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Find out what's happening in the blog. Below is a list of blog items.

Apr 16

April 13, 2018

Posted to City Manager Blog by Chad Bergo

Meetings and Announcements:   

  • Our next City Council meeting and Manager Workshop will be held on Monday, April 23, 2018.   Start time for Workshop TBT.   
  • The April 23rd City Council meeting and Manager Workshop will be held at the MCC/YMCA due to the remodeling of the Council Chambers. It is expected that the project will be completed prior to the May 14thmeeting.
  • Council – Staff Retreat will be held on Tuesday April 17th. The venue has been changed to Crooked Pint Ale House in Maplewood The retreat will be from 8 am to 3:30 pm.
  • Save the date- Maplewood Spring Clean Up, Saturday, April 21st, 8am -1 pm, Aldrich Arena 

 

Metro Cities Annual Meeting – Join Us!

RSVP today for the Metro Cities Annual Meeting! This year, the event will be held on Thursday, April 19th at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in the Bullard Rainforest Auditorium. We're pleased to announce that this year's guest speakers are B Kyle, President and CEO of the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce and Jonathan Weinhagen, President and CEO of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber. 

 

The evening will start off with a social hour at 5:30pm, followed by the guest speakers at 6:30pm, and will wrap up with a brief (but important!) business meeting at 7:00pm to elect members and officers to the Board of Directors. All member city staff and elected officials are welcome and encouraged to attend!
More information is attached, and can be found 
here on our website homepage. 

There is no registration cost, but please RSVP by April 6th if you plan to attend. To RSVP, or if you have any questions, please contact Kimberly at 651-215-4000 or kimberly@metrocitiesmn.org.

Update on Assemblies Project: from Miriam Ziven

The Assemblies Project will take place on April 27th and 28th. The entire City Council and interested staff are invited to attend on April 28th at 3:30 to 4:30. I will be attending part of the day on the 27th to discuss the functions of city government; services, challenges etc. When we get closer to the date, I will check in on who is attending. Thanks

 

Annual League of Minnesota Cities Conference. The conference will be held in St. Cloud on June 20-22nd at the River’s Edge Conference Center. Registration is open and is discounted if you register before April 30th.  Please let Lois know if you are planning on attending. Thanks

 

 

Updates from Staff and Council

 

ADMINISTRATION

Human Resources and the Maplewood Police Department will again partner this year join other jurisdictions on the ‘Pathways to Policing’ program, with the goal of hiring two potential candidates from the recruitment process.  Suburban law enforcement agencies need to increase their success with the recruitment and retention of non-traditional and diverse candidates with the goal of more closely resembling the communities they serve.   This program facilitates an entry path for non-traditional individuals who have a two or four-year degree in any discipline from a regionally accredited institution.  The program was initiated in 2017 in which Maplewood was able to hire two police officers who were non-white.     

 

Here is a tentative schedule for the major events occurring between now and when the cadets will start classes on Oct. 1st.

 

Wednesday, April 12– Go Live Date with Posting

Monday, May 14 -- Application Deadline

Weeks of May 7, 14 and 21 – First Round Screening Interviews

Wednesday, May 30 – GROUP CHECK-IN MEETING TO DEBRIEF 1st Round Interviews (if needed)

Weeks of June 11 & 18 – Second Round Interviews

Monday, June 25 – GROUP CHECK-IN MEETING TO DEBRIEF 2nd Round Interviews (if needed)

Friday, June 29 – Background Questionnaires distributed to candidates

Monday, July 9 – completed Background Questionnaires Due

Background Checks

Week of Aug. 13 – Chief’s Interviews

Friday, Aug. 17 – deadline for issuing conditional offer letters

Wednesday, Aug. 22 – deadline for accepting a conditional offer

Week of Aug. 27 – Pre-Employment Physicals & Psychs

Friday, Sept. 7 – Trainees give two-week due notice to current employer

Monday, Sept. 24 – Trainees first day of work, start of 1 week orientation

Monday, Oct. 1 – Trainees start class at Hennepin Tech

 

Here is a link to the job posting: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/bloomingtonmn/jobs/2011801/pathways-to-policing-program?pagetype=jobOpportunitiesJobs

 

ENVIRONMENT AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

 

City staff has ordered a market study to be conducted in the North End area of Maplewood – roughly between I-694 to Beam Avenue and White Bear Avenue to the Bruce Vento Trail. See attached map for project area. Perkins Will has been hired to conduct this study which will be complete by June 30, 2018. Perkins Will is the group that worked with Maplewood, Saint Paul and Roseville on the Rice-Larpenteur study. This area is a major employment and activity “center” for the City of Maplewood. The area is anchored by two major regional uses – Maplewood Mall and St. John’s Hospital. In addition, there are a number of other uses that are present in the study area including: multifamily housing units, senior housing units, numerous medical related businesses, office parks, a library, additional clinics, strip mall centers, box stores, restaurants, and retail. Per Scope of Services: the approach of the market analysis will include an examination of the supply and demand forces that affect the types of development most often found in districts anchored by a regional mall with a mixture of commercial, institutional, residential, and recreational uses. The market forces to be examined include demographic trends, economic trends, development trends, availability of developable land, and the condition of real estate markets.

