John Nephew

Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics


Monday, December 24, 2007

Interview Online

Maplewood Voices is beginning a new feature of recorded interviews, which you can listen to online (streaming) or download to your computer or iPod or the like. The first is online now, with Jim Llanas interviewing Will Rossbach and me about the transition to the new council.


Friday, December 21, 2007


Minnesota Statute 412.02 Subd. 2 states, "Terms of elective officers shall commence on the first Monday in January following the election at which the officer is chosen." And now it's officially on the calendar: I will take my oath of office in City Hall on Monday, January 7th, at 7:00 in the evening. Everyone is invited.

I am also pleased to announce that my oath will be administered by Judge Gary Bastian, who served as a Maplewood Councilmember from 1980 to 1990 and Mayor from 1990 to 1998.

This is my first time being elected to office, but many others have gone before me in our city's 50 years, and helped build Maplewood into the community we enjoy today. I am grateful for all the good my predecessors have accomplished, and will do my best to live up to the high standards of service they set.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Last night the city council was hard at work reviewing and debating the budget for 2008. The final result was much better than I expected, both in the substantive result (deciding not to let go any current city staff) and the form (a unanimous vote).

I wanted to call particular attention to the role of outgoing councilperson Rebecca Cave in achieving this good result. Early in the discussion she questioned the logic of eliminating the business licensing specialist from the Citizen Services department, and she echoed Councilmember Rossbach's concerns about cutting 2/3 of the city's planners. It seemed to me that her discomfort with the budget as presented, combined with the concerns voiced by Rossbach and Juenemann, really opened the door for discussion of alternatives. Given that opening, staff rallied around a plan to retain the employees in question.

While there were some contentious matters in the evening, it was very good to see it end on such a positive note.

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