West St. Paul City Council chambers

City Council Preview: March 22, 2021

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The West St. Paul City Council will officially approve a new city manager on Monday, as well as approving drive thrus for Burger King and Jimmy Johns, plus consider three charter amendments.

City Manager

A contract for new City Manager Nate Burkett is in the consent agenda, which means negotiations went well and this will be approved without issue. Burkett’s official start date is May 3.

Drive Thrus

The City Council will hold public hearings for two drive thrus as well as approve other planning documents for the return of Burger King and Jimmy John’s. Both projects came before the Planning Commission last week with no public comment and both were approved unanimously.

Charter Amendments

Three amendments to the city charter will come before the City Council for consideration. Charter amendments have to get unanimous support of the entire City Council and mayor to be approved.

The three amendments include increasing the Charter Commission from 11 members to 13, tweaking the mayor’s voting power, and a clarification to eligible votes in cases of abstention.

The last time these amendments were discussed, the mayor’s voting power and eligible vote clarification passed the first reading unanimously. But Council Member Dick Vitelli voted no on increasing the Charter Commission membership, meaning it’s unlikely to pass this time around.

Pickleball

A recommendation from the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee to convert the single tennis court at Emerson Park to two pickleball courts is in the Counci’s consent agenda. This means it won’t be considered separately but approved with a number of other routine items. That means if you’re strongly opposed to pickleball, you should ask your City Council representative if that can be pulled and discussed separately.

Other Items on the Agenda:

  • Translation: During the Open Council Work Session (OCWS), the Council will discuss the possibility of offering more city documents in Spanish. The costs vary widely, from about $1,000 per year to translate agendas to more than $50,000 per year to translate the entire agenda packets.
  • West St. Paul Days: Also during OCWS, the Council will consider the future of West St. Paul Days, after the organization running it shut down last year.
  • Batteries Plus: After relocating to former Frame Place location thanks to the Town Center One project, Batteries Plus is requesting a $10,000 grant for exterior improvements.
  • Microblading: A proposed ordinance change will remove cosmetic tattooing (also known as microblading) from restrictions for traditional tattoo establishments.
  • Strategic planning: The Council will approve a report on the recent strategic planning session, which gives a helpful overview of what Council discussed and where their focus will be going forward.

The public can watch the meeting live on Town Square TV or cable TV starting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday (5:45 p.m. for the OCWS).

If you’re unable to attend in person, you can always use our coloring pages to imagine you’re there.

Keep City Council previews and recaps coming by supporting West St. Paul Reader.

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