John Nephew

Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics


Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Hat in the Ring

Redistricting has created an open House of Representatives seat for a large part of Maplewood, and at least one candidate has officially thrown his hat in the ring already.  In an announcement by e-mail, Peter Fischer writes,

Greetings Everyone,

I have a major announcement With my wife's blessing I can now run for political office.

In all seriousness, I am now in new House District 43A which has an open house seat. So after encouragement from a number of people and with the full support of my family I will be seeking the DFL endorsement and run for State Representative in this district. The endorsing convention will be at North High in North St Paul on March 24 starting at 9:00 a.m.

Over the next week or two I will be focusing on gathering delegate support and setting up my campaign. For those that would like to be involved or would like more information please contact me using the following e-mail address

Peter Fischer

Peter has long been involved in the local political and government scene: as a member (and chair) of the Maplewood Parks & Recreation Commission; as a campaign manager for many campaigns (including mine in 2007); as a hard-working volunteer; and over the past couple of years as the Chair of the Senate District 55 DFL.  He knows how to run a campaign well, and is a tireless campaigner himself.  As I know from working with him, he's also a thoughtful and conscientious man who never fails to put the good of our community first.  It bodes well for our city and new district that such a high-quality candidate stands ready to serve.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Redistricting: A Maplewood Quick Take

Today's big news is the court-generated redistricting map of Minnesota.  Minnesota Public Radio has a great interface for seeing how the lines fall and where incumbents live.  Here's how it looks at first glance.

Maplewood is currently represented by one Senate District (55, Chuck Wiger-DFL) and two House Districts (55A, Leon Lillie-DFL; and 55B, Nora Slawik-DFL).  The new map puts us into two senate districts and three house districts.

Southern Maplewood, where Nora Slawik lives, becomes House District 53A.  Slawik loses Oakdale but adds part of Woodbury to her constituency.  The new Senate District 53, which includes that same part of Maplewood, is an open seat.

A middle part of Maplewood belongs to Lillie's new District 43B, along with North Saint Paul and Oakdale.  Wiger's new Senate District 43 includes this portion of Maplewood, as well as the remainder to North and West (and part of White Bear Lake, Birchwood Village, Willernie and Mahtomedi).  The other house district in this territory, which actually seems to hold a majority of Maplewood's population, becomes the new House District 43A, another open seat.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Organized Collection in the Legislature

Two bills related to organized collection have been introduced in the Minnesota House so far this session.

HF2063 would amend the organized collection process to make it simpler and, frankly, less absurd -- cities could for example study organized hauling without having to declare that they "intend" to do it.

On the other hand, HF2084 is basically an effort to stop any city from organizing by making it prohibitively expensive, through the threat of inverse condemnation.  Some elements of the waste hauling industry have long sought to force city governments to pay them for the work they no longer do if the cities decide to adopt an organized collection plan, and every few years some variation on this theme gets introduced as a bill.


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