Mayor Dave Napier swearing in new police officer Joseph Penny.

West St. Paul City Council Recap: April 24, 2023

We believe in government transparency and provide these West St. Paul City Council previews with the support of our members.

A quick West St. Paul City Council meeting swearing in a new police officer, approving a liquor license for Betty’s kitchen, tweaking the committee appointment process, and getting an early look at the 2024 budget.

2024 Budget & Tax Increase

During the Open Council Work Session (OCWS), Council discussed next year’s budget and the potential tax levy. The 8.4% increase on a status quo budget sounds bad, but a tax burden shifting away from residents actually lessens the impact. It’s also very preliminary. City Manager Nate Burkett called it a “worst case scenario” and expects adjustments to bring it down.

Timing: The preliminary budget is usually presented in late summer and approved in September, with an official budget approved in December.

Committee Appointment Process

After frustrations in the committee appointment process surfaced at the last Council meeting. Burkett presented a few changes to the process, including clearly communicating an interview date and time to applicants and adding a question on the application to disclose any boards the applicant serves on.

More on the Agenda:

  • Police: The mayor swore in new police officer Joseph Penny. Previously, Penny worked as a dispatcher with Dakota 911, in the Dakota County Park Patrol, and served with the West St. Paul Police Reserves.
  • Liquor license: Council approved a liquor license for the new Ethiopian restaurant Betty’s Kitchen to serve beer and wine.
  • Council travel: The League of Minnesota Cities annual conference is in Duluth in June and Council discussed who should go, ultimately approving travel expenses for any members who wanted to attend.


Thanks to our members for enabling us to do these City Council recaps. Join them and support neighborhood news in West St. Paul.

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