COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK: December 11th, 2020
Meetings and Announcements:
• The next City Council meeting will be held virtually on Monday, December 14th.
• We are hosting a virtual reception for Councilmembers Neblett and Smith that starts at 5 pm. I hope you can join in on the zoom reception.
• We will hold the public hearing on the 2021 Budget and the 2021-2025 CIP. We will also have an EDA meeting at 6:30 pm. The purpose of the meeting is to review CARES Fund expenditures and to review two LOI’s for the City Fire Station on Londin Lane and one for two parcels in Gladstone. This will be a closed meeting. If we need more time we will add to the end of the regular City Council meeting.
Updates from Staff and Council:
The Nature Center and Parks and Recreation Task Forces met last week. The two groups have developed a series of recommendations that will be shared with the City Council. One item to note is that the task force members wanted to view the Maplewood Community Survey prior to sharing their recommendations. There will be an update on the task forces at the December 14th City Council meeting.
The Maplewood Community Survey was sent to residents earlier this year and is a tool that’s used every-other year to gauge resident input on city services and quality of life measures. The National Citizen Survey (NCS) conducted the survey and they gather resident opinion about community livability and government services.
Through the use of these survey and action-oriented toolkits, we can use the data to:
Improve service delivery
Strengthen communication with stakeholders
Identify clear priorities for strategic plans and budgets
The survey is expected to be finalized December 15th.
The survey results will be shared broadly with the City Council, community, and staff. The information gathered will help inform decision-making on the issues most important to the community and be used as a performance management tool to benchmark against communities in the Minnesota and around the country.
Mayor Abrams, Councilmember Neblett and four members of Police Department staff met via Zoom with representatives of Maplewood’s faith community on 12/9/2021 to discuss growing the partnership and the security of our houses of worship. The meeting included a presentation on security issues, resources, and challenges related to threats for houses of worship. The Police Department also educated attendees on current programs such premise surveys and free CPR/AED trainings for church staff and members. Two Officers also spoke briefly about the Police Departments 2021 Strategic Planning process and solicited input and advice from members of our faith community to include in the 2021 plan. Overall the meeting was well intended and informative, and we thank Mayor Abrams and Councilmember Neblett for continuing to build this important relationship, we look forward to future involvement.
New Police Sergeant:
With the retirement of Sgt. Kevin Johnson from the Police Department a process was started in November to fill the vacancy of Patrol Sergeant. Four applicants went through an application review, interview process, promotability index, and a detailed leadership assessment with a testing center. From this process two of the four applicants scored high enough for the final phase, which was an interview with the Public Safety Director. Although the process was thorough, the decision was difficult due to the quality of the applicants involved, but it was decided that Officer Joe Demulling would be promoted from Acting Sergeant ( a temporary position) to the rank of promoted Sergeant effective in January. We are indeed fortunate that the quality of our staff, and our continued efforts to promote leadership, are producing the quality of applicants that we have.
Police Department Strategic Plan:
After numerous meetings with stakeholders and police staff the Police Department will be meeting (via Zoom) next Tuesday to finalize their 2021 Strategic Plan. This plan operates under the umbrella of our City Strategic Plan and is a road map for the objectives, goals and action steps that will guide our police department in 2021. If there is any Council Members who have not yet given input but would like to offer their insights or perspectives they can contact Lt. Helle in the Police Department to arrange for an interview.
Multi-Cultural Advisory Committee:
Despite the limitations placed on meetings due to COVID-19, the Police Department continues to build relationships with and use the Multi-Cultural Advisory Committee in a number of capacities. Led by Lt. Bierdeman, MAC members have participated in a number of ride-alongs and given feedback in the past couple of months. We have also had MAC members sit on the promotional panel for Police Sergeant and the hiring panel for new police officers. At the monthly MAC meeting (held via Zoom) on 12/9/2021 there was presentation and discussion on police officer hiring, recruitment efforts by the police department, and a presentation by the investigations division. Following the presentations the MAC continues to give valuable perspectives from both a personal and cultural perspective.
These are the reports for this week. As always, please call if I can address any questions or concerns. Thank you.