Quick Links

Everyone is welcome.

Thank you all for your interest in our campaign to elect me as our new mayor of Maplewood. 

I appreciate your continued support and our entire team welcomes all of the newest community members that have joined our team to improve our city. 

I appreciate you sharing this campaign website at:

margaretbehrensformaplewoodmayor.com

and our campaign facebook page Margaret Behrens for Maplewood Mayor.

Thank you for caring about our community.

Together we can make a difference.

Shareable and printable by request

Here is the printable and shareable piece for your use. 

I have received numerous requests to repost this on both the campaign Facebook page and here on the campaign website.

Thank you very much for your 

Our Blog

An ongoing series of informational updates and entries for you and me.

My First Blog Entry

May25, 2018

It's a great day n Maplewood today. It's an exciting time for me as a life long resident of our city. Maplewood has always been home to me.  I am excited to announce that I am going to answer the call and campaign to represent you as a Maplewood City Council Mayor.  Today I have filed to office of Maplewood City Council, Mayor. 

My Second Blog Entry

May 25, 2018

You can find me on Social Media and by email and telephone. 

I welcome your comments and ideas. 

Our official campaign Facebook page is 

Margaret Behrens for Maplewood City Council, Mayor

Thank you very much for your interest and for your continued support.

My Latest Blog Entry


Thanks to everyone who called, messaged me and emailed me their support for this critical campaign.  I am very humbled and honored to answer the call to serve as Mayor of our community should that be the result. I'm very excited how engaged and inspired everyone is about my message and my proven record of strong leadership. 

We will do great things while we work together to get our community up where it belongs.

Thank you again.


Gang tags 


I see them too.  When you see them. Please report them. If you are able to take a photo. Please provide that and the location with your report. We need to stay vigilant and keep our community clean of any possible criminal activity. Everyone has a place in our community but we must keep it clean and respectful and conflict free. Peace be with us all as we work to be a united community of all nations and beliefs.


Construction Season means slower for a reason. Safety first please.

Yes. It's summer in Minnesota. Here in Maplewood it too is construction season. Please be careful and courtesy as you drive through construction zones. Safety first for everyone.


Generating revenue without raising taxes. It is possible.

As the immediate second term President of the Ramsey County League of Local Governments. I created programs and policy which generated a revenue surplus without raising costs to our membership. I will do the same as Mayor. We must get more for our tax dollars.


A new tab coming soon

 Issues of Concern


We are getting taxed out of our homes

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Members of our community are outraged with the increasing of taxes and wordsmithing to justify the added costs put onto the taxpayer.  Whatever you are going to call them. They are all costs that are put on us to pay. For what? Neglected and un maintained roads. So bad they are not being repaired only to be reconstructed and great expense to the property owner.  Less firefighters and EMS to respond to our calls in emergency. Less fire stations open for operations as a community paid for resource. These are issues we will talk about more in upcoming posts.

Great coffee chat this morning.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Thanks very much for everyone who came out to discuss the issues facing our community and us as the taxpayers. I appreciate you staying so long. It was great to have so much engagement and excitement for a change on our city council and at city hall. 

Many of you mentioned that I have deep roots in our city. That's true. I have seen our city at it's best and at it's worst. We have a great opportunity to change the direction of our city. We can move forward with a positive vision. Together we will make great things happen. Thank you for your support and for all the new people I met today. I look forward to meeting you again soon. Thank you for your support and your commitment to turning our local government back to the people where it belongs.

Current Mayors Residency in Question

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

There have been some questions in the public regarding the residency of our current Mayor Nora Slawik. I have sent the email in this post to her at both her campaign and her city emails along with our city manager and our citizens services director who is the elections authority in our city. As soon as I receive a response I will post it here and on the Face Book Page.

Current Mayors Residency in Question- City Manager Responds

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

This is page one of the response that Maplewood City Manager Melinda Coleman emailed me.

Current Mayors Residency in Question- City Manager Responds

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

This is page two of the response that Maplewood City Manager Melinda Coleman emailed me.  This is the form that all candidates who file for office fill out at the desk at city hall. This is the Affidavit of Candidacy for Nora Slawik. 

Current Mayors Residency in Question- My response

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

This is page three of the response that Maplewood City Manager Melinda Coleman emailed me. 

Growing a thriving and vibrant business district out of the shells being left behind.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Thank you to everyone who came out to the mall today. The tour of the mall was shocking. It is definately a very neglected part of our business inventory. We need to partner with all businesses to get our economy thriving like it should be. The mall and surrounding businesses are becoming few and far between.  Our city from north to south needs to thrive. We must work on our business relationships from south Maplewood to north Maplewood. Our city is one. Our community is one. We are only as good as our weakest point. There are way too many vacant store fronts and empty buildings. As Mayor. Resolving this is a priority for me. I am already working on plans that will work. We can change the direction of our community into one that is vibrant and thriving. I appreciate all the great discussion today and we are all eager for a positive change.

What a legacy- more controversy?

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

I appreciate everyone who has contacted me with your concerns about the true residency of current Mayor Slawik. I too have concerns since this is not the first time someone held seats on our council and was not a resident. If this is the case with Mayor Slawik. She knows where she truly resides with her husband. Our city does not need another embarrassment of this sort. If I was in her position. I would want to have a less controversial  legacy and would resign from office and withdraw my candidacy today before the 5pm. I have asked the question and it is up to her to be honest and to answer it truthfully. If it results in someone proving that she does not in fact reside here in our city. That is all on her. The city manager and the director of citizens services who is our election authority. It's what you knew. When you knew it and what you did about it. Thank you again and please enjoy your day.

One of the non resident councilmembers

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Maplewood council member James Llanas will have served less than three years on the city council before his seat is left vacant, but observers and fellow elected representatives say he has taken the city in a direction it may not have gone had he not been elected in 2009.

Llanas' resignation, effective Oct. 31, was approved by the city council at a meeting July 9. Council member Kathy Juenemann cast the lone dissenting vote to hold a special election for his seat on the date of the 2012 general elections.

The other of the non resident council members- It's not just in Maplewood

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

The last time the city held a special election was February 2006, to replace council member Jackie Monahan-Junek, who had resigned in September but whose term had two years left.  She  worked and lived in Eveleth, Minnesota. Not in Maplewood.

There are many instances where residency has been an issue. Forest Lake, Falcon Heights and others. If you look on council member Xiong's candidacy paperwork and compare it to his last run. You will see the addresses are different. Is he still a resident? The integrity of the office and of our elected officials is very important. If this question is not answered. What else is  being done in that is questionable? So, I agree this should be clarified. Respect and honesty are qualities that I cherish. Transparency is a choice and I choose to always be transparent. You can count on that from me.


Another business and medical provider leaving our city.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

It's very sad to see another business and medical care provider leaving our city.  

Thank you for the many years of quality care Midwest ENT.  They are the new neighbors of Summit Orthopedic who also left our city.


You are also able to Like and Follow the campaign on Face Book.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

New information and updates are coming to the campaign web site.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

We have zoning and special uses for a reason. Our business district is not a one size fits all. 

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

We have zoning and special uses for a reason. Our business district is not a one size fits all. 

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

There are many vacant businesses in our city. There are dealerships going in where they should not be. Last night they gave a variance to a dealership that is less than 300 feet of a future residential development. These dealerships should be in vacant spaces to build our tax and business base. We should be utilizing existing spaces that do not interfere with other uses. Especially where it will take a toll on the rights of taxpayers/property owners full use and enjoyment of their highly taxes property.

My extensive business management and community engagement experience is priceless when it comes to our business district.

Variances do not have a place in every project. 

They are over used in our city. 

We have zoning and special uses for a reason.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Mercedes-Benz – 2780 Maplewood Drive – see update in highlight area.

Morrie’s Automotive Group (owner of the Mercedes-Benz dealership in Maplewood) is proposing a new dealership building on its property that will require a comprehensive plan amendment, rezoning, conditional use permit revision and setback variance requests. The comprehensive plan amendment is related to a land swap the applicant is proposing with an adjacent residential property.

Staff aggressively pressed the applicant on revisions to their proposed site plan and design plans to better mitigate impacts with the surrounding neighborhood and provide more screening and buffering from the residential uses. In doing so, the applicant has agreed to almost double its buffer between the proposed parking lot and the residential property line to the south. This site received a variance in 1996 to build parking within a wetland buffer area and as part of discussions with staff the applicant has agreed to remove most of the hard surface within the wetland buffer area.

While this proposed project would meet and exceed the setback requirements for any other permitted commercial building on this site, city ordinance requires a 350 feet setback from residential property lines for auto dealerships. This site was originally developed in 1969 prior to this requirement and also had little, if no, stormwater protections put in place. The new project would meet and exceed the city’s existing stormwater retention requirements. So while the new proposed building would be slightly larger than the existing building and there is a setback variance request, this new development would work to vastly improve stormwater and wetland conditions in this immediate area.

The project was reviewed by the CDRB and planning commission on May 15. Both commissions are recommending approval but there may be some residents at the meeting on the 29th who do not support the project.


Here is one such objection:


Ralph Sletten

2747 North Clarence Street

Maplewood, Minnesota 55109

April 24, 2018

Michael Martin

Economic Development Coordinator

City of Maplewood

1902 County Road B East

Maplewood, Minnesota 55109

Dear Michael Martin:

I am writing today in response to your letter dated April 23, 2018, per our telephone conversation regarding the 2780 in Maplewood Drive Mercedes Benz development proposal.

I am writing to you not only as a longtime resident. But as a longtime commissioner of the city of Maplewood Planning Commission. I was a city planning commissioner when Mercedes Benz first came to our city to build at their current location.

Per our discussion on the telephone. I am writing to inform you that when Mercedes Benz came to the city to build originally. The city gave Mercedes Benz a variance to build up to the wetland behind their property and allowed them to place their required catch basin into the wetland area.

Jeff Olson was the City Director of Planning and Melinda Coleman who was then the Assistant Planner. They were both in charge of development and very aware of this.

This business has already received several CUP’s, Variances and special setbacks already that encroach on and into the residential properties and into the previously designated wetland.

You cannot put additional variances and CUP’s on top of already granted special allowances transferring onto a new business piggybacking on the old already granted and in place.

The City itself has a wetland ordinance that they do not enforce with businesses.

The Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District has closed and re-routed the County Ditch 18. They have constructed and installed several weirs across the acreage of KSTP from south to north and west of the tower. They have also created several large areas of ponding along Beam Avenue backing up and holding the stagnant water onto a larger area for longer periods of time behind the properties of everyone north of Kohlman Avenue and North Clarence Streets. The area is so large that it also backs up to the property behind the dealership’s current location. This fills the “Natural Wetland” that existed when Mercedes Benz built their dealership originally.

This city has allowed and enabled this to happen, so the city can claim more wetland without the knowledge and permission of the surrounding homeowners. When the city allowed and permitted the Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District to alter the KSTP property. No property owners were given the proper legal notice. Not one homeowner within 500 feet of the proposed project received notice.

This project itself has created a nuisance and a health hazard.

The city would be putting commercial property into already zoned residential property.

You would be extending commercial property on HWY 61 corridor.

When was the public hearing and input that is required by state statute from the neighborhood for the changes in the zoning?

For as long as the Mercedes-Benz has been at its current location they have had a blatant disregard for our neighborhood and their influence on it. They and the city have done absolutely nothing to respect the property owner’s rights to the full use and enjoyment of their property. We have numerous customers race through our neighborhood test driving their cars several times per week. The dealership has been given notice numerous times to stop this and they disregard that as well.

The management themselves have been extremely rude when they have been put on notice regarding this serious safety issue. This is another safety hazard for our neighborhood.

This has also created more wear and tear on our deteriorating and neglected roads.

Your enforcement cannot be selective. The ordinances are the same for all taxpayers.

The Public has the right to know. And this development should not be granted another variance when they have already had one. This proposed development would violate that variance and your wetland ordinance.

