City Manager Blog

Each week I send out an FYI Update to City Council and staff on the latest happenings within the City of Maplewood.  I would like to share this information with the residents of Maplewood, as well. 

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Mar 13

March 6, 2023

Posted on March 13, 2023 at 8:04 AM by Chad Bergo


Meetings and Announcements:  
The next regular City Council Meeting will be on Monday, March13th. There is not a workshop on the 13th.

Purple Line
Our next Purple Line meeting will be March 22nd, 2023.  I will be collecting responses from the Met Council, NRLC, City staff and Ramsey County staff. Responses are due back to me by March 17th. I will also send all other emails and web page posts as well.

It is suggested that the Council ask the Advisory Committee to come prepared to discuss their perspectives and frame up a recommendation to the Met Council on the Purple Line Project. After hearing from the Advisory Committee the Council may discuss the information received from all interested parties. Audience participation is not on the agenda. After all discussion it is recommended that the Council thank the Advisory Committee for their work. Council is not able to take action on this until an upcoming Council meeting. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Ramsey County Job Fair
The City of Maplewood was front and center at the Ramsey County Job Fair earlier this week.  Beyond meeting with job seekers about the many benefits of working for our city, we rolled out our streamlined process for recruiting.  Job seekers were asked to sign up for periodic e-blasts about upcoming jobs.  Our new database of potential employees will allow us to be a step ahead for recruiting.  Additionally, the City is offering free interview prep for job seekers interested in learning how to get an edge-up in the job seeking process. 

DEI Training for Board and Commissioners
Gaining Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) tools to empower commissioners and board members

Folks came in expecting a 90-minute power point, others were concerned about the content. Those who participated in the City’s DEI training for board members and commissioners left excited and felt better prepared to help make the city a more welcoming inclusive place. The session included a demographic overview of those we serve then shifted into how their works can support our non-majority community members. Big thanks to Shawn Sorrell who led the discussion, our liaisons who coordinated scheduling, and the people who attended… And of course the fire department for hosting. We stole some of your paper plates.   

Community survey results expected early April
Through the past six weeks, the city’s survey partner sent about 2200 surveys to a random, scientific sampling of residents, hopping to get a return of about 400. The survey portal officially closed Tuesday, March 7th. They are still inputting paper results and will analyze the numbers through the end of March. We expect to have preliminary data early April. We could likely schedule a council/manager workshop to present the results in May.

Radatz and Southlawn Sidewalk Preliminary Survey Results
Following the Public Hearing for the Woodlynn-Southlawn Area Street Improvements, City Project 22-17, a survey was sent out to property owners on Radatz Avenue and Southlawn Drive.  The survey asked the following two questions:

  • As a part of the improvement project, would you like a sidewalk installed on Radatz Avenue from White Bear Avenue to Southlawn Drive?   
  • As a part of the improvement project, would you like a sidewalk installed on Southlawn Drive from Beam Avenue to the cul-de-sac (Mesabi Avenue)?                        

The survey is currently still open throughout the weekend.  On Monday staff will close the survey, compile the data, and provide an update at the City Council meeting.  This is an update on results that we have received as of Friday, March 10, 2023. 

The following is a summary of voting based on all Responses (Includes Radatz and Southlawn Responses):

Number of Survey Responses (Includes Radatz and Southlawn Properties)


Total Number of Properties on Radatz (32) and Southlawn (24) = 56
Total Number of Responses = 11 (19.6%)
Total Number of Responses on Radatz = 9 (28.1%)
Total Number of Responses on Southlawn = 2 (8.3%)

In Favor of a Sidewalk on Radatz (Includes Radatz and Southlawn Properties)
Total Number of “Yes” Responses = 8 (72.7%)
Total Number of “No” Responses = 3 (27.3%)

In Favor of Sidewalk on Southlawn (Includes Radatz and Southlawn Properties)
Total Number of “Yes” Responses = 6 (54.6%)
Total Number of “No” Responses = 5 (45.4%) 

