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John Nephew

Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics



Last week I mentioned that I was attending the League of Minnesota Cities annual conference in Rochester. But I should add that I was not the only Maplewood representative there -- in fact, 80% of the council attended (Will Rossbach, Kathy Juenemann, Diana Longrie, and me).

I think this is a very good thing. Part of the value of the conference were the round-tables and seminars (I attended ones on such topics as city government ethics, how to involve younger people in city government, and the laws that define and govern public purpose expenditures for cities). A bigger value, as I've found to be true of private sector conventions, is the networking. It was a chance to meet peers in other cities, learn about what issues they are facing, get ideas that may be adapted to our city, and so on. There was also a room of exhibitors who offer goods and services to cities -- architects, engineers, accountants, and other consultants, for example -- and that was an opportunity to meet some new people and also touch base with some who already work with Maplewood. And you never know when an acquaintanceship struck at a conference may provide just the connection you need sometime in the future.

In Maplewood's particular situation, as we are moving ahead with our city manager search, I think it was especially good to have four of us visible at the conference. I certainly received numerous questions about how things are going, and particularly about the manager search, and was pleased to be able to tell people that at our last meeting we had approved an RFP to send out to search firms. A couple of folks commented to me that they knew people who were interested in the position. Every positive impression we made in Rochester may encourage someone to apply, and the more and better candidates we get, the better for Maplewood!

Update: Will Rossbach talks about the LMC conference on his website; the LMC itself provides a "post-game" report.


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