Sincerely,

Ralph Sletten

Racial Equity

I have a lifetime of ensuring that all people are equal.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

At the recent council meeting they brought up racial equity. Keep in mind that they have had more than one term and the extra year that they gave themselves to work on this.  You may noticed that they bring this up at election time. Keep in mind they say this is a slow learning process. I say no. For me. I didn't have to learn it. I have lived it my entire life of 55 years. The Mayors commentary on this agenda item was shameful. People should not be a second thought. They should be the priority.

Race should have no issue in any role of government. The disparities in Minnesota are no secret. When you separate cultures is when you create issues. Having the council at the last meeting talk about racial equity was sad. Nothing more than a political game at election time yet again. I always talk about racial equity because I live it. I have always worked with people from all cultures and I consider them as people not numbers on a qualifying racial chart. Everyone is equal to me and no one is any more worthy to have government working for them. We must all have quality and transparent representation that ensures that we are all equal. 

Five Non-Maplewood  Fire Crews Called in to Knock Down Fire At Maplewood Noodles & Co. Restaurant

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Thank goodness there were no injuries in last nights fire at Noodles. I love going there for their amazing soups. I hope that they are working on plans to rebuild and will stay in our city. 

As Mayor I would be working with them already to get the process started. 

Noodles has become a neighborhood staple on Beam and White Bear Avenue. This same location once was home to Burger King. 

I will note that five other communities had to respond to this fire. If our own fire department wasn't ripped apart and dismantled and cast out. 

We would have had a quicker and more efficient response time of our own community members in our own community. 

Thank you to everyone who responded and thank you for your service to our city.

Environmental & Natural Resources Commission and 

Park Priority Task Force Member

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

We must work to protect and preserve our parks and preserves for future generations. 

I am proud to have served on the Maplewood Environmental & Natural Resources Commission when it was for made an official commission of our city. I am also very proud to have served on the Maplewood Parks Priority Task Force. 

I support the Maplewood Fire Relief

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern


Crime Prevention is critical to the success of our business District

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Our city needs to take more of a supportive role in crime prevention. Yes. That means more cops on the road. Our city has a responsibility to keep our city safe and it's citizens safe and secure. Our business district is suffering increased crime.  We must work to help keep our business district safe and our community as welcoming as possible. 

Our city has made national media for all the wrong reasons.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

The Maplewood Mall was mentioned that it is one of the places that predators work to recruit victims into Human Trafficking. Another is the Emerald Inn Hotel a couple blocks away. This is not acceptable. There was another hotel in South Maplewood mentioned as well. City Confidential  by John Walsh featured these stories and highlighted the work of Ramsey County Attorney John Choi. It also mentioned the program  Gerald D. Vick Human Trafficking Task Force The Gerald D. Vick Human Trafficking Task Force (HTTF) was founded in October 2005 to promote a collaborative effort among community based organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), service providers and law enforcement agencies to develop a coordinated approach to fighting the crimes of human trafficking. Since the HTTF inception, the group has been developing protocols regarding collaborative efforts between law enforcement, other governmental agencies and NGO’s in an effort to bridge the gap between these entities to combat human trafficking within our communities. The NGO’s have played a critical part in meeting the immediate needs of identified victims; medical, psychological, financial, and basic daily needs. With the NGO’s help, law enforcement agencies are able to focus their attention on investigations and prosecutions of human trafficking suspects. The MN Human Trafficking Task Force website is a great place to gather more information about human trafficking, what is being done to end the ongoing problem of human trafficking in our state, and resources on how to get involved.Our city needs to take more of a supportive role in crime prevention. Yes. That means more cops on the road. Our city has a responsibility to keep our city safe and it's citizens safe and secure.  Gerry Vick was my classmate at North High School Class of 1981.  

We must do better. Our community and our economy depend on it.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Today is Sunday morning. You can see the same homeless woman and her shopping cart parked at the HealthEast Building in Birchrun Station. If you look closely. You can see a Maplewood Police Officer parked in the foreground. I watched as he sat there testing his lights and drove passed her never stopping to check on her to verify her safety and well being. If I am elected as our mayor in November with two new council members. I will work to implement new policies and standards for our work with the homeless and our response as a city. We will work to have specialized training for all of our officers. Scenes like this tell people we don't care. It tells people that our value is not with our businesses or with the people in our community. This must change.

We must do better and we will do better. The health, well being and safety of our community and our citizens, taxpayers and businesses depend on it. Our economy will not thrive until we get our city cleaned up and recovered from the years of neglect that it''s suffered.

Our Maplewood Fire Association isn't even dissolved yet and look. 

The city has already posted to hire.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

City of Maplewood, Minnesota Logo

CITY OF MAPLEWOOD, MINNESOTA

invites applications for the position of:

Fire/EMS Cadet

SALARY: $14.50 - $19.50 Hourly

OPENING DATE: 06/25/18

CLOSING DATE: 07/25/18 04:30 PM

DESCRIPTION:

Maplewood Fire/EMS seeks to attract and recruit non traditional applicants to create career opportunities in the Fire/EMS field.

Performs paraprofessional work as a uniformed, non-sworn Fire Department employee. Assists Department staff in several functions such as fire prevention, public fire/EMS education, data mining, and administrative support.

This position will receive hands-on and observational, professional experience in the field of fire suppression, Emergency Medical Services, community risk reduction, emergency management while developing valuable customer service and professional skills.

Works under the general supervision of the Fire Chief and Chief of EMS

MAJOR AREAS OF ACCOUNTABILITY:

Assists in planning and implementation of community based public education programs.

Conducts or assists with Fire and EMS community risk reduction activities.

Provides support with general Fire/EMS department work such as answering phones, documentation of records and general filing.

Conducts data mining and related analytics in support of the Department's key outcome indicators and action initiatives.

Actively participates in job shadowing opportunities within the Fire/EMS department.

Attends training opportunities as available.

Completes forms and reports as required.

Assists in the routine maintenance and cleaning of Fire/EMS vehicles including transport to and from repair facilities.

Performs other duties and assume other responsibilities as directed by Department personnel.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS & ABILITIES:

Working knowledge of departmental rules, protocols, procedures and equipment.

Working knowledge of federal and state laws and city ordinances.

Considerable ability to see, read and understand department manuals, reports and forms.

Considerable ability to frequently stand, walk, sit, bend, stoop, crouch, kneel, twist, turn, push and pull, sometimes for long periods of time.

Considerable ability to lift and carry objects and people weighing up to 100 pounds (185 lbs. with assistance) as needed.

Considerable ability to hear and speak to operate a telephone and radio.

Considerable ability to accurately observe, record and evaluate facts and circumstances and to accurately report relevant information according to department policies and procedures.

Considerable ability to communicate effectively and tactfully with members of the community and city staff under sometimes stressful situations requiring tact, diplomacy and good judgment.

Considerable ability to perform work at night and to see and distinguish between colors.

Considerable ability to use both large and fine motor skills and to manipulate objects requiring manual dexterity when performing cleaning, maintenance or stocking duties.

Considerable ability to maintain confidentiality.

Considerable ability to maintain a good driving record and drive safely and legally.

Working ability to operate a motor vehicle safely on city streets.

Working ability to operate a personal computer including basic word processing and other departmental equipment.

Working ability to collect and analyze information.

Working ability to occasionally work with or around irritants, fumes, infectious disease and hazardous chemicals at an accident or fire scene involving vehicles or chemical plants.

Ability to work in temperature extremes as necessary.

MINIMUM & PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:

Must be 18 years of age or older.

Must be currently enrolled in Fire Science, Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedic or a related field OR ability to become enrolled within six months of date of hire.

Must possess and maintain a valid Minnesota driver's license or equivalent out-of-state license.

Previous customer service experience

Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite

Experience in data mining and analytics

Proficient in language(s) other than English

Experience working with or in diverse communities

APPLICATIONS MAY BE FILED ONLINE AT:

http://www.maplewoodmn.gov

1830 County Road B East

Maplewood, MN 55109

[email protected]

Position #201800173

FIRE/EMS CADET

LH

Fire/EMS Cadet Supplemental Questionnaire

* 1. Are you at least 18 years of age?

Checkbox Yes

Checkbox No

* 2. Are you currently enrolled in Fire Science, Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedic or a related field, or have the ability to become enrolled within six months of date of hire?

Yes Yes No No

* 3. Do you have a valid Minnesota driver's license or equivalent out-of-state license?

Yes Yes No No

4. Please list any languages, other than English, that you are proficient in (oral and/or written).

* 5. Please explain any previous customer service experience.

* 6. Please describe your experience using Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint) and your proficiency in each (little, moderate, very proficient).

7. Please describe any experience you have in data mining and analytics.

8. Please describe your experience working in or with diverse communities.

* Required Question

Our Maplewood Fire Association isn't even dissolved yet and look. 

The city has already posted to hire. #Shameful

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

I. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

1. Resolution Adopting Revised Assessment Roll, Farrell-Ferndale Area Street

Improvements, City Project 17-18

J. NEW BUSINESS

1. Beebe Meadows, SVK Development, LLC, 2135 Larpenteur Avenue

a. Comprehensive Plan Amendment (4 votes)

b. Zoning Map Amendment

c. Preliminary Plat

2. Repeal of Coin-Operated Amusement Devices Ordinance

3. Maplewood Fire Relief Association

a. Special Legislation

b. Settlement Agreement – Intent to Close Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes

§13D.05, subd. 3(b), Attorney-Client Privilege

AGENDA

MAPLEWOOD CITY COUNCIL

7:00 P.M. Monday, June 25, 2018

Maplewood City Hall – Council Chambers

Meeting No. 12-18

CITY COUNCIL STAFF REPORT

Meeting Date June 25, 2018

REPORT TO: Melinda Coleman, City Manager

REPORT FROM: Mike Funk, Assistant City Manager/HR Director

PRESENTER: Melinda Coleman, City Manager

Ron Batty, Kennedy & Graven

Mike Funk, Assistant City Manager/HR Director

AGENDA ITEM: Maplewood Fire Relief Association

a. Special Legislation

b. Settlement Agreement – Intent to Close Pursuant to Minnesota

Statutes §13D.05, subd. 3(b), Attorney-Client Privilege

Action Requested:  Motion ☐ Discussion ☐ Public Hearing

Form of Action: ☐ Resolution ☐ Ordinance  Contract/Agreement ☐ Proclamation

Policy Issue:

There are two items on the agenda for council consideration as it relates to the Maplewood Fire

Relief Association regarding the final steps in the transition to a full-time/career Fire/EMS

Department.

The first item is to approve Special Legislation that was recently approved by the Minnesota State

Legislature and signed into law by Governor Dayton. The second item staff recommends the City

Council close the regular meeting and proceed into a closed session to discuss the consideration of

a Settlement Agreement related to the City’s litigation against the Maplewood Fire Relief

Association.

Recommended Action:

a. Motion to approve the Special Legislation as presented.

b: Staff recommends the following two motions:

1. To proceed to the closed session: Motion to close the regular meeting pursuant to

Minnesota Statutes §13D.05, subd. 3(b), attorney-client privilege, to discuss pending

litigation and Settlement Agreement related to the Maplewood Fire Relief Association.

2. Once out of closed session and back in regular session the City Council may take the

following recommended action: Motion to approve the Settlement Agreement.

Fiscal Impact:

Is There a Fiscal Impact? ☐ No  Yes, the true or estimated cost is TBD at closed session.

Financing source(s): ☐ Adopted Budget ☐ Budget Modification ☐ New Revenue Source

☐ Use of Reserves  Other: Discussed at closed session.

J3

Packet Page Number 438 of 441

Strategic Plan Relevance:

☐ Financial Sustainability ☐ Integrated Communication ☐ Targeted Redevelopment

☐ Operational Effectiveness ☐ Community Inclusiveness ☐ Infrastructure & Asset Mgmt.

N/A

Background

More information provided during the meeting.

