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

Feb 13

February 9th, 2018

Posted to City Manager Blog by Chad Bergo

Meetings and Announcements:   

Our next City Council meeting will be held on Monday, February 12th, 2018.   Workshop will begin at 5:45.  We will have a discussion on the sale of the Mancheski Property and Annual Operations Report from the YMCA/MCC staff.  

EEDD

2040 Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee Meeting – February 22, 2018 – 5 p.m.

Residents of Maplewood have been reviewing and providing comments on the Draft 2040 Comprehensive Plan during the last few months to help provide the city with guidance to further refine the document. This second phase of public engagement is wrapping up and the Steering Committee will utilize its next and last scheduled meeting to review comments received, see an overview of the changes made to the second draft and give additional recommendations as we move forward with the more formal review by the planning commission and city council in March and April. 

The next 2040 Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee Meeting is scheduled for February 22, 2017 starting at 5 p.m. This meeting will once again be held at Fire Station No. 2 in the Gladstone Neighborhood. Many of the comments staff has received during this phase of public engagement have focused on the Lion’s Park neighborhood and the proposed land use change. At the steering committee meeting, staff and consultants will walk through three options the city could take to address these comments. The three options will also be presented at the subsequent planning commission and city council meetings. 

Draft Rice-Larpenteur Vision Plan

Residents, businesses, planning commissioners, members of neighborhoods and business organizations, elected officials and city staff have spent the last year creating a vision to shape the development of the Rice and Larpenteur area. This vision is captured and documented by the plan developed by the three adjoining cities.  This plan is in draft form and is currently being reviewed by staff.

Below you will find a link to the DRAFT Rice-Larpenteur Vision Plan. This plan is being presented to the Gateway Area Planning Committee (elected officials and staff) at its last meeting scheduled for February 15. The Maplewood Planning Commission will then review the plan on February 20. The City Council is scheduled to review and consider approval of the plan on March 12.

http://www.maplewoodmn.gov/ricelarpplan

AFFORDABLE HOUSING DISCUSSION, LEAD BY THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN’S VOTERS (See attachment)

The LWV Roseville Area will host a panel of city officials on February 20. Each speaker

will explain the status of their citys affordable housing goals that are being proposed as

they update their comprehensive plans. League members studied affordable housing for the

past two years and advocated for local cities to include needed affordable housing in their

plans that are due to the Metropolitan (Met) Council this year.

Panelists are:

  • Heather Butkowski, City Administrator, Lauderdale
  • Kari Collins, Community Development Director, Roseville
  • Joel Hanson, City Administrator, Little Canada
  • DuWayne Konewko, Environmental and Economic Development Director, Maplewood
  • Sack Thongvanh, City Administrator, Falcon Heights

The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Autumn Grove Park Building, 1365 Lydia Ave. W.,

Roseville. The event is free and open to the public. There will also be a recorded viewing

of the program at 9:30 a.m. at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, 3115 Victoria St.

N., Roseville.

 

PUBLIC WORKS

Ash Tree Removal and Cost Savings

Over the winter Public Works crews have helped the City get a jump on boulevard ash tree removals.

Crews have removed 78 ash trees this winter with the goal of removing an additional 21 trees in the upcoming weeks.  Staff rented a bucket truck to help safely remove the trees one section at a time.  By renting the bucket truck and utilizing city staff the removal costs are about 1/3 of the cost per tree compared to hiring a contractor to do the removals.  Staff will be providing additional information on the EAB plan at an upcoming Council Workshop.

Gearing Up For Pothole Season

Maplewood is expecting a healthy crop of potholes come this spring.  This year’s patching operation will be more efficient and safer thanks to the newly purchased asphalt patch trailer, hotbox

With the ability to carry twice the amount of patching material crews can spend more time patching and less time waiting for additional material to arrive.  In the past, at the end of the day, any remaining material would need to be disposed and the next day would start with crews waiting in line at the asphalt plant for new material.  Crews can now be out patching potholes right up to the end of the day and go out first thing in the morning with remaining previous day’s material thanks to the electric overnight heater.  During the peak pothole season this saves an hour or more each day for the whole crew.  With LED strobe lights and a LED arrow board mounted on the new hotbox this operation will more visible to traffic and will make the operation safer for the patching crew.  

 

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Have a great weekend.   Mike

Mike Funk | 651-249-2053


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