 

The result of the market analysis will be a technical memorandum, complete with necessary maps, graphics, and tables needed to support and explain conclusions. Findings from the memo will be used to inform a Small Area Plan (task force). Below is a description of the tasks needed to complete the market analysis.

 

1.    Evaluate the characteristics of the Maplewood Mall Study Area to determine its strengths and weaknesses from a market perspective. Characteristics to be analyzed include:

 

  • Access to the broader metropolitan region via the interstate highway system and mass transit system
  • Connections to surrounding neighborhoods
  • Existence of and proximity to competitive employment and retail districts
  • Existence of and proximity to parks, trails, and other natural amenities
  • Aesthetic character of land uses (built and unbuilt) in the Study Area
  • Compatibility of land uses in the Study Area

 

2.    Collect and analyze demographic and economic data at the Study Area, municipal, and metropolitan scales to understand how past trends and forecasted growth will impact the demand for a variety of real estate uses. Specific data to be analyzed include:

  • Population
  • Households
  • Household income
  • Age distribution
  • Household type
  • Tenure
  • Employment by industry

 

3.  Conduct interviews with the stakeholders who may be able to provide evaluation and feedback regarding the potential future real estate business mix in the Study Area. Suggested stakeholders to be interviewed include the following:

  • Maplewood Mall management and/or owners
  • Maplewood city staff
  • Real estate brokers familiar with Maplewood and the northeast metro submarkets
  • Developers who are familiar with the Study Area or have experience with redevelopment in regional mall environments
  • Property owners located in the study area

 

4.    Collect and analyze current supply-side market information as it pertains to vacancy rates, prices, rents, and new development trends for each prominent real estate use in the Study Area (building permit data from the City of Maplewood for new construction during the past 10 years will be necessary).

 

5.    Prepare up to three case studies of similar regional mall districts that have undergone substantial redevelopment highlighting the nature of the redevelopment (e.g., scale, density, form, type, etc.), the timeline, and the forces most likely contributing to redevelopment (e.g., catalytic public investment, transportation improvements, demographic change, regional economic growth, etc.). One of these three case studies will feature the Southdale Mall.

 

6.    Provide conclusions on the near – and long-term development potential in the Study Area. Conclusions will be based on the previous tasks outlined above and will address the following:

  • Amount of supportable development by type
  • Estimated timeline of development potential

 

As you recall from the 2040 Comprehensive plan – the draft which was approved at the April 9 council meeting – focuses heavily and calls out this area as a priority area for the city that requires further study (small area study). While the market study is being conducted, staff is coordinating with Ramsey County Regional Rail staff on future planning processes and community engagement. The next phase of Rush Line planning has begun and this segment includes station area planning. The North End of Maplewood includes two stops along the Rush Line. City staff intends to bring to council a plan for proceeding with a small area study of this area of the city once the market study is complete and staff better understands the planning process for the Rush Line. Staff wants to ensure that both planning processes, to the extent we can, complement each other and are efficient and effective. Staff anticipates that this North End Vision phase and the creation of a task force will begin sometime this fall/winter. The cost of the visioning study will be approx. $125k and will likely take 12 months or so to complete.

EAB Update

 

Earlier this week four staff members and our contracted City Forester teamed up with Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) staff to conduct Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) inspections in Maplewood.  We focused on north Maplewood, fanning out from the known infested tree north of the Myth Nightclub.  Inspections are easiest done in late winter when woodpecking damage is most noticeable.

 

Ten new EAB locations were found, mostly on private land, near the mall and in the Gladstone area.  The MDA has updated their EAB map with this information:https://mnag.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=63ebb977e2924d27b9ef0787ecedf6e9.  You can zoom in on the map to see the individual sites.  EAB flight season will start in a few weeks so owners will be encouraged to hold off on removals until fall, unless they can remove them by April 30th.  We hope to have another inspection session with MDA in south Maplewood yet this month.

 

Staff will be presenting an update on EAB and recommendations on revisions to the City’s EAB Management Plan at the April 23 Council Workshop.

 

Health Partners Mental Health Facility  

 

Calm and inviting is how to describe the interior of the new Health Partners mental health facility on Upper Afton Road.  Health Partners hosted an open house on Thursday, April 12 to allow the neighbors and other interested parties to view the interior of the facility before opening.  At 5 p.m. during Mayor Slawik’s visit there had already been several curious neighbors touring the facility.  The short-term intensive residential treatment facility has 16 patient rooms, elegantly designed, each with a private bathroom.  There is a common area with kitchen, meeting spaces, and private nooks to read and talk with fellow patience.  The 6-foot high cedar fence adjacent the residential properties offers an attractive screen.  Exterior landscaping will be complete as soon as the weather allows.   

