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

Jan 11

January 6th, 2017

Posted to City Manager Blog by Chad Bergo

Here is this week’s news and communications for Friday, January 6, 2017.  

1. Calendar Items and Updates:

Our next City Council meeting will be held on January 9th. The workshop start time will be 6 pm. Communications is the topic.  Dinner will be available at 5 pm.
Staff has registered you for the State of Maplewood luncheon on January 12th from 11 am to 1 pm. Please let me know if you are unable to attend. 
Legislators’ Town Hall Meeting: Senator Wiger has scheduled two Town Hall meetings on Saturday, Jan. 21. The first is from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Century College East Campus with Rep. Peter Fischer. The second Town Hall is at Maplewood Council Chamber and is from 11 a.m. to noon with Rep. Leon Lillie, Rep. JoAnn Ward and Sen. Susan Kent. Please attend if your schedules allow. 

2017 Legislative Conference for Cities
March 23—8 a.m.-4 p.m.   Mark your calendars for the League’s 2017 Legislative Conference for Cities! Sit down with your city colleagues and discuss what’s going on at the Capitol. This year, the program will focus solely on city issues, legislation impacting cities, and what city officials can do to advocate during the 2017 Legislative session.
Highlights include:
Updates on legislation from the League’s intergovernmental relations staff
Tips on how you can advocate effectively
Visiting the newly renovated Capitol
Opportunities to schedule time with your legislators
Time to network and connect with city officials from across the state
Check back later in January for more details on this conference.
It’s never too early to schedule a meeting with your legislators! Start planning your trip to the Capitol by arranging time to meet with your legislators during the afternoon of March 23.
March 23
Best Western Capitol Ridge
161 St. Anthony Ave. (view map)
St. Paul, MN 55103

2. Staff and Council Information:

From Michael Thompson:   

1) The Engineering Division just learned it was awarded $679,500.00 in Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) grant funds!  Why?  To convert the signalized intersection at Roselawn Avenue and Edgerton Street into a mini roundabout and improve pedestrian connections near Edgerton Elementary.  As you may recall there was a motorcyclist fatality at this intersection along with other crashes as a result of motorists failing to yield the right of way at red lights.  Roundabouts are proven to help slow traffic and reduce high impact (t-Bone) type crashes.  As the CIP is developed this year it will be updated to reflect this Year 2020 project.  This City has the option to build the project sooner but would need to cash flow upfront since the dollars do not officially get released to the City until 2020.

2) At 1:45 today Public Works, Parks and Rec, and Police and Fire will be talking with Room 158 3rd graders at Edgerton Elementary about city government.  Troy Brink, our street crew chief, is also bringing a snow plow for the students to explore.  Alexa says her students are excited, and she appreciates all of the Maplewood staff and officials that responded to the letters that were mailed by her students.

From Chris Swanson.  Republic has invited City staff, ENR commissioners, and the Council for a tour of their facility in Inver Grove Heights.   See attached flyer.  If they have any additional questions or comments please feel free to contact Chris directly.

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