Elected officials are typically criticized over governing for the next election. I’d like to think my Maplewood colleagues and I are governing, as the rest of that saying goes, for the next generation.
In 2019, Maplewood completed several projects that will set the city up well for the next generation.
- We’ve opened a beautiful lake-front community gathering space at Wakefield Park.
- Frost Avenue, which leads to park, is fully reconstructed with improved bike and pedestrian safety features and grass buffering, which will help filter storm water runoff into Wakefield Lake.
- And now, I have a great answer for a question that comes often -- What’s going on with the mall? The North End Vision, which council approved this summer, reimagines the area as a vibrant mix of retail, entertainment, medical facilities, and residential units to sustain this commercial hub well into the future.
Just as these past accomplishments involved collaborations among community members, the private sector and regional partners, achieving goals for 2020 and beyond will take strong regional alliances.
Working with property owners, Metro Transit and others, we must determine what’s feasible for carrying out the first phase of North End redevelopment.
Another project I’m excited to see moving into a new stage is the Rice – Larpenteur Alliance. We’ve partnered with St. Paul, Roseville and Ramsey County on a re-vitalization plan for the area and spent the last year, getting to know key community members, business owners and other grassroots leaders. By this time next year, with guidance from those stakeholders, we should be seeing gradual progress to the streetscape and some of the vision's proposed development start to unfold
Our public safety department and parks and recreation department will continue their block party outreach events, where we collaborate with entities like Ramsey County and Metro Transit to bring resources directly to the community.
Parks and recreation will start master planning for several parks to ensure they remain attractive, vibrant and physically accessible to all community members.
Perhaps the most critical asset for the next generation is the continued modernization of Maplewood’s Fire/ EMS department. Did you know that more than 85% of their calls are for medical emergencies and that all of our Firefighter/Paramedics have significant medical training?
You’ll see updates on all of these issues here in Maplewood Living, on our website and social media channels. I’ll also have a more detailed rundown at the 2020 State of Maplewood.
I'd like to wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year. - Marylee Abrams, Mayor