Attachments

1. Special Legislation

2. The proposed Settlement Agreement will be presented during closed session

A woman on a mission to serve.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

As a strong woman in leadership with deep roots in our city. I am eager to get started bringing our city into the future of positive economics and vibrant citizenry. I value our community and everything that we all have to offer. We are all worthy and we all deserve to live in a strong and safe and healthy community where we the people are the priority. Everything from the economy, housing, infrastructure, our environment, our budget, comprehensive planning and our transit. It all revolves around you and I. We the citizens of Maplewood. We are the city and the city should work with us and for us. As your Mayor. I will lead the way to a better more vibrant life here in Maplewood.


Community means everyone belongs.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

For the first time in history, Americans living in the 21st century will experience millions of people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities living into their “senior” years. These Americans with disabilities want to enjoy their older years in the same manner as other people their age. Unfortunately, the discrimination that older people often experience in accessing community activities, housing, services, and supports and in enjoying all aspects of community life as they age, is experienced to a much greater degree by people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities as they age.

Like other older Americans, people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities may require greater levels of support to allow them to live full, active and healthy lives in their communities as independently and as long as possible. Unfortunately, many older people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities lack basic housing supports, as well as the specialized services needed to enable them to live more independently. They also lack the access to the health care services they need as they grow older, particularly access to preventative services and to ongoing habilitation and rehabilitation services.

Additionally, family members of people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities often lack information about and access to resources to enable them to support the person who is growing older. Many people with disabilities see no future for themselves as they grow older, other than one inside the walls of a nursing home or other institutional setting.

These problems are compounded by the fact that many community-based services for senior citizens are not prepared to meet the special needs of older adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Likewise, many disability-based organizations have historically not planned for the challenges faced by older people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and are not prepared to address these unique needs, including providing education and training on mitigating the risk of elder abuse and neglect for a potentially more vulnerable population of older people. In addition, a disconcerting trend is occurring. More and more aging individuals with disabilities are becoming caregivers for their even older parents.


Community means everyone belongs.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern


Maplewood needs to be inviting and welcoming to everyone. Living in peace and without conflict is the best way to go. Our city is very diverse. We have people in our community as our neighbors who we may know very little about. I have a plan to bring everyone together to celebrate our community. Please join me.

The taxpayers are not a bank and the city is not a taxpayer financed real estate agency or developer. 

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern


The city is not a real estate developer or agent. The city must stop buying property and start paying the bills and pay down the great debt of the city. The taxpayers aren't a bank and the city should concentrate on city business. Not on Real Estate and money grabs. Jacking up our taxes to put us out isn't the key.

City Council Elections in Maplewood are Non Partisan

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

I received this contact note today- I am posting it and my response in case anyone else has this question- I want people to understand that I support and vote for the people who work to serve the people as the priority. I don't consider political affiliation as a qualification for public service. 

I find it laughable that your Election Candidate Information Form states you are non-partisan when a cursory look at your twitter account proves that to be an utter lie. It is hard to respect someone without self-awareness.

Dear -----------------

Thank you for your contact. I appreciate your comments.

If you notice on the candidate form it asks what your party affiliation is. You will note that for municipal elections. They are strictly intended to be Non-Partisan. No party affiliation.

As you were trolling my Twitter account. You would have noticed a clear pattern of support. I support candidates and elected officials of all representation. And of all political affiliations

.

So although I do appreciate your research and your comments. Your statement that my as you called it "self-awareness was lacking. Is far from the truth. I don't lie. I am extremely self aware and I respect everyone until they give me a reason not to. It is very obvious from your statement and your action that you are supporting Nora. That is your choice.

I wish you well and I hope that you enjoy your day.

Regards-

Margaret Behrens

Our Maplewood elections are Non partisan.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Due to the great contact comment of this morning. It has sparked a great discussion. 

This is awesome. I love the engagement. I appreciate your overwhelming support.  

Here is the description of what our elections are supposed to be.

Nonpartisan | Definition of Nonpartisan by Merriam-Webster

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nonpartisan

Definition of nonpartisan. : not partisan; especially : free from party affiliation, bias, or designation. nonpartisan ballot.

Roads- High Taxes- Are you getting your tax dollars worth?

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Another complaint about our roads. I agree. It's shameful. This council keeps raising our taxes, creating new fees. Raising franchise fees. All in the name of road repairs and maintenance. Clearly. That is not where all the money is going. It is time for a new mayor and a new council. We need a fresh start. We need leadership that will get the job done.

Seniors want more Police/Fire/EMT's and the bad decisions to stop.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Meeting with our Maplewood seniors. They all stress how they wan to feel safer and have better transportation options in our city. They want more police. More Fire/EMT's and more transportation. They do not want BRT on the Bruce Vento Trail. They say that's a very bad route and a very bad public transit option. I agree.

Benefits of living in Maplewood vs. Costs

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

What great benefits have you and your family received from the high taxes and high costs of living in our city of Maplewood? Are you getting your money's worth? Has it made life easier for you? Would you like to see a positive change? Are you ready for a positive change? 

Margaret Behrens for Maplewood Mayor

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

I'm on Facebook at Margaret Behrens for Maplewood Mayor

Please review my campaign for Mayor Facebook page at Margaret Behrens for Maplewood Mayor. Together we can make a difference

Please review my campaign for Mayor Facebook page and this web site and please share them with everyone that you know who would be interested in considering me as our new Mayor.

Thank you very much and please enjoy your day.and please share it with everyone that you know who would be interested in considering me as our new Mayor.

Thank you very much and please enjoy your day.

We need positive leadership in our city.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

A true leader facilitates respectful and meaningful discussion while moderating a positive and respectful resolve. Positive and transparent leadership priority one.

Your priorities are your character.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

While the current Mayor is preparing for her re election and the St. Paul White Bear Avenue Parade.

(This is to kick off the Ramsey County Fair. Which of course is not a Maplewood Community Event it's a Ramsey County event)


I am continuing my meetings and working with Maplewood businesses to put together a plan to bring businesses into our city and to build our economy. We are working to replace all the businesses that have left our city and to prepare remedies for all of the reasons they left our city. 

You served our country. Now it's time we serve you.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Yesterday was an extremely busy day. I took my biweekly trip to the Minneapolis VA to help veterans get the care they need and the access to their VA benefits and resources they deserve. This was another all day trip for many of us.

We need a more full service VA Veterans Resource and care center in Maplewood. Our veterans deserve accessible care and access to resources in our city. Having the burden of trying to go all the way to the Minneapolis VA Medical Center is very difficult and impossible for some of our veterans. The VA Clinic in Maplewood has extremely limited services. Most veterans aren't able to use this center for their care. I thank all our veterans for their service. I am honored to serve you.

I value our public employees. 

Stop the privatization of our government workers.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

We must protect and invest in our public employees.

Bad decisions, by inexperienced decision makers approving privatization policies lead directly to cutbacks in government investment in skill development and to reductions in workers’ pay and benefits. This affects our community.

In turn, workers have less income to invest in their households, their children and their neighborhoods—leaving individuals and their communities poorly served in the present and ill prepared for the future. Our city has cut essential services, closed fire stations, sold fire stations and fired our part time firefighters and our Maplewood Community Center employees.

Regardless of level of government, the story of privatization remains much the same. Elected leaders, often under legislative or political pressure from their political party, try to reduce spending or taxes by relying on contractors for services instead.

This way, the city council elected politicians can attempt to avoid responsibility for the pay cuts and worker eliminations that almost inevitably result from privatization. With me. This would never happen. As an experienced business manager. I know the value of employees and I invest in them.

Government privatizers turn over huge swaths of public service work to private contractors—jobs such as corrections officers, nursing aides, teachers, school support personnel, clerks, waste haulers, food service workers and many others.

Public workers are a strong part of our community. We must invest in them and make sure they know they’re valued.

I value our public employees. 

Stop the privatization of our government workers.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

We have a lot of work to do to bring our city up into a state that meets the average on so many various levels to other cities of our size and demographics. I am already working with our seniors. I am already working with our businesses. I am already working with the people in the community to resolve the issues of this economic decline in our city. I am working to  do this for our neighbors, our friends and for our families.  I need two new people on our city council to work with me on these critical issues.


Here is some most recent information on our city from the US Census Bureau of 2017.

Maplewood, Minnesota's estimated population is 40,918 according to the most recent United States census estimates. Maplewood, Minnesota is the 23rd largest city in Minnesota based on official 2017 estimates from the US Census Bureau.

The population density is 2412.08 people/mi² (931.30 people/km²), with a household density of 356.45 people/km² (923.20 people/mi²).

The overall median age is 39.1 years, 37.2 years for males, and 40.6 years for females. For every 100 females there are 89.0 males.

Based on data from the American Community Survey, in 2017 there were 15,661 households in the city, with an average size of 2.55 people per household. The vacancy rate was 3.2%, with a median rent of $1021/month. The median house has 5.7 rooms, and has a value of $188,400.

The median income for households in Maplewood, Minnesota is $63,367, while the mean household income is $79,500. The per capita income is $31,520, and 5.6% of families and 9.2% of individuals are below the federal poverty line. 15.9% of those under 18 are in poverty, and 4.9% of those 65 years or older.

Our city is not a real estate agency.  We the taxpayers are not a bank.

Raising our already high taxes-cutting essential services and buying up property at taxpayer expense is not public service.

We deserve better.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Our city should not be raising our taxes so they can go out and buy up property. That is not their role.The taxpayers are not the bank for the city. The city is supposed to be working for the taxpayers. Instead they fire our part time firefighters. The close 40% of our fire stations. They sell our fire stations. They don't hire enough police to protect our city effectively. Our businesses our leaving our city. Our roads are horrible. Our community center is declining deeper into the red. Buying property is another attempt at a quick money grab by this council. It's shameful. The people should be the priority. #Togetherwecanmakea difference#MaplewoodStrong

Empty business parking lots in the middle of the work day don't build our economy or enhance development.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Building a community and community partnerships is important. I have a history of building community partnerships. I have worked in education, healthcare, social services, county, state and local government. I was the president of the Ramsey County League of Local Governments for the maximum terms allowed. I have years of community involvement building positive and beneficial partnerships. To create a positive community foundation. This is what we need. NON-political sincere and genuine relationship building. Building partnerships that will last. Together we can make a difference. Please join me on this mission to improve the community that we call home. #Togetherwecanmakeadifference#MaplewoodStrong

Taking of taxpayers private property for a unnecessary and poorly planned Bus Rapid Transit Route does not build our economy or enhance development. It takes away recreation, habitat, safety and natural recreation.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Government should be meeting the needs of those they represent. They should not be taxing them out of their homes. They should not be creating projects and policies to police the taxpayers or to take away their property. With a new council we can work together to review and redefine policies that are of a negative impact on us the taxpayers. We have so many policies that are in contradiction of others in our city that we must review them all. We must protect our property rights and the rights of the people we are elected to represent. 

There are bad decisions being made that negatively impact our property rights. The Rushline BRT Project for one. 

That line should have gone down White Bear Avenue or TH HWY 61. 

Not down the Vento Trail. This route doesn't even make sense and it is a contraindication of safety and our habitat and other natural areas of health and recreation. In addition, This line is too close to residential housing and schools.

Over taxation- For what? Is it worth it to you? 

It's a mere survival to some in our community.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

I always enjoy being approached in public and recognized. Today as I was grocery shopping after work. A couple of seniors were out getting their Saturday running done. The husband stopped and asked if I was the lady running for Mayor of Maplewood this election. I replied yes I am. The man threw his arms up and slapped his cart and said. "Thank you. We need a change." The mans wife approached and was I thought was allergy sniffing. Instead her eyes glazed with tears. She said that the cost of living in Maplewood is too high for them. They are going to have to sell the home that they have lived in for over 68 years and move to a smaller home in another city. This is absolutely heartbreaking to me. Nobody of any age should be taxed out of their homes and away from their community, family and friends and much needed services. This should not happen. We need to make a change. Too many of our community members are being put in hardship positions because of the high taxes and wasteful spending by this council. 

