Topics at this meeting included
Call to Order: 6:36 pm by Council President Paul Sawyer. Quorum present. Round of board introductions. P. Sawyer introduces Liz Xiong from the Mayor’s office. L. Xiong speaks about herself and her duties with the city. Community outreach is a big piece and she has been making the rounds of the District Councils. She makes mention of upcoming forums related to public collection of garbage and leaves some materials. She also notes that she is leaving information on the “Year of Music” that began on February 11. She fields questions – there will be upcoming forums on the pending Chief of Police vacancy for citizen input.
Upper Afton Road Work – P. Sawyer notes that Upper Afton is slated for an entire mill and overlay this year.
It gives us an opportunity to discuss usage. He provides a review of the District 1 Transportation plan and bikeways. This project allows us to put our plan into action. He presents the District’s ideas regarding implementing a dedicated bikeway and reduced parking. Questions regarding plan – a) any consideration to installing bollards, b) who will maintain the paint (citing another location where they have not been maintained in years and have faded beyond view), P. Sawyer asks Jane Prince to check into if the city or county would maintain the lines – she agrees to check, c) can temporary transition measures be installed (signs, cones, paddle signs, etc) to draw attention to the road changes, d) what else other than striping will work to reduce traffic speeds – some ideas include speed display signage, e) a note that Upper Afton is among the more pleasant east/west routes, and the only one usable in winter.
P. Sawyer discusses parking impact aspects of the project. West of White Bear Ave would see the elimination of street parking with parking eliminated on the north side of Upper Afton east of White Bear Ave.
P. Sawyer asks if any additional changes would make the plan better; a) it’s a good start, b) don’t have the bikeway start/stop multiple times, c) will there be a city council hearing as well – likely to happen in early May, d) will crosswalks be painted/added – locations are named.
Boys Totem Town – Chris Crutchfield discusses an incident at BTT and notes that Commissioner McDonough is out of town but wanted him to come and give a report. On February 11 two boys ran away. One had a GPS and was found immediately. He noted that a contractor (therapist) had aided them in escaping and that the other boy may have been at the therapist’s home. The therapist has been charged for an improper relationship. The 17-year old boy is still at large, probably out of state. The police continue their investigation. The therapist had a background check, fingerprinting for FBI and other training. They’ll be looking at BTT policies and procedures from “top to bottom” to evaluate possible future changes. Questions and discussion regarding the incident.
Financials – G. Westerberg presents the 2nd quarter financials for review and approval. Questions regarding the reports. Motion to approve the 2nd quarter financial reports as presented by B. Watkins. Seconded by Mohr. Approved on voice vote.
Strategic Planning – P. Sawyer provides a review of our desire to undergo a strategic planning process and the consultants that have been spoken to – he provides an overview from Meyer Consulting. B. Leach also notes that she would like to bring in CURA for additional work on impact mapping. She has been in discussions with them but does not yet have a quote from them. There is a deadline of this Friday for submitting a grant proposal and it does not look as if we will get a quote back in time. P. Sawyer would like to approve Meyer Consulting and their proposal. He also notes that we do not have the grant and reserve funds would need to be used if we do not receive it. So, a “yes” vote would be authorizing usage of reserve funds, which would be replenished should the grant be received. Questions from the board: a) how many vendors talked to/quotes – one direct quote, CURA would cost more, three others declined to submit any proposals citing the project to be too small. b) background of the company – explained, c) will references be checked – there seems to be enough prior experience in working with the principals to skip that step, d) are there other grants aside from the St. Paul Foundation that could be explored – the McNeely Grant recommended to go to the SPF.
Motion to allocate up to $2250 for purposes of doing strategic planning by M. Barrett. Seconded by Clark. Approved on voice vote.
Annual Meeting – B. Leach provides an overview of the upcoming Open House (Annual Meeting). She also announces who is up for election.
Announcements – J. Clark announces that there will be a College Fair from 11a to 2 pm at Harding H.S. this Saturday. As part of the fair, bring new socks and children underwear for donations if you attend or would like to support the drive.
There are some concluding comments and P. Sawyer thanks everyone for attending and adjourns the meeting at 8:02 pm.