West St. Paul City Council chambers

West St. Paul City Council Preview: March 14, 2022

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It will be a busy night for the West St. Paul City Council, including a climate emergency resolution, new ward maps, committee appointments, public art policy, and more.

Climate Emergency Resolution

City Council will consider a resolution joining other cities across Minnesota in declaring a climate emergency. This was discussed at the previous meeting and has support of the full council, with the exception of Mayor Dave Napier who supports the intent but had concerns with the specific language. The language in the final resolution to be considered remains unchanged.

New Ward Maps

As part of the once-in-a-decade redistricting process, West St. Paul needs to redraw ward boundaries in order to balance population. The Charter Commission met last month and proposed a new map that shifts about a thousand residents into different wards.

Council will consider the new maps in a first reading and then hold a public hearing and final approval on March 28. The changes need to be approved unanimously and state law requires they be approved by March 29.

Given that tight timeline, if any residents have concerns about the new ward maps, they should speak up as soon as possible.

Parks & Recreation Appointments

During the Open Council Work Session (OCWS), City Council will interview four residents to be appointed during the regular meeting to four vacancies on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. Those residents are Luke Abrahamson (Ward 2), former Council Member Pat Armon (Ward 1), Teresa Smock (Ward 2), and Emily Vergin (Ward 1).

Council members from under-represented wards nominated residents to be appointed, and those are the only applicants being considered. Once again, the appointment process is different from previous appointments and different than other city committees and commissions (it appears every committee has a different process).

Public Art Policy

After a previous discussion, Council will consider a proposed Public Art Policy that will pave the way for public art on government property, including two proposed mural projects.

Other Items on the Agenda

  • Monarchs: West St. Paul will consider signing on to the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge through the National Wildlife Federation.
  • Ice arena: During the OCWS, Council will consider the ice arena expansion and whether the city should manage the project.
  • Charter amendments: Three amendments to the City Charter related to spending will come before the Council for a first reading. These need to be approved unanimously, though Council already expressed support for the changes.
  • Annapolis: Council will officially receive the feasibility report and call a public hearing for the Annapolis reconstruction project.
  • Neighbors, Inc.: A proclamation will honor the 50th anniversary of area nonprofit Neighbors, Inc.
  • Strategic Planning: City Council will also be holding a strategic planning meeting on Saturday, March 12 at Dakota Lodge in Thompson Park.

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

Learn more about how city council works with our Guide to West St. Paul City Council.

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

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