News From local sources and agencies :  

 

 https://www.twincities.com/2018/04/07/he-gave-chase-tried-to-help-and-took-a-hit/

 

 Silver Lake Improvement Association. [see attached newsletter] SLIA will once again be participating in the annual Silver Lake clean up this month, weather permitting.  This coincides with Earth Day where volunteers clean up debris around the lake. The debris in these areas affect the health of the lake. We ask you to consider including the areas within Maplewood’s should your City participate in this event.

 

To update you on the progress for raising funds to continue our efforts to improve the health of Silver Lake, we are pleased to share  that the City of Oakdale has generously agreed to contribute $400 towards the 2018 lake treatment costs.  We also have a meeting this week with the City of NSP regarding the amount they will contribute. For 2018, SLIA will need approximately $4,100 to treat the off shore lake areas where we find the invasive plants and concentrate on those areas. In our talks with you last fall, you encouraged us to submit requests for funds from the non-charitable gaming funds of Maplewood. While that process is not yet available for  submission until Sept 2018 for 2019, we once again asking if you would reconsider a donation in 2018 to help us cover the costs this year. It is important that all stakeholders contribute to the solution given we all benefit from the efforts.

 

At the estimated $4,100 treatments costs, less Oakdale’s’ $400 contribution and the estimated membership dues of $1,000, it leaves an open balance of approx. $2,700. The City of NSP has is willing to commit up to $2000. We are once again asking Maplewood to consider a one-time contribution to help share in these costs.   Once we address this year’s needs, the SLIA will look into requesting available charitable gaming funds. While we are not a 501c3 organization, we will be exploring pursuing this status in order to apply for the gaming funds this September. This status will require an additional expenditure to the SLIA.

 

Any monetary help for 2018 will be greatly appreciated. We hope you see the value in lake treatment and how it enhances the lake recreational enjoyment for all. 

Feb 27

Maplewood Police Department – Ever Evolving, Always Serving

Posted to Council Account by Chad Bergo

It’s hard to imagine the days when the Maplewood PD consisted of a constable and a few deputies. As Maplewood grew from a conglomeration of villages into an incorporated city by 1957 to today’s fully developed suburb, city leaders have sought to change, refine and improve the system of services to meet the needs of a growing and diversified community.

This service evolution includes a professional public safety system, a full-service public works department, a business and environmental development department, and an envied park and trail system. It ensures the community maintains a high quality of life for everyone in a financially and operationally sustainable manner.

For example, Maplewood Police Department’s 52 sworn officers wear body cameras and well-equipped duty belts. A professional civilian staff keeps them informed in the field with state-of-the art records technology systems. Everyone, from those on the job a few weeks to the chief, have attended extensive, nation-leading training.

We can best understand and appreciate their dedication and level of service when we comprehend their mission, policies and plan of operation.

21st Century Policing
– Long before former President Barack Obama commissioned a task force and released a report on best practices in 21st Century Policing to build community trust, transparency and legitimacy, Maplewood PD had established and was practicing many tenants of the final report’s key pillars. New Public Safety Director Scott Nadeau is committed to building relationships with the community with programs such as Coffee with a Cop and outreach in our schools. The Maplewood Police department is committed to examining its records to ensure cultural bias isn’t influencing enforcement. It’s also striving to ensure training is relevant to what officers need to know in the field.

Police Department Strategic Plan 2018
– The police department recently completed its first strategic plan to ensure officers and command staff are meeting community expectations and are accountable for carrying out the plan. It emphasizes community-oriented and problem solving policing, building community relationships, better utilizing technology and implementing a health and wellness guidefor officers’ physical and mental fitness.
Analysis of 2017 Enforcement Action – Chief Nadeau recently released the department’s first comprehensive enforcement action report. When looking at discretionary arrests (where officers have the option to take enforcement action) and demographics, it suggests that officers are not exhibiting bias in their enforcement. It also identifies key demographic changes and highlights certain disparities in non-discretionary enforcement (where officers are mandated by statute or department policy to take an enforcement action). This latter finding highlights broader societal factors that need further exploration.

New Training Initiatives – The department is working to ensure officers’ training goes beyond the tactical mandates. One key training goal is to ensure officers are prepared for crisis intervention and de-escalation, especially when confronting someone struggling with mental illness.

To learn more about recent Maplewood Police Department goals, please visit their website. It is my hope that seeing this information will help us all to be aware of, and appreciate the dedication, values and accountability of the Maplewood Police Department.

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