The following is a summary of voting based on only Responses from Radatz properties:
In Favor of a Sidewalk on Radatz
Total Number of “Yes” Responses = 6 (66.7%)
Total Number of “No” Responses = 3 (33.3%)

In Favor of Sidewalk on Southlawn
Total Number of “Yes” Responses = 6 (66.7%)
Total Number of “No” Responses = 3 (33.3%)

The following is a summary of voting based on only responses from Southlawn properties:
In Favor of a Sidewalk on Radatz
Total Number of “Yes” Responses = 2 (100.0%)
Total Number of “No” Responses = 0 (0.0%)

In Favor of Sidewalk on Southlawn
Total Number of “Yes” Responses = 0 (0.0%)
Total Number of “No” Responses = 2 (100.0%) 


Spring Clean Up  Announcement
April 22, 2023  8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Aldrich Arena Parking Lot (1850 White Bear Avenue)

There were 367 vehicles at last year’s Spring Clean Up, disposing of 32.25 tons of trash, recycling 139 mattresses, 194 electronics, 141 appliances, and more.  Republic Services, the City’s contracted residential trash hauler, also collects bulky items curbside year-round for an additional fee.  The drop off and curbside bulky item collection are part of the City’s solid waste program in place to help residents dispose or recycle large bulky items.  These programs help reduce trash and litter, illegal dumping, ensures items are processed correctly, and reduces resident’s financial burden of managing unneeded bulky items. 

Republic Services covers the Spring Clean Up at no cost to the City as part of the residential trash and yard waste contract.  Maplewood subcontracts with several other haulers for bulky items that can be recycled or require special processing such as electronics, appliances, mattresses, bikes, small engines, and used clothes.  New this year, the Police Department will be collecting unneeded and expired medicine in lieu of the City’s drop off site that closed in February.

It takes a team of employees, contractors, and volunteers to hold the Spring Clean Up.  Volunteers are needed for vehicle check ins, internal traffic management and directions, food shelf donation collections, and more. Please contact Shann Finwall, Environmental Planner, at shann.finwall@maplewoodmn.gov if interested in volunteering in this year’s event.    

Winter Photo Contest
To kick off 2023 we held our Winter Photo Contest during the month of January where the community took pictures of nature and submitted them online for a chance to win a prize provided by the Friends of Maplewood Nature. The winner was Lou Kotz, who took 2nd in our July 2022 photo contest, with “Blue skies smiling at me” (attached). We will be hosting another photo contest in the summer and look forward to seeing those great pictures. 

Gnome Challenge - 2023
The Friends of Maplewood Nature coordinated their 2nd annual Gnome Hunt this February. Participants hunted around the Nature Center grounds and trail looking to catch a glimpse and, for some, take a picture of a number of pinecone gnomes. The gnome spotting made for a fun outing for families and led to a number of fun pictures (attached) and great feedback (below).

  • We loved this!  This was the most enjoyable walk I have ever taken with my daughters.  They were too busy finding gnomes to complain about being bored or tired.  So fun!  We are hoping to do it again this weekend.   Thank you! Heidi Zempel
  • Our little Gnome Peter asked if we could go for a walk early in the morning with his Grandpa & Grandma in Maplewood Nature Center.  We headed out and he decided that hide & go seek was what we were going to do on the trails.  Peter, hide and we looked and looked and finally found him.  When, we looked closer, we told him we were not the only things that we playing hide and seek. Be very very quiet as a deer had heard him and woke from its slumber!  What is a deer's favorite place to get ice cream?   Deery Queen. Thanks for the fun walk!   Dawn Keller
  • We had a very nice walk and a very fun time finding gnomes!   Thank you,  Jon Drieling
  • This was a fun activity with the kids. Thank you!   Mai Chee Liamkeo
  • This was our second year. So fun!  Karrie Blees
  • There are so many cute gnomes it was hard to choose a favorite one.  BerLanda Cardona Siltman
  • Thanks for a fun hunt!  Tara Gardell

This is the news for the week.  Have a great weekend. See you Monday at the City Council meeting.