Having to decide between food, medications, heating, cooling and care appointments. This is happening to people of all ages in our community. This must stop.

Energized and revitalized.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

As I am meeting with businesses and community potential partners the excitement is growing.  I am planning on working with our community partners to achieve effective revitalization in our community. Maplewood is an older community and our commercial areas face normal challenges that come with age. But our city has the critical issue of increased crime and deteriorating infrastructure. These areas need continued maintenance and reinvestment. Our business district will be working on reinvestment's. Revitalization will help build and help maintain the vitality and high quality of life of our older community. Once the new city council can start working on this. The progress will be swift. The high tax burden on the taxpayers will lessen as our economy grows.

Attendance is key to participation. I hope one of them will start to show up at meetings. Don't just take up space. Someone who is committed to serve could fill the seat.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

**Clarification- The Ramsey County League of Local Governments is reorganizing due to the loss of the Ramsey Conservation District as members. This loss created two vacancy's on the board. At tonight's city council meeting. Mary Abrams was appointed to be the new official representative to the Ramsey County League of Local Governments. As the past two term president of the RCLLG. It was very disappointing to hear that the RCLLG is struggling. The current president asked for volunteers to serve on the board. Mary Abrams volunteered. I will say that it is nice to see that Mary Abrams is stepping up finally to participate in the RCLLG of which she and Bryan Smith have been the representatives but seldom have attended meetings or participated in events. This is part of the issue because members commit to serve and don't show up. Mary Abrams has attended the Celebrating Women in Leadership programs that I created for the Ramsey County League of Local Governments. I hope that they begin to attend the meetings and the events. The RCLLG is struggling to get members to attend meetings. During my two terms as president. I created programs for sponsorship and memberships and the Celebrating Women in Leadership program. I am extremely proud of my programs and they have been extremely successful and very beneficial through engagement and financially(including a large surplus) to the RCLLG and it's membership.

The Minnesota State office of the Ramsey Conservation District has been absorbed by Ramsey County Parks & Recreation due to duplication of services

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Thank you so much for your continued support. I am truly blessed to have so many people who are so engaged and inspired to be a part of my vision for our community. For our city. Here are the documents that define the purpose of dissolving the Minnesota State office of the Ramsey Conservation District. The RCD has been absorbed by Ramsey County Parks and Recreation.  You may review the documents on this web site under issues of concern.

Unity in our community.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

My work creating Racial Equity Statements is a process,

though this may be challenging for some, it is a rewarding one.

It can help bring about greater

collaboration in policy making, strengthen public support and input,

and develop policy making mechanisms that advance equity and fairness.

I have worked on these statements for many years.

It's something very important to me.

Although I live to keep everyone equal.

We need a written statement ensuring equality in every level of government.

People and safety should be a priority. 

Recreational and transit should not share space.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

I believe that the Bruce Vento trail should stay a strictly recreational trail for safe public use. I grew up watching the trains going through my neighborhood and it was always a dangerous place to be close to. There were accidents on the tracks, Track fires and it was no place for children or families to recreate. To compare BRT to a train may be non consequential to some. It brings many real issues about sharing recreational space and transit space together. It's not a good idea. I have a great deal to say on this issue and I have several people that have contacted me regarding the trail. So far. We all agree that a better route would be on White Bear Avenue or TH Hwy 61. These options would have also been more efficient and more cost effective.

Being a witness to positive change.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Together we can make a difference. We are well on the way to a positive change for our community. A new city council. New leadership. This will be a great experience to witness the change in our community. We will experience a new life in our city. We deserve better.

Results driven positive public service is my award. That's all that I 

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Awards and self acolytes are not for me. My reward is getting great results for those that I serve. For me. My priority is the people. I am working for the all of the people. It's the people who matter. It's the people that is the reason that I serve. This election is all about you. I am the conduit to make the changes happen. I have all the skills and knowledge and experience to make that happen. I am here to serve you and to make our community great for you. Together we can make a difference.

Non Partisan. 

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Thanks for the question. On the page Issues of Concern on this web site you will find both pre primary campaign finance reports for the current mayor and myself. 

I agree that this is obviously not a non partisan campaign for election on behalf of the current mayor. Our elections are non partisan. 

I always abide by that. I have no political agendas. I am a proud public servant.

My election is always as a public servant. The only endorsement that I would like is that of the voters. The people are my priority.

International Human Trafficking in our community. 

Right here in Maplewood.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Human trafficking is a serious issue in our city. 

We need more police to be working on the increasing crime in our city.

People as the priority- Governments job is to protect the people. 

Not to run their lives.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

We need to rebuild our fire department. Our taxes have increased and our fire department has all but been sold out.  This labor endorsed council fired our part time fire fighters and had a hiring ad running in the morning of the day that the council was to meet in closed session. This was done before the settlement was even accepted by the very same city council.

Our firefighters are part time fire fighters are gone and several of our fire stations are closed and all but abandon. There is something very wrong with this picture. We need new leadership. 

We need a new council that makes the people they are elected to serve the priority. You don't raise taxes and charge excessive fees, abatement's and franchise fees and cut essential services.

Healing our community.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

I ask you this. Do you believe all of the propaganda that this city council is putting out now at election time about the "changes coming to our city"?

I sure don't.

The state of our city tells the story. There is no denying that our community and our business district is in steep decline.

This council has had a full term including an extra year that they themselves gave themselves. And they still didn't do anything to help our business district or to improve our roads or lower our taxes or to reduce crime.

Businesses are leaving, and many have already left and are some are not coming because of the state of our city.

The overuse of TIFF funding at taxpayer expense is also out of line. This must stop.

There are businesses that want to become part of our community and don't expect for the taxpayers to pay their way.

In addition, Crime is increasing. Services are down and taxes are rapidly rising.

We need a new city council. We need two non city related council members elected this year. August 14, 2018 is our primary election.

Please help to recover our community by voting in two non city related council members.

On November 6, 2018 we will also elect our new mayor with our new council members.

I appreciate your continued support and I would definatley appreciate your vote.

I am ready to start with the recovery and rebuilding of our economy right away to lessen the tax burden for us all. There is a great deal of work to do and I am egaer to get started.

Together we can make a difference.

Crime on the rise.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Another crime call for service in or business district today. It's sad that this is getting to be all to frequent. It's definately a sign of changing times. We need strong and experienced leadership to work on these and other issues facing our community. I'm ready to take this on. I have the experience and the leadership to meet this challenge and make the necessary changes to protect our community and to grow and develop our business district.

Roads

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

One street partially maintained with Mill & Over Lay. All of our roads can be maintained using this accepted and mostly used technique. Our roads used to always be done like this. When pipes need to be replaced. They can use the new sleeve insert method that is widely promoted and used as the new best practice. This is so roads don't required total reconstruction. The roads aren't torn up to replace the pipes. The end result is better then the original pipes. This is the method that our city should be using as our stand practice. Take out the excessive assessments and take out the major inconvenience and hardship off the taxpayers. There is a better way. With a new council. Together we will be using more effective and efficient methods to repair and maintain our roads and infrastructure.

Response to a question on the Margaret Behrens for Maplewood Mayor Face Book page.  

Margaret, can we have examples, strategies or ideas of how the your experienced leadership qualities will help us down what road?

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Thank you for your question.

I appreciate that you have looked into my campaign to become our next mayor. 

I hope that you enjoy your day.


Here is the answer to your question.

I do have a great deal of experience to utilize as our new mayor. Here is a summary to answer your question. Some of my leadership qualities and experiences in business management/public service that will be utilized for long lasting and sustainable improvements in our community are as follows:

I have a natural creativity and initiative, unleashing a tremendous amount of energy in the process. I work to inspire action. I have created great results with this in the past. I have several plans of action to utilize this to improve our community with impactful and lasting results.

I work to seek out the positives in people. I am always optimistic and respectful. I work to get the best results possible and that has always been working with positive people. You always get positive results for everyone.

I have always been honest, respectful fair, candid and forthright, and treat everyone in the same way that I would want to be treated. I am extremely proud to have great integrity.

For people to do their very best work, they need an environment that supports them by making it safe to take risks, to tell the truth, and to speak up with transparency without being punished for doing so. Supporting taxpayers and staff by creating this kind of environment is important, and it will facilitate progress toward attaining our community goals. I work to support and facilitate our internal and external teams. I have plans for more community engagement opportunities that will be on a more meaning and purposeful level.

As a highly effective leader. I know that I can accomplish anything. Failure is not an option. Tentative leaders make for tentative staff/taxpayers. If I’m confident, the community will be too. I have confidence.

Transparency in any organization, knowledge is power, and I will ensure that every taxpayer, is provided with complete and up-to-date information about the city’s goals, performance, successes and failures. To achieve this level of connection, I will also provide ample channels for two-way communication between taxpayers and city council members actively soliciting their ideas for improvement. Engagement and communication are key.

One of the most basic duties of any leader is to make decisions. I’m not afraid to be decisive and to make tough calls quickly when circumstances require it. Once I have all the information I need to make an informed decision, I don’t hesitate—I make it. I’ve done some great policy decisions that have been extremely impactful this way.

I’ve also been in several life-threatening situations where my leadership and my taking charge has been key in the positive resolutions to emergency situations.

* As a side note- I have received the Life Saving award as well.

Please check out my web site for more information. margaretbehrensformaplewoodmayor.com Thank you again.



Our elections are non partisan. 

Can you trust candidates when there's no transparency and no commitment to honor the nonpartisan election system that we have?

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

I want to thank everyone who voted yesterday. You are awesome. We definately need to stay vigilant and continue our mission to get people elected to our city council who are committed to the people. We can definitely turn our city around with non city related councilmembers. Especially those with no political agendas.Keeping our municipal elections non partisan like they are supposed to be is key to our success and the future success of our community.

Here are yesterday's Maplewood Municipal Primary election results off of the Minnesota Secretary of States Web Site.

You will note the original results first with 100 % of 13 Maplewood Precincts reporting. Then you will see different results posted this morning. There is no doubt that our city is controlled by the DFL political party. It's clear in the campaign finance reports from the candidates. It's clear from the election results. So as far as we are concerned. Since the DFL clearly controls our city. We can blame them for the current state of our city as well. That is another reason that nonpartisan elections are critical. It allows for a free and political free decision and policy making council to keep the taxpayers as the priority. Now instead. The loyalty is beholden to political parties and unions who pay big bucks to support candidates.

PS. Labour unions support the candidates. But who doesn't support labor by their actions? This council. It's all about their political affiliations. Check that out for yourself and you will see the clear connections. Together we can make a difference. We will. Thank you again for all of your support.



Is this the quality that you are paying for?

We deserve better.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Roads-Roads-Roads- High Taxes -Fees-Franchise Fees- Abatements- Environmental Fees- Excessive assessments for complete road reconstructions-etc.

Are you getting your tax dollars worth?



Accessibility for all.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

**In response to another compliment-

Not all disabilities are visible. I have many friends and residents who also have disabilities. Many have asked about my campaign. They are very excited about all the work I have done throughout my 55 years in Maplewood. My deep roots and common understanding of my community and the needs of all the people in my city. I have made my campaign extremely accessible to everyone in our city. My inclusion of photos is a purposeful use to aid those who have impairments to other visual or cognitive recognitions. I thank you for your compliment and your continued support. Together we can and we will make a difference.



Exciting things to come

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Purposeful economic development with vision for the future is what's exciting and giving our business district hope for the future. With new leadership and community partnership programs we will make a new business district that is prosperous and successful. Not only for the businesses but for the taxpayers whose burdens will be lessened.A strong economy = a strong and vibrant community. We will be stronger and thriving like never before. Together we can make a difference.



