West St. Paul City Council kicked off a new term by swearing in newly elected and re-elected members, approving standard organizational business, and discussing the committee appointment process and legislative priorities.
Council business started with an organizational meeting before the regular meeting.
- This was originally scheduled for January 3, but rescheduled due to weather.
- Newly elected members were sworn in: Mayor Dave Napier and Council Members Pat Armon, John Justen, and Wendy Berry.
- They also approved committee assignments (including a new step of assigning alternate Council liaisons to each committee) rules and ethics, and appointed Berry as the mayor pro tem (they run meetings in the mayor’s absence). There is still a vacancy on the Lower Mississippi River Watershed Management Organization. The mayor appoints a private citizen to this position, so reach out if you’re interested.
Other Items on the Agenda
- Crisis center rezoning: Council unanimously approved the final reading of the rezoning for the proposed mental health crisis center. All other measures for the crisis center and the first reading of the rezoning were passed unanimously at the previous meeting.
- Committee appointments: During the Open Council Work Session (OCWS), Council discussed the committee appointment process. Any committee vacancies will be announced at the next meeting and applications accepted through March 3.
- Per diem: The idea of paying committee members a per diem for attending meetings also came up and will be discussed in more detail at a future meeting.
- Legislative priorities: OCWS also covered priorities for lobbying the legislature, including special permission to pursue TIF for the Hy-Vee/YMCA redevelopment, bonding for sewer projects, an increase to local government aid (and potential repayment for Robert Street), support for affordable housing and housing upgrades, details with cannabis legislation, and more. Specifics on many of these will come back for a more formal resolution.
- Drivers licenses: Council Member Justen noted that legislators have asked for a resolution to support drivers licenses for all and he’d like to consider it at a future meeting.
Learn more about how city council works with our Guide to West St. Paul City Council.
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