The separate Senate poll of 5,310 fairgoers looked at different issues. It showed support (61.77%) for the elimination of a of a religious exemption for child immunizations.

There was strong opposition (71.28%) to the use of toll roads. A feasibility study of Minnesota toll roads is in the works.

The Senate poll also found slim majorities oppose the constitutional dedication of spending (50.99%) and fishing with two lines (53.69%).

Full House results can be found here, and full Senate results can be found here.

The fall of sprawl: Twin Cities development turns inward
From the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS: The Twin Cities is growing in a new direction: inward, not outward. In a shift in development patterns, sprawl has been stalled and replaced by infill development on blighted, forgotten and ugly plots of land. "Am I happy about this? Yes, absolutely," said Jonathan Sage-Martinson, development director of St. Paul, where developers have rushed to build thousands of new apartments.

Rachel E. Stuckey
Legislative Coordinator

Thanks for reading and I hope you all have an enjoyable weekend. This is my favorite time of the year- football! Please call or email if you have any questions or concerns. Melinda

  Melinda Coleman | 651-249-2055

Mar 01

The New Guy - Bryan Smith

Posted to Council Account by Chad Bergo

When I got the assignment to write an article for this month’s Maplewood Living, I really didn’t want to write “the new guy” article. The reality is, however, that I have now been sworn in for about six weeks, I have attended 3 council meetings, and have been working hard to learn the ins and outs of Maplewood operations and how to be the best councilmember I can. It feels strange to be writing this so early; I am the new guy after all…

We have all been the new person: new kid at school, new person at work, or the new family on the block. It can be a tough time of uncertainty and anxiety, but it is also a time of opportunity for new friends, new skills, and new knowledge. I have felt all of these feelings since being sworn in. In fact, I am not only the new guy here, but also am the new guy on the Gateway Corridor Commission and a number of other groups for which I now represent the city.

As I have begun this journey, there are a number of life lessons I reflect on and hold in my heart:
1. Be grateful: I am deeply grateful for this opportunity to serve our city, and also for my colleagues on the council, the mayor, and many leaders from the city staff who have all been generous and patient while teaching me and answering all my rookie questions.

2. More elephants and fewer hippos: Picture it: elephants have huge ears and small mouths while hippos have huge mouths and small ears. I know I can tend to be more of a hippo, more apt to speak than I am to listen carefully. I am doing my best to be more of an elephant, and it takes a great deal of energy for me to slow down, shut my mouth, and listen. I am doing my best, and when I am successful, I find it serves me quite well.

3. Be kind: I have never regretted being kind to someone – I have, however, regretted being unkind almost every time. My wife and I have always expected our son to show kindness to others, and at 7 years old, he is now my role model. I hope I can grow up to be as kind and empathetic as him.

While I really didn’t want to write the new guy article, I think that I just did. One thing I have learned in my career is that people typically feel “new” a lot longer than they are seen as “new” by others. Hopefully you still see me as “new” – I know I still feel it. I am looking forward to the challenge ahead, to getting to know you all better, and to working to make our city the best it can be.

Tag(s): Bryan Smith