Fresh Start Required

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

It's disappointing when you are out in our community to see the gross neglect that has been happening. Our roads are horrible. Our businesses are leaving. Our housing is not fully occupied. Our commercial lots are overgrown and blighted in appearance. Our business district is deteriorating. Crime has increased. Homelessness has increased. Our neighborhoods are becoming divided. All this when we need to be working together to bring unity and hope to our community. 

We need a fresh start. 

We need to have leadership that will make the people of our city the priority.


 Together we can make a difference.



Lessen the tax burden on the taxpayers. Stop the money grabs. 

We can't afford them. We are not a bank.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

We must work to bring new businesses into our community who are self sustainable and viable to do business themselves. No more TIFF funding to businesses who don't qualify for it. No more money grabs. The taxpayers are loaded with increasing tax burdens via council created fees, franchise fees, abatements, levy, and other fees. We must bring our business district to the table as a group and put all the plans together to create our main economic development program to lessen the tax burden on the taxpayers. As a community we cannot allow this decline to continue. We need a new council and mayor now. Together we can make a difference.



Vento Trail Train vs. BRT

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

I grew up within a block of the trains. The signs actually say it was for future Light rail. Not transit corridor.

It never mentioned anything about BRT.

The trail is the wrong place for a bus that can easily and more efficiently be run on a dedicated BRT on TH Hwy 61 or White Bear Avenue.

In addition.

That's where all the ridership is already and that is where the most efficient use of the system would be.

Quality leadership would never disrupt residential areas or recreational areas for a unnecessary BRT route that can be better planned and constructed without putting the health, safety and enjoyment of the taxpayers at risk.



Talk Around Town 

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Today was a great day. I met some a lot of great Maplewood community members around town. I was very excited to listen to their comments and concerns. Several people stressed their great concerns about our city's rapid decline. It's true that for an entire term plus a full year. This council has had ample opportunity to get a great deal of work done to improve our economy and our roads and our community in all aspects. It's very apparent that they didn't put much effort into it and as of late in this election cycle. They are trying to make it seem like they have been working. I'm happy that people recognize this and are taking note. Too little too late many are saying. Everyone overwhelmingly said it's time for a fresh start. A new council. I took special note at the 9 people who said with great spirit I will note. They are sick and tired of the politics and that influence in our city council and city hall. Together we can make a difference.



Experience Matters

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Crime is on the raise in our community. We need to utilize our available officers and resources in the most effective and efficient way possible. We must work together to help create a safe and crime free community. My goal is to have everyone here feel safe, secure and protected. I have worked security. I have been on ride a longs. I have taken range training and the necessity and use of lethal force. I have used the F.A.T.S. police training machine. The majority of my family is in law enforcement, has retired from law enforcement and or consults for or trains law enforcement. My experience as the Block Watch Captain along with my co captain has been a great experience. We worked and founded our Crime Watch Neighborhood. Our community's Block Watch Program is a great program for our city. We need to get more neighborhoods participating and more events and engagement throughout our community. We must address the increased crime here in our city. Crime affects everyone. Our economy. Our safety. Our security. Our sense of well being. -Together we can make a difference.



Additional Information Resources

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Margaret Behrens for Maplewood Mayor


Please refer to my Margaret Behrens for Mayor Face Book Page for additional updates.


Response part 1 to 8-25-18 Propaganda Piece.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Today this propaganda piece was dumped on doorsteps around my neighborhood. The young people dropping this literally dropping them and running out of the yards. One neighbor saw this and called them back to his house. He asked about each candidate. Neither people knew anything about any of the candidates that they were lit dropping for. Pretty sad. Taking advantage of youth to spread your propaganda. The people calling on the phone don't know anything either. I have received several calls myself asking me to support the candidates and to come to the call centers to volunteer. This is another example of how out of touch these candidates are with the people that are working on their behalf. They are more out of touch with those they are supposed to represent. The current mayor  has mentioned some issues.  Let's go through each of her points:

Part 1 of several posts on this propaganda piece.

1. Focusing on economic development- She's focusing on the Maplewood Mall area, St. John's Hospital, and Gladstone areas.

*Please note that South Maplewood is being neglected still by this current Mayor.

Maplewood Mall area has become in a steep decline since this Mayor took her oath of office. The crime has increased and the crimes have become more aggressive and serious in nature. Our north Maplewood business district is suffering. Businesses have left our city and are continuing to leave of city. There are record numbers of retail and office spaces available in our city. Empty spaces do not grow our economy or create jobs. The crime has increased and is affecting the businesses and surrounding neighborhoods. The Maplewood Mall has been in the news for Human Trafficking. The businesses are leaving the mall like a shell of what it once was. Sears is the latest of the anchor businesses that have left. We have a lot of work to do to get the crime in and around our businesses district in control. We also have a issue with homelessness and panhandling in our business district that must be addressed.

St. John's hospital. St. John's has a campus that has received funding assistance from the taxpayers. They too have many office spaces available on their campus. Crime has also been an increased issue there. If you visit a care provider at Healtheast. Please look at your bill closely. I have reviewed one of mine from the car accident that I talked about of 9-1-2017. The bill was over $500.00 and half the charge was for the provider. The other half was for the facility fee. Just to use the building, just to walk in the door. This is wrong. This is not what a non profit should be doing to patients. Especially when they are receiving taxpayer funds for their campus.


**It's important to note that the current Mayor is attempting to take credit for growth at the St. John's Hospital Campus.  As an Healtheast employee at St. John's Hospital our department was excited to be part of the planning process for the new building on Hazelwood across from our main hospital. That was back in 2004. Long before the current Mayor was in office and  I don't believe there there was no involvement of the legislature.



Gladstone Areas are declining The housing that was put in and continues to be built is not being rented. The units are expensive and not being filled as promised by this council. They clear cut the historic Savannah. They cut down some of the oldest trees in our city. This council's plans for the oldest buildings in our Gladstone neighborhood are less than favorable. The council isn't listening or considering what the taxpayers/residents want in their neighborhoods. The Wakefield redevelopment and building of a new community center is nothing less than wasteful spending. This council did nothing to save our Maplewood Community Center by city hall. They took no internal corrective action. They thrus the responsibility that they have onto the YMCA so they didn't have to do anything.

Part 1


Response part 2 to 8-25-18 Propaganda Piece.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Part 2- Improving roads and transit access and options, including the Gold Line BRT 3M Station.

Wow- So much to say on this too. Please don't take my word for this. Look at our roads and look at our taxes. Look at the history of the corporate welfare that this council has given to 3M on behalf of us the taxpayers. Look at the rewards this council is giving to 3M the corporate polluters that the State has sued for the largest settlement in Minnesota history. 3M- the very same company that council member Junenemann praises for the care of our environment. The very environment that they contaminated so bad the water isn't drinkable in many cities. The 13 TIFF districts that we the taxpayers will be supporting for 25 years each for the multi billion dollar fortune 500 company. Look at the lovely new fire station on the 3M campus that we the taxpayers are paying for. While this council fires all of our part time firefighters and closes and sells our fire stations. One to the current Mayors friend for his landscaping business.

The Vento Trail and BRT- The Vento trail was never intended for BRT. It was posted for possible use for Light Rail. This is important as this council is changing the uses and purpose without any consideration for the taxpayers and future use and development and preservation.The Bruce Vento Regional Trail. It begins near downtown St. Paul, and ends just north of I-694. As the sign points out, it’s constructed on right-of-way owned by the Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority, preserved for possible future use as a light-rail alignment. In the meantime, however, it’s used for bicycles.

***NOTE- This project was planned and designed for a Light Rail Line from Downtown St. Paul to White Bear Lake. The signs along the trail also state that. There was never mention of a designated Bus Rapid Transit Line (BRT). The BRT is a simple bus lane. That can be easily added to either White Bear Avenue or TH Hwy 61. There is no reason to interfere with the Vento Trail. A trail that was never designated for BRT. Another money grab at taxpayer and community expense. No Vision. No transparency. No public input or consideration.


Response part 3 to 8-25-18 Propaganda Piece.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Part 3- Strengthening public safety through strategic policing and expanded fire and emergency medical services.

Another bad decision by the current mayor and council. They keep raising our taxes and keep cutting our essential services. Our city is large and it requires better fire and police coverage. They have destroyed our fire department. They won't spend money on more fire or police protection. This was another attempt at a money grab at taxpayer expense.

According to the Star Tribune-Maplewood will pay its departing part-time firefighters an extra $1,000 for every year they worked to settle a lawsuit over who would get a pension surplus of about $1.5 million.

The settlement agreement, recently approved by both the city and the firefighters, ends a fight that began when the City Council decided in January to switch from a staff of part-timers to a full-time fire department.

The staff change meant that 16 part-time firefighters who wouldn’t be offered one of nine full-time jobs would be let go and the council would try to terminate the pension fund, the Maplewood Fire Relief Association.

As of December, that fund had grown to about $4.9 million and firefighters were owed $3.4 million in benefits. That left about $1.5 million in surplus. Under state law, the money not used by a pension when it is terminated can be returned to a municipality’s general fund.

But shortly after the council announced its decision to create a full-time department, the firefighters on the pension board met to change the retirement plan from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan.

That meant that, instead of using the pension fund to pay out to each firefighter the fixed amount that had been set for years — $10,000 per year of service — the pension fund would be opened up and firefighters would be entitled to split up to 90 percent of it.

Had the change gone through, the 16 part-time firefighters who were losing their jobs would have been paid an average of just more than $50,000 on top of the $10,000 per year they were owed, according to the city’s complaint. Another 18 firefighters who had already retired or left the city would have received an average of about $20,000 along with their $10,000 per year of service.

The City Council sued the Fire Relief Association in February, saying it didn’t have the authority to change from a defined benefit plan and had held secret meetings to do so without proper notice.

The relief association disputed that the meetings were held in secret and said that state law gave them the power to change its bylaws. In a counterclaim, the relief association argued that the city’s lawsuit was “a naked attempt to steal retirement benefits.”

Then state lawmakers stepped in. They approved special legislation this spring that barred the Fire Relief Association from dividing up the pension surplus. It instead ordered the association either to give the surplus to the city, or pay back whatever contributions the city had made to it on the firefighters’ behalf since it was created in 1997 — a figure also roughly $1.5 million.

The law also required both the relief association and the city to reach a settlement over a lump sum payout to the 16 firefighters losing their jobs.

The two sides agreed that the firefighters — whose years of service ranged from eight to 28 years — each would get a lump sum of $11,000 per year of service, up from $10,000. They also agreed that all firefighters would be fully vested.

Jeff Morgan, vice president of the Fire Relief Association, said the part-time Maplewood firefighters took the job despite relatively low pay because they knew the trade off was going to be the pension.

“It’s like a messy divorce,” Morgan said. “It was new territory for everyone because it’s not a normal thing to dissolve a volunteer department and a Fire Relief Association.” The firefighters wanted the relief association to continue under the new department, he said.

City Manager Melinda Coleman couldn’t say how much of the $1.5 million surplus will be left after the payouts. Attorney’s fees for both sides will be paid from that pool of money.

“We’re glad that the legislation happened and we’re moving forward,” Coleman said.

Morgan estimated that the total attorney’s fees could reach as high as $500,000.

“We’re not happy we left money on the table, but it was getting to the point where it was all going to legal fees,” he said. “We felt betrayed by the city that they were trying to monetize this by taking our pension, and we couldn’t let it just happen.”

My family and I have been victims off this council drastic cuts to public safety. There is no expansion of fire and emergency medical services. It's exactly the opposite. The cuts to our essential emergency services have been devistating. On 9-1-2017 my husband, youngest daugther and I were hit by a woman driving approximately 60 mph through a red light at Beam & Hazelwood. It took North St. Paul about 15 minutes to respond. This intersection is one block north of the Hazelwood fire statin on Hazelwood and County Road C. Our own fire department and emergency personal didn't respond. The ambulance came from Stillwater, Minnesota from Lakeview Hospital. This is shameful. We had serious injuries and were told to walk to the hospital because the driver that hit us was injured as well and required transport. So this claim on the current Mayors propoganda is false. Our fire department is so minimal becuase this council fired all of our part time firefighters that when Noodles and Company burned. Several other outside agencies were called in to respond. These cuts put our community at risk.

