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

Nov 13

November 9, 2017

Posted to City Manager Blog by Chad Bergo


Meetings and Announcements:    
  • Our next City Council meeting will be held on Monday, November 13th.  Workshop will begin at 5:00 pm. Attorney Bob Vose has another Council meeting so we will need to start at 5 pm to Review  the 2019 Comcast Cable Franchise Agreement. In addition, we will have an update on the Police Department from Chief Nadeau.
  • Metro Cities Policy Adoption Meeting and Metro Regional Meeting
  • Will be held Wednesday, November 29 at the Crowne Plaza in Plymouth. Please plan to attend! 
  • Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Celebration for the new AT&T store at 3070  White Bear Avenue. The ribbon cutting is at 10 am on Wednesday, the 15th.  Mayor Slawik is unable to attend, please let me know if someone from the Council can step in. 
  • Mayor’s State of the City Address: Mark your calendars- Thursday, January 11th from 11 am to 1 pm. 

Updates from Staff and Council

4th of July Celebration: Council member Smith has been working with staff to look at the possibility of bringing in MPR to do a Community Sing a- long at our Light it Up event on July 4th. Any additional costs would need to be approved by the Council. We can hear more about this under Council Presentations on Monday night. 

Silver Lake Improvement Association: They have asked to be given 10 minutes on Presentations at the next Council meeting to discuss lake issues on Silver Lake and for our Financial Support. We typically do not fund these types of request and instead encourage them to work with their Watershed District and the DNR to address water quality and other issues. They are aware of this but hope to have a chance to explain their organization to you. 

I would encourage Council to follow the City on social media.  There are a lot of great things happening every day.  Thanks to the communications staff for really stepping up our presence. Most appreciated.

Staff will be discussing the Wakefield community building design elements with the CDRB on November 21st. At the December 11th Manager Workshop, staff and our consultant team will be providing an update to the City Council regarding the community building at Wakefield Park. As mentioned previously, staff is very appreciative of Council’s support for this community project. The ideal outcome is to construct a community building that the City Council, residents, businesses, and park users are proud of and that showcases the City’s commitment to strengthen and build community.

The 2017 Recognition Dinner and Watershed Excellence/LEAP Awards ceremony took place on Wednesday, November 8 at the Keller Golf Course Clubhouse and two of our Maplewood Parks and Recreation staff were honored for their efforts. Congratulations to Ginny and Ann. We are fortunate to have such dedicated and creative staff here at the City!

Natural Resources Coordinator Ginny Gaynor was awarded the Outstanding Partner Award(recognizes an individual group or business that effectively collaborates to achieve exceptional results in water resources management) for her work in open space, rain garden design and as a member of the Ramsey County Weed Management Team.

Lead Naturalist Ann Hutchinson was awarded the Youth engagement Award(recognizes a teacher or youth organizer who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to engage youth in watershed education and stewardship initiatives) for her work with school groups through education and hands on learning  for students doing service projects at  the Nature Center, Southwood Nature Preserve and Fish Creek.

Updates from Steve Love:
Street Sweeping:
Fall street sweeping is in full swing and the first round should be completed next week. A second round will being after that and will continue until the temperatures no longer allows for this type of work.

Maplewood Nature Center Update:
Work on the Maplewood's Nature Center is on schedule and nearing completion. It is anticipated the work will be completed by 11/10/17. The contractor has done a very nice job and the building looks great. A special thank you to Scott Christenson for all his work on this project.

Job Well Done:

Public Works crews, including Don Jones and Troy Brink, responded to a resident's report of a sink hole.  

After the project was completed the resident sent in an email and the following are a few comments from his email:
  • "All folks working on this repair were knowledgeable and very professional."
  • "After all repairs were made, the crew came back with black dirt to correct all grade issues.  
  • In short - a job well done." 
  • "Again, just wanted to say thanks very much for a job well done." Nice job everyone that helped with this repair!!
New Retaining Wall:
Starting the week of October 30th work will begin on replacement of the retaining wall at the southeast corner of Frost Avenue and East Shore Drive.  It is anticipated that the project will take about 2 weeks.  We will be removing the stacked lime stone wall with an engineered block wall.  The contractor will be using a portion of Adele Street for equipment and material storage.  Adele Street will remain open and all homeowners will have continued access to their driveways.  Fortunately, the majority of the west side of Adele Street is undeveloped property.  A letter is being sent out to the property owners today letting them know about this project.

2017 Street Repairs:
With the winter looming the paving season is now at an end. The Public Work crews put down 1,400 tons of bituminous pavement with the City's paver this year. This included locations such as the lower entrance to City Hall and Prosperity Road between County Road B and Frost Avenue.

News From local sources and agencies :  Reference:  Mayor Nora Slawik
Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a great weekend. Please call or email if you have any questions or concerns. Melinda
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