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John Nephew

Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics



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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