The crime in our city has increased greatly. Human trafficking is a major issue in and around the Maplewood Mall. It has been featured on the news and on City Confidential Crime programs. The business district is suffering and it is as a result of increased and high crime.


Ready to promote our city on a world wide stage?

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Considering the state of our city today. If you were on vacation. Would you consider our city of Maplewood a destination you would want to visit? What highlights of our city would you want to make sure to visit? When you talk about our city what aspects of our city do you praise to other people?


Residency Matters

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Congratulations to Maplewood’s Mayor Nora Slawik on her marriage, this past May, to Mark Buckwheat. The couple homestead in Lake Elmo, Washington County.

Mnwashington.manatron.com/…/…/AccountDetail/BillDetail.aspx…

https://web1.co.washington.mn.us/…/AY18-34.029.21.41.0034.p…

On Friday, August 10, 2018, I attended the funeral of longtime resident and community leader, Annemarie Fosburgh, age 89, who had been active in shaping Maplewood and served as an election judge for 40 years. While there, Representative Leon Lillie stopped by my table to say “Hi.” When asked if he had been over to Nora’s homestead in Lake Elmo yet, he stated he hadn’t been there yet, that he wasn’t able to go because he had something else to do. Keep in mind Leon and Nora are “best of buds” from their time of serving together in the MN State Legislature.

Should the residents of Maplewood re-elect a Maplewood mayor who homesteads in Lake Elmo, in Washington County? Read the MN Statute to find the answer.

Minn. Stat. 351.02: … office shall become vacant on the happening of ….

(4) the incumbent's ceasing to be an inhabitant of the ….city for which the incumbent was elected…..

The answer, plain and simple, is “No.”

Maplewood is my hometown, where I have lived my entire life, raised my children and served the community in both volunteer and elected positions.

There is no question as to where my homestead is.


We must stop the violence.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

We are just heard 7 shots tonight and now there are sirens from responding units. 

This is beyond unacceptable. We need to be proactive about crime. Not just reactive.

This has to stop. 

Stop the violence.


Seriously?   It is critical that we elect a new council. 

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

I hope that everyone is following along with the RUSH Line BRT transit project that this council is pushing through our neighborhoods.

As I was watching the August 9, 2018 Historical Preservation Commission meeting the other night. A report about the RUSH Line was given. A description of the July 31, 2018 meeting and the noted points were very concerning. I believe that I heard that three stations were in the works right away. Larpenteur Avenue at English, Gladstone and north of 36 at Gervais.

The major discussion was about getting ridership, 18 hour security etc.

"Redevelopment in Gladstone was mentioned about including the Clarence Street Fire Station. according to the mayor." That will only leave us two (2) fire stations for our entire city.

How much do you pay in taxes in Maplewood? What value do you put on your family's property or safety and wellbeing?

In an emergency. How fast do you believe your responding emergency units will respond? Will the response time be in time to save you, your property or someone that you love?

Remember this council has already fired our part time firefighters.


We must aggressively  and proactively address the increasing crime in our city.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Margaret Behrens for Maplewood Mayor Facebook post question of the day-I would like to hear why you think adding police officers is the best way to lower the crime rate.

Thank you for your question. We don't have sufficient coverage to address all of the issues our city is facing now.We have other ways that we are able to address crime with enhanced community policing and engagement. We need to be more effective and efficient in our use of state and federal grants that are available to our police department. With our ever changing demographics we must more actively engage with more cultural sensitivity training and outreach. There are numerous ways that we can more adequately address the increasing crime in our city. Thank you for your question.

This is a brief description of some of the options that we have to reduce crime by adding more officers on the streets. 

When we vote. It's results like this that we are voting for.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

A taxpayer over on Adele wanted me to see their roads. They saw the posts on this campaign page and wanted a photo of their road represented also. They wanted me to share this comment. " It's extremely disheartening to know that we are paying very high taxes for a city the size of ours and our roads are in such poor and unmaintained and neglected condition. Several neighbors want more attention paid o our roads and less on making Ramsey County happy pushing the unwanted RUSH Line through our community on the Vento Trail. I agree.

The state of our city tells the truth.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

The state of our city tells you the truth. The state of our city will tell you more than any form of propaganda that you will see, hear or receive or have thrown at you as has been witnessed to in several neighborhoods.

Look at your tax statement. Look at the continued increases of fees, charges, abatements, franchise fees and other taxes.

Now- when you're out in our community. In our city. Feel the roads your driving or walking on. Look at the roads. Look at the surrounding businesses. Witness the decline in our business district. Take note of all the open,available and deserted store fronts, commercial buildings and vacant properties. This does not grow our economy. This does not lessen the tax burden on us. Read about, hear about, see on the news, I pray your not a person affected by the increased and growing crime in our city. This is affecting everyone.

Take special note that all of our part time fire fighters have been fired. We have a large city with at this second we only have 3 fire stations. It's been announced at a meeting by the mayor that one of the last three fire stations will be gone next year. That will leave us only two for our large city. That puts us at risk from my perspective. That is not acceptable. We must have appropriate fire and police protection that reflects the large size and changing demographics of our city. We must have our own ambulance service again. We cannot afford the extended response times from other outside communities to try to appropriately respond to emergencies in our city. With the extremely high taxes that we pay. There is no excuse for this.

Please remember these issues and know that I have a list of many more that must be addressed to meet the needs of our community when you are reading the propaganda.

League of Women Voters Forum.   

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

**Reminder- As I have mentioned at our meetings, and events and posted on both my campaign Facebook page and website. 

I will not be participating in this "forum". The late notice of this upcoming event has not allowed me to change my travel schedule to participate.

My trip was scheduled several months before I filed for Mayor for this election. As you know. Non refundable means non refundable.

My husband and I haven't been on a vacation since 1983. We seldom travel.

Most people know that I am a homebody whenever I am not at events or meetings.I'm typically at my house. Working on projects, my garden and helping neighbors. I volunteer several times a month and it's a great way to learn about history and about people. I love it. This was the only time in our schedules that we are able to go.  

2019 will be a very busy year.  I give my all in everything that I do so I will be extremely busy working to bring positive results to our city. I take my work very seriously and I have high expectations. I don't want to meet your expectations. I plan on exceeding your expectations. 

I love my community and I love my home. The Circle of life remember.

I will submit my LWV Candidate Forum Statements for the moderator to read.

I will also have my opening statement and closing statements posted for your review.


Upon my return.

I will be continuing all of my scheduled events, meet and greets and other scheduled meetings with the taxpayers/residents and businesses of our Maplewood community.

You are able to find more information on this Facebook page and at the Campaign website at:

http://margaretbehrensformaplewoodmayor.com

As always. You may also contact me with any of your questions and concerns and comments. I will get back to you as promptly as possible. Even during my brief travel time. Thank you again. -

Together we can make a difference.

My Opening & Closing Statements for the League of Women Voters Forum.   

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

*This is my unedited opening statement for the League of Women Voters Forum at the Maplewood City Hall this evening for your information.

Good evening. Thank you for coming to the League of Women Voters forum. Thank you to the League of Women Voters for your invitation to participate.

I am submitting my opening written statement as I am out of town and available to participate this evening. My travel plans were made long before I decided to campaign for mayor of our city. And we all know that nonrefundable means nonrefundable. I will provide to you this statement and much more on my campaign website at: margaretbehrensformaplewoodmayor.com

Mand my campaign Facebook page at: Margaret Behrens for Maplewood Mayor

Please check those out for further details. My contact information is available on both.

For tonight's purpose the messages simple. The state of our city tells the truth. There is no propaganda that can dispute the declining state of our city.

I have lived in Maplewood for 55 years. I have deep roots in our community. I have seen our city at its best and at its worst. I have never seen our city in such a steep decline as I do now.

My husband and I have been married 36 years and we grew up one block from each other in the same Maplewood neighborhood. We live on the property my husband grew up on. We have raised our family here in our grandchildren have lived here. My husband is retired from 3M where he was a 42-year employee until his department was outsourced out of our country and he was forced into early retirement. I have worked and volunteered and served in an elected office of the state and represented our city of Maplewood.

I have served three- 4-year terms Elected to the Minnesota State office of the Ramsey Conservation District. In my first year elected to the Board of Supervisors I worked and succeeded in getting the conservation district out of the red and into the black for the first time in their 30-year history. They have been there ever since. This experience working to protect our water will be of great value as we work to resolve the contamination by 3M to our and surrounding cities drinking water.

Through my creative leadership I turned community outreach and education into a in demand program. The well sealing program which had very little activity was boosted incredibly when I took over. Now the program is extremely successful and has a long waiting list to participate. I am very excited to be able to bring my business management experience to recover our city, our Community Center and our business district. This will help lessen the tax burden on us the taxpayers.

As a community representative and liaison between a nationwide corporation & our business district. I already have relationships and networks built that will be an asset to us moving forward in partnerships to recover our declining economy.

I have served as the president of the Ramsey County League of local governments for the maximum of 2 terms that are allowed. I was elected unanimously both times. I also served as vice president for 2 terms as well as on the executive committee and a board member for 10 years.

As president of the Ramsey County legal local governments I created several new programs.

1. Celebrating women in leadership. To honor, mentor and engage all ages of women in all leadership roles.

2. Equity and inclusion program to make sure all voices are heard and at the table.

3. Business sponsorship to the RCLLG program which It generated a great deal of revenue & which created a substantial surplus to the budget. These programs continue and are extremely successful.

Through my leadership with public service I have gained a great network of both public and private sector partners. There are many mayors and City Council members and business leaders throughout ours and surrounding communities that are extremely excited and supportive of my candidacy for Maplewood mayor. They are very eager to partner with our city I'm projects and programs after the election of a new City Council and mayor.

I have also been a volunteer an appointed by the Ramsey County commissioners to serve on their low-cost housing commission and their children citizen review panel for Human Services. Both were appointments by unanimous vote.

Some of the serious issues in our cities. The state of our city tells the truth.

Have you experienced our roads lately? The state of our roads says a lot. Do the state of our roads reflect the taxes that you pay? Are you getting your tax dollars’ worth?

As I meet with people throughout our large city they voice their anger about this. People are demanding of change. Did you vote for roads like this? I sure didn't. The state of our city tells the truth.

I'm sure you've read in the paper or heard on the news that our part time firefighters have been fired. We have 3 fire stations left in our large and growing city.

It's been reported at a meeting that next year another one of our fire stations will be closed. That will leave us only 2 fire stations to respond to emergency calls in our large and growing city.

There's no secret that we must call in outside communities to respond to emergency calls in our city already. Lakeview ambulance comes from Stillwater. Firefighters come from a variety of surrounding communities you probably saw that when noodles and company burned recently as reported in the media.

When my family and I were hit on Beam Avenue and Hazelwood Street last year September 1st. North St. Paul responded to that accident along with Lakeview hospital ambulance from Stillwater Minnesota. Keep in mind we were one block North of our own Hazelwood fire station. Yet outside emergency personnel had to respond in our city. We need our fire Department reorganized and restored. We have a large city with growing and changing demographics and an aging community. We need a more appropriate and timely system of responding to emergencies in our city.

The increased crime in our city is taking a toll on our business district and our neighborhoods. Our community members safety and security are a priority for me. In the 1990 when I was recruited as a block watch captain by sergeant Joseph Bergeron The crime level was lower, and the crimes were different less violent less egregious. The crime in our business district has increased greatly we have been on the national news for human trafficking at the Maplewood mall and surrounding businesses. That is unacceptable. We have a population of homeless people that Panhandle throughout our city they are potential victims. We must address crime of all types in our city. This is been mentioned to me frequently as I meet with business owners and management in our city. This is one of the main reasons businesses are leaving Maplewood. Increased crime. employees feel unsafe walking to their cars at night. People are soliciting in the parking lots. Shoplifting is at an all-time high. We have way too many vacant buildings and empty storefronts and unused vacant commercial properties. This does not build our economy. This does not bring new businesses to our city, nor does it keep business’s in our city. The state of our city tells the truth.

