John Nephew

Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dark Skies on the 4th of July

As you may have heard, Maplewood will not be hosting fireworks this year at Hazelwood Park, as has been covered by media such as the Pioneer Press, the Maplewood Review (in this week's paper, not online yet as I write this), and the Star Tribune. As all the articles explain, when we were working on the budget last year and figuring out how to absorb the impact of Pawlenty's slashing of all of our Market Value Homestead Credit without even higher tax increases, we decided that this was an area we could cut for 2010.

Personally, I'm hoping fireworks will return next year (if only because the constituent who has given me the most grief over this particular budget cut is my wife) -- but I don't think it can be something done on the city's dime alone. I'd like to see cooperation with business, perhaps even other municipalities, and even a fundraising drive to raise money from individuals.

Update: The Review article is online now.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bostrom at SD55 DFL Convention

Matt Bostrom, who is running for Ramsey County Sheriff (and has my support), addressed the delegates at the June 15th endorsing convention for the Maplewood City Council special election. I recorded him speaking and uploaded it to YouTube:

Labels: , ,

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Local Energy Improvements Financing Program

Part of the 2010 Jobs Bill passed by the legislature is the Local Energy Improvements Financing Program. City Manager Antonen recently shared an information sheet about this program with the City Council. In brief, the program will allow local governments (such as Maplewood) the ability to issue revenue bonds in order to make low-interest loans to qualifying commercial, industrial and residential property owners for energy improvements. The loans are paid back through assessments on the improved buildings' property taxes.

I expect we'll hear more about this program; it certainly seems like something Maplewood should implement for the benefit of our residents and businesses.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

DFL Endorses Marv Koppen

I just returned from a meeting of the Senate District 55 DFL, which was held to consider endorsing in the special election for the Maplewood City Council seat vacated by Mayor Rossbach. Candidates Elizabeth Sletten and Marv Koppen were there and put into nomination; the delegates voted overwhelmingly (39 to 4) to endorse Koppen.

Labels: ,

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon

An e-mail from City Manager Jim Antonen sent earlier this week to local leaders and organizations invited one and a meeting on June 21 to organize the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program for Maplewood. It reads:

Greetings! Please excuse the mass email, but I wanted to be sure to invite you or a representative(s) to attend and participate in the organizational meeting of the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Program. The intent of the meeting is for Maplewood to become a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Community which provides support for military personnel and their families. The kick-off meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 21, 2010 at 7:00 pm in the City Council Chambers of the Maplewood City Hall. It is important that we have a large cross section of the community in attendance if we are going to achieve this initiative. LTC O’Reilly of the Minnesota National Guard will provide a training program and what is necessary for the community to become a mentor city. I have attached a short memo on the criteria to become a Yellow Ribbon City. Additional information may be obtained at I am hopeful that you or your representative(s) can join with us in supporting our troops and their families. If I can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. Regards~ Jim

We hope that many civic grounds and local organizations will join us and bring their ideas on how Maplewood can become a more supportive community for our members of the Armed Services and their families.

If you or your organization would like to get involved, please contact Mr. Antonen or just show up at the meeting!


Saturday, June 12, 2010

YPR: Remembering Sgt. Bergeron

The June/July 2010 episode of Your Police Report pays tribute to fallen Maplewood Police Sargeant Joe Bergeron. In case you unable to catch a broadcast on government access cable, it's also available to watch online any time:

Labels: , ,

Friday, June 11, 2010

Suds, Sauce & Soul

Here's an event I'm hoping to make it to (if the twin babies are cooperative): Suds, Sauce & Soul at the Maplewood Community Center, 6-10 PM this evening!


Friday, June 04, 2010

Outside the Ox

Minnesota cities face tremendous strains in today's economic and political environment. The Executive Director of the League of Minnesota Cities, Jim Miller, recently wrote in an e-mail to city officials:
We have recently contracted with the University of Minnesota for an analysis of the trends that will shape city budgets in the decade to come and the dire financial constraints and painful policy choices that lie ahead for all cities. We are preparing to publicly release the results of this analysis at the League’s Annual Conference in St. Cloud, June 23-25. The results are stunning – both in the severity of the pain ahead and in how widespread that pain will be felt if nothing changes.
The League of Minnesota Cities has launched a new campaign to build awareness and solicit input from the public on the topic of city services and funding. Part of the campaign is the following web video:

People are invited to visit, to share reactions, comments, and ideas.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Review Roundup, 6/2/10

The articles online from this week's Maplewood Review include a couple related to city council actions: "Maplewood looking to stymie motor vehicle tomfoolery," and "Maplewood looking to ban coal tar sealants."

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Last Day of Filing

Today is the last day for candidates to file to run for many different offices, including the Maplewood City Council special election. As of this morning, there are two candidates — former councilmember and local businessman Marv Koppen, and Elizabeth Sletten. If anyone else files before today's 5 PM deadline, you can expect to see their Affadavit of Candidacy appear on the Candidate Information page of the city's website.

Update, 12:24 PM: A third candidate has now filed, former councilmember Rebecca Cave.

Labels: ,

Newer Posts Older Posts

Posts by Date

Powered by Blogger & Blogger Templates. Customized by Michelle Nephew.
Contact me at