I address more of the issues facing our community and other content on my website at: margaretbehrensformaplewoodmayor.com And on my campaign Facebook page at:

Margaret Behrens for Maplewood Mayor

I am not a politician. I am a public servant. This campaign is all about you. It's about you the taxpayer. I look forward to serving and representing you as our new mayor on the Maplewood City Council. Together we can make a difference. and we will. Thank you.




***This is my unedited closing statement for the League of Women Voters Forum at the Maplewood City Hall this evening for your information.

The state of our city tells the truth. We need new leadership. Experienced leadership that will recover andr estore or city.

My leadership & experience have proven success that will enhance & accelerate our vision

I have 55 years and deep roots in our community.

I served as a three-four-year terms elected public servant to a Minnesota state office. In their 30 history of being in the red. In my first term I brought them into the black financially.

I have served on city commissions and task forces, panels. I’m qualified & prepared to serve as mayor. As a two term President of the Ramsey County League of Local Governments my experience & success are proven. I created programs and created revenue generation initiatives. That created a substantial surplus. This and my years of leadership experience is a powerful foundation. As a Ramsey County appointed member to the Low-Cost Housing committee & the Children’s Services Citizens Review Panel for Human Services gives me the added value to work with issues facing our community as our demographics evolve.

My record of public service work has proven positive results. I have a vision for a transparent & responsible Government that is accountable & responsive to the taxpayers. Our government must be inclusive, welcome everyone to discuss & decide our future. I’m very diligent in providing quality representation & protecting our personal & property rights in an efficient & effective manner, in prioritizing to grow a strong & vibrant community. The state of our city shows a need.

I‘ll work to provide an equitable & reliable foundation for our children, families, & individuals, & our seniors & the most vulnerable who may be at risk. I work to help all citizens achieve prosperity in our community. I have a lifetime of experience is working with all cultures & demographics.

I work to ensure equality, security & contentment for us all as a united community. I always work to eliminate racial & ethnic disparities across our systems -- including employment, education, housing, justice & health & human services.

My network of partners & I have worked together effectively to build a healthy, sustainable environment; connecting families, aging adults, businesses to opportunities that we all need to help everyone succeed.

For more detailed information please review my extensive detailed experience and content at my official campaign website & campaign Facebook page.

Email: [email protected]

Website: margaretbehrensformaplewoodmayor.com

Facebook Page: Margaret Behrens for Maplewood Mayor

This council is still missing the issues causing the decline 

of our business district. 

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

This is absolutely incredible. A full term plus an extra year that this council gave themselves. And this is a last minute attempt to give the perception that they've been working on this. The steep decline in our business district says a great deal. This is the worst it's ever been in the 55 years I've been here.

I've been meeting with business management and owners and we have plans of our own. They say they have not been approached and been asked their opinions . As a former manager for a national business chain and a community representative /liaison to the business district.

They have voiced their opinions loud and clear. They want new leadership and a new city council at Maplewood. They want people who are going to work and to stop the lip service and do the job. Talk is cheap and when they don't come with any ideas to remedy the issues facing our business district. It just shows how out of touch they are and how unresponsive and lacking vision they are.

The vision of the business district is not a regional vision. Nor does it demand being built around a BRT- Bus rapid transit line. That has nothing to do with their issues that the city has ignored for the entire time this council has been in office.

As for HealthEast. They have had their campus planned out since they came before the Maplewood Planning Commission long before they ever built and opened in 1985. My dad was on the Planning Commission and he has all that documentation. All of the current buildings were in the plan. In addition. They also have a building planned to house and train nursing staff. So HealthEast is not a HUB- It is one of many businesses in our declining business district.

It's time for new leadership. One putting the people and our community first. It's time to address all of the issues facing our business district. The state of our city tells the truth about our city. It shows the lack of work and attentiveness by this council.

This council is still missing the issues causing the decline 

of our business district. 

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern


There were several points observations made during tonight's city council meeting. I have several concerns as you may imagine. I'd like to mention one quick point during the agenda item J. 1. New Business. I have posted in the Issues of Concern page of this website for your review. During the discussion about setting the preliminary budget for 2019. They we're laughing and joking about how incredibly bad the roads are throughout our city. Not surprisingly. It was the Mayor leading the joking about it. I have a great sense of humor. Issues involving my public service I take very seriously. There is nothing funny about not maintaining our roads and excessive taxation. We need a new city council. One that makes the people the priority.

Crime is increasing and now this council is going to charge us for police responses to repeated reports of those crimes. We will never be free of crime unless we work to stop it.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern


Please review this presentation from last nights Maplewood City Council Meeting Workshop. I have serious concerns over this new program and the policy approval by this city council. They are going to charge you another new fee for calling the police. This is a public safety issue. This is another charge for the taxpayers. We are already paying for emergency & essential services.

This is a bad policy and a bad program. Our city is facing the issues of increased crimes. Many of which are on the list as nuisance crimes. If you call to report them more than a couple times. You will be charged for a response by police. This is so wrong on so many levels. Just think how our crime will escalate when people stop reporting crimes described in this program. Just think how this will affect our neighborhood watch groups. Just think how this will affect the safety and wellbeing of our community. This is like charging victims or potential victims of crime for police services which we are already paying for through our taxes. We deserve better.

This is the link so you can watch the workshop yourself.

http://webstreaming.ctv15.org/viewer.php?streamid=3153


http://webstreaming.ctv15.org/viewer.php?streamid=3153

Crime is increasing and now this council is going to charge us for police responses to repeated reports of those crimes. We will never be free of crime unless we work to stop it.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern


Today's taxpayers comment-

"I expect our city council to work for us. We the people. I expect them to keep their personal and political agendas at home and keep them out of city hall.

We the people are what matters. Everything they work on and for is supposed to be about bettering life here for us.

We can thank this council for our horrible roads. Our high taxes. Our high and increasing crime. Rewarding 3M who contaminated the water and enivionment. For the steep decline of our business district. For censoring the citizens and for making calling the police a crime punishable by being fined. The firing our our part time firefighters and closing and / or in some cases selling our fire statins all but 2 for our large and growing city.

The people who elected this council voted for this. "

I invite everyone to join this "Green Campaign" to elect a new council and mayor who will work for us like they are supposed to. I have always had the people that I represent as the priority. You matter to me. I welcome everyone to the table. I want to hear from you. 

It's time that we save our city.  The state of our city tells us that we can't wait. 

Enough is enough. City council members are "Public Servants". They work for us

Together we can make a difference.

The public trust is severely damaged. 

It must be rebuilt. It must be a priority.

Without public trust we have no positive foundation to build on.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

The public trust has been damaged and is desperate need of repair.

People are very upset at the things this council has done without our knowledge, behind the scenes and out of public view.

Some of the issues are listed below.

The list is long and it's very disheartening that the taxpayers, the residents,

the voters were disregarded in these and other important issues.

1.This council went behind the voters backs and gave themselves an entire year to their first term. *Without voter approval or input.

2. This council fired our part time firefighters without public input.

The public has the right to know. *Without taxpayer approval or input.

3. This council closed and sold some fire stations, Leaving our large city without proper emergency protection and coverage for our large city.

*Without taxpayer approval or input.

4. This council is closing another fire station according to the current mayor next year. Leaving our large city with only two (2) fire stations.

*Without taxpayer approval or input.

5. This council has neglected our roads and leaving them in disrepair to the point that reconstruction is necessary for some. Then they laugh and make jokes about it on televised City Council mtg of 9-10-2018.

*Without taxpayer approval or input.

6. This council approved a program to charge taxpayers another fee / fine for calling police for calls for service.

*Without taxpayer approval or input.

7. They have refused the voice of the taxpayers. The residents of our city at city council meetings.

*Without the approval or input of the voters.

8. This council has denied the voters. The residents access to public access programming of which we are paying for through franchise fees and taxes.

*Without taxpayer approval or input.

ETC.............

There is such a lack of transparency and so much damage to the public trust that it will take time to repair the damages that have been caused.

Without public trust and transparency we have nothing.

The public trust must be restored. I will be making this a priority in 2019 with a new council.- Together we can make a difference.

Part time firefighters are the preferred staffing model. More cost effective and more efficient with better response times.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Part time firefighters.

What a great financially effective and efficient use of our tax dollars.

What a great idea.

More city's are going to a part time fire fighter model.

Nationally part time fire fighters are the preferred means of staffing. It results in more service. Faster critical response times and a stronger community.

We had a very strong part time firefighter staff. That was already trained and experienced and were doing a great job.

This city council fired them. Obviously, nobody did their due diligence.

Anyone could have researched this concept and would have seen that we had it made and were getting a great service by our own firefighters.

- We deserve better.


https://kstp.com/news/fire-departments-get-creative-attract-potential-candidates/5068280/#.W5scS_z2Q8A.facebook

Propaganda- Don't be fooled.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

It doesn't matter how many yard signs are up throughout our community for candidates running for our city council.

They are only yard signs. They represent the very people who want to continue their reign of bad roads, high taxes and a declining business district and increased crime.

The yard signs do not represent the record of public service to us the taxpayers. To the residents of Maplewood.

The yard signs are simply a representation of wasteful spending and quest for control.

The key thing to pay special attention to throughout this election cycle is simple.

Look at the state of our city. Throughout our city you will note many bad roads, when you get your tax statement you will note increased high taxes and if you go out shopping in our city you will see the a declining business district and research the crime reports and talk with businesses they report increased crime that is affecting their ability to do business in our city. Crime in our city is increased.

Our fire department is in dire need of restoration. This council has fired our part time firefighters and closed fire stations. We are down to 3 for our large city and next year the current mayor said she's closing another. Leaving us 2 for our entire city. Nationally and locally most fire departments are opting for the preferred staffing of part time firefighters to serve communities. They are more cost effective and more efficient.

So. Don't let the hundreds of campaign yard signs littering our city fool you.

Check the records of everyone campaigning for city council and really look at our city.-

We deserve better and together we can make a difference.

Propaganda- Don't get fooled.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Anyone can litter our city with campaign yard sign propaganda.

Don't get fooled.

This in addition to campaign financial reports shows the influences of political parties in our nonpartisan elections.

This also shows that some are not abiding by the nonpartisan rule of our elections. When people violate the rules it lessens the integrity of our elections.

It takes a person who is willing and able to walk the walk instead of the wasteful spending like hundreds of yard signs and frivolous propaganda just to  talk the talk.

Please remember that this council has had 5 full years to make positive changes in our city. Instead our city is in decline. The current state of our city tells the truth.

We must elect a new council. We need to elect new council members.

We need to elect two people who have never been on the city council before and to elect me as our new mayor.

Together we can and we will make a positive change.

Together with your support and your votes. We can. and we will make a difference.

Please share the word about the Margaret Behrens for Maplewood Mayor Facebook page and my campaign website at: margaretbehrensformaplewoodmayor.com


Thank you very much- Together we can make a difference.

Expectations 

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

This is great!

Finally. Maplewood residents are raising their expectations. People are speaking up.

They are tired of being used as a bank. They are sick of the high taxes and reduced services.

They are demanding emergency services to be fully restored.

Maplewood residents are demanding that the increasing crime be addressed.

Our business district is calling for new leadership at city hall.

This is great. Expectations are being raised to the public standard and above.

Speak up! Speak Out. Loud and clear. We deserve better.

Together we can make a difference.

Together we can make a difference.

It's time that the people are the priority

Now is our chance for a positive change. 

Please vote for to new council members and a new mayor.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Early and absentee voting starts this week.

Here's to a new beginning or our city.

Together we can make a difference.


 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Happy International Day of Peace.

Peace starts at home. Peace spreads as it is shared.

Spread the word. Peace.

Are you registered to vote?


 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Today is National Voter Registration Day.

You can register to vote online at the Minnesota Secretary of State's Website. 

sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting


Thank you for voting

Non partisan partnerships matter at all levels of government.


 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Here is a letter I received from Senator Chuck Wiger when I was reelected to my third - 4 year term at the Minnesota State Office of the Ramsey Conservation District in 2016.

I appreciate his kind words and his mention about my exemplary leadership and service and my dedication.

That my work is invaluable in preserving our great communities in Ramsey County.

* Please note that I have no political affiliations and I am still greatly respected by people regardless of theirs.

These partnerships are critical as we move forward to recover our city from the steep decline it's in.

Our Maplewood Elections are Non partisan 


 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Propaganda- The opposition came lit dropping their propaganda again yesterday and first thing they said- They are all DFL Endorsed.

They avoid talking about the state of the city. They don't want to discuss that for the last 5 years this council allowed the steep decline of our business district. The horrible roads. The increased crime. They fired our part time firefighters, closed fire stations and sold fire stations leaving our city at risk.

They raised our taxes and created several new fees, abatements and franchise fees and other charges to collect more money from an already failing taxbase that's in hardship.

It's very sad when our municipal elections are nonpartisan and you have the majority of the candidates disregarding the law.

We need a new city council to make a positive change in our city.

The only way to recover our city is with two new council members and a new mayor. The time is now. Our community can't wait.- Together we can make a difference.

Funding alternatives


 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Did you know that our city could be accessing grant funding instead of raising taxes or creating new fees, charges, abatements or franchise fees for many of the projects that are going on or needed in our city. We could have such better conditions in our city if they would lead the charge to research, apply and implement grant funding opportunities. It takes some work. That's what everyone is getting paid the big bucks for. It takes some initiative and some creative outside the box thinking. That's how positive things happen. You make them happen. You don't wait for things to drop at your doorstep. We must start having higher expectations for our city. The the current state of decline of our community must be addressed. Our community presence and appearance must be a higher priority.

Connectivity


 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Connectivity is really an illusion in our city. We really don't have entire routes where you can access one part of our city with the other. We can bike, walk or ride in some parts but they are not truly connected. Hwy 36 at Hazelwood. Years ago when I was little my neighbor was killed in a car crash crossing Hwy 36 at Hazelwood. The crossing there was closed. We were still able to at least access on and off both sides of the Hwy to enter our neighborhoods. Now those entrances are gone. Thus- disconnecting our neighborhoods and separating community. This has occured on many areas of our city. Poor planning and creating issues from convenience, to longer response times from our already strained emergency services. Poor planning does not build community.

This election is critical to all of our futures and the future of our community.


 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Our elections are not a spectator sport.

People need to get out and vote because.

No response. Is a response.

Vote Nov 6, 2018. Make a positive change.

We need a new city council and a new mayor.

Together we can make a difference.

Everyone is welcome and it's together we can make a difference.


 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Throughout my years of Leadership and public service experience.

I have worked to be a positive and inspiring role model for youth as they work to serve the community. 

Especially for young women.

There is no age limit on positive participation and service in our community.

One of the several initiatives that I created as the immediate two term past president of the Ramsey County League of Local Governments was creating the Celebrating Women in Leadership program. It's a great program with a network of women in a variety of community leadership roles. From mothers, childcare providers, nurses, fire chiefs, police chiefs, teachers, clergy , doctors, business women and many others.


People have had enough. 

Change is coming. 


 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

People around town are speaking their minds. They want change on our city council not to the character of our community. People want the steep decline of the last 5 years to stop. They want a council that will work for the people. Not for political agendas.


Our lack of fire fighters has cost our community our Noodles & Company on Beam & White Bear Avenue.

The state of our city tells the truth.


 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

We must repair and rebuild our fire department. This council has closed and sold all but 3 of our fire stations. They have fired our part time firefighters. Leaving our fire protection responsibilities to outside agencies to respond to calls for service in our city. Next year according to the current mayor another will be closed. Leaving our large city with only two fire stations for our large and growing city. This is wrong. We pay high taxes and our essential services have been drastically cut. We deserve better. The only way to make a positive change in our city is to elect two new councilmembers and a new mayor. Together we can make a difference.


Just like Downtown- 


 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

New business are eager to come into our city. They have said for years there must be a new city council to build the community. I agree. 

As we discuss the issues facing our economy and development and our business district. For years it has all been brought back to an unresponsive city council. 

Lack of vision and lack of engagement. 

My 55 years in Maplewood give me the strong foundation needed to recover and rebuild and unite our city. 

Our plans for a business association and a chamber of commerce are really critical in these partnerships. 

Those are enhancements that will benefit our city far beyond our businesses. -Together we can make a difference.


Save our parks & trails 


 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

We must work to preserve what little green space we have left in our city.We must protect the Vento trail and not allow it to be anything but a recreational asset in our city. The proposed Bus Rapid Transit Route on out trial will jeopardize our Green City Status and It will destroy our Green corridor. Hwy 61 is the best route. It will be most efficient, cost effective and the ridership that a transit system like this demands. Other cities also affected by this project want it on Hwy 61. This Maplewood city council is the only one who wants this Bus rapid transit to go through our neighborhoods and our parks. Destroying our character of the community and our rights to the full use and enjoyment of our property. Please join me in electing a new mayor and two new city council members who will protect our community assets and everything that we hold so dear.


Thank you!


 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Thank you for a great start to Monday. It's going to be another great week as we work together to recover and revitalize our city.

Thank you so much for your continued support. To everyone joining the campaign now. I am so glad to know that our city means as much to you as it does to me. Home is home. Regardless of where you hang your hat.

Thank you again. Here is the printable for you to use as you want.


Thank you!


 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

A major part of building a community that has my circle of life concept is simple. 

It must be accessible, efficient and effective in the delivery of services and in the availability of options for ensuring access to recreation, programs and services for better health and wellness from birth until death in our community. 

I have a new programs including a new commission to do that.  

They will include mentorship and internships with community businesses as well.

We will focus on senior living and activities. Youth programs at all levels and ages that will grow social and lifelong skills that will benefit society and will enhance positive lifelong interactions throughout our community and more. 

I also have some ideas that I have been working on with some veterans and their families.


Thank you!


 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

2019 will be a year of positive changes in our community. 

We will have a slate of all new programs, initiatives and community engagement opportunities. New commissions, volunteer opportunities that accommodate your schedule and your level of commitment. 

This changing leadership is putting the people first.

Together we can make a difference.


The time is now.

The current council has wasted the last 5 years. 

The state of our city shows that.


 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

The time of change is here. The opportunity for improvement and results is here. 
Our nonpartisan municipal elections are on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. 

Please join me in electing a new mayor and two new city council members. 

For our current mayor to say on her propaganda that she's just getting started is extremely insulting and very shameful. She has been in office an entire 4 year term. Plus the extra year she added for herself and her new partisan council. 

This council has had 5 full years to do their job and yet our city is in steep decline. They have raised taxes, cut essential services. Fired our part time firefighters, closed and sold fire stations leaving our large city at risk and at the will of outside agencies at great expense. Our roads are horrible and getting worse. They are working to force a Bus Rapid Transit route through our greenway and sell our parks for development along that route. Other cities and our citizens want the BRT on TH HWY 61 where it is more cost effective, efficient and where the ridership is. Not on a recreational trail through our quiet residential neighborhoods.

This changing leadership is putting the people first.

Together we can make a difference.


Thanks for another great Listening Gathering. 

I learned a lot.

I look forward to serving you as our new mayor.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Thanks to everyone who came out tonight to the Listening Gathering. 

I appreciate all of your support and your enthusiasm is overwhelming. 

Together we can make a difference.

(Here is the photo you asked for.) 

Notice- I don't use our community members as staged propaganda tools) 

I definately have a sense of humor. Thanks again.


We have a lot to look forward to in 2019.

New beginnings are great.

I look forward to serving you as our new mayor.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Our new programs and new commissions and our new mission to bring our city out of the steep decline of the last 5 years will be life changing for our community.

I am so excited to see people so engaged and eager to get our city on the road to recovery. 

Together we can make a difference.


The future of Our Recreational asset of the Vento Trail is being threatened by this council. 

TH HWY 61 is the preferred route of the citizens of ours and other communities along the proposed route.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

In north Maplewood near our business district we have one recreational asset that many people use daily. The Vento Trail.

South Maplewood has many trails and Fish Creek and many hiking trails in Battle Creek Park. There are many places to hike, ski and walk and enjoy along with all of our city parks and preserves.

We must halt the plan for Bus Rapid Transit on the Vento Trail. It will destroy neighborhoods and our green way.

It will destroy the trail that many love so dear.

It will destroy the one recreational asset that is in north Maplewood. Once it's gone it's gone. It will never be the same.

The Bus Rapid Transit route should be on TH HWY 61. The ridership is there. It is more cost effective and a more efficient use of all resources for Maplewood and other cities along the route.

We must elect a new council to stop this inappropriate plan.

Once it's built you never get that back. Nature destroyed.

Please share.


There is so much to be gained through honest partnerships that will benefit our community for generations to come.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

The decline in our business district of the last 5 years has been steep. It's damaged the public trust and the trust of the businesses that are still left in our city. It's agreed that we must elect a new city council to make the improvements neccesary to recover the city and build it for the future.

We will have a great deal of work to do to build the public trust between our businesses and our residents.

Since I have known many of the businesses for years and we have met and discussed several options we have to unify our community. And to build a solid foundation to create our business district into a viable and prosperous one. Our goals have been to bring new businesses into our city while enhancing the quality of our presence for our remaining businesses and build on that for the sustainability of all of our business district. We also discussed creating mentorship programs for youth and businesses to hire them and build community while giving our youth the skills they need to build a great work ethic and skills to meet and exceed employment goals.

We have several other ideas that will create new sustainable jobs and other opportunities to be productive and prosperous adults.

All while building community.- Together we can make a difference.


It's all about you.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Our newly elected Maplewood city council will be honoring our citizens by providing exceptional services that improves the lives of everyone in our community. 

Our citizens and our business community alike.

The new Maplewood City Council being public servants will be the benchmark of excellence and value in our community services and benefits by providing the exemplary services and decision making that are both taxpayer and citizen centered.

This service will be delivered through engagement, collaborative leadership in an integrated environment of learning, discovery and continued efforts and proven improvement.

This new dedication and commitment will emphasize a vibrant and thriving economy and a community of unity and sustainability.

Our city will become a strong and vibrantly thriving city like it has never been before.

Please join me in electing two new councilmembers and me as our new mayor.-Together we can make a difference.


The Public's Right To Know

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

UPDATE: Take Note- The current city council has decided to donate our Gladstone fire station to the Met Council for a Rapid Transit Bus Station along the Vento Trail. **This was announced at the new North End Study Group mtg on October 24, 2018 at the Ramsey County Maplewood Library out of public view and off camera. The citizens have the right to know. Much to the anger of the current mayor. 

This meeting was video taped by a camera crew for public access TV in St. Paul. 

This council took away our public access in Maplewood to censor the citizens.

This is what we will be left with if we don't elect a new city council and mayor.

This fire station is one of 3 left for our large city. This is outrageous.

According to a former firefighter-

We have paid for this fire station thru referendum funds in 1999.  We voted to pay for a new fire station for the purpose of having a fire statin to house an appropriate It belongs open and fully staffed and functional for our fire protection. We pay high taxes and are emergency services are being cut more and more. We are down to near nothing because this council puts political favors over the residents they are elected to serve.


New Community Facebook Page -Save Our Trail

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Today a new Facebook page was launched regarding the proposed Bus Rapid Transit Route on the Bruce Vento Trail.

You may find it at: Save Our Trail 

Please feel free to Like and Share the page and post as well.


The state of our city is demanding a positive change.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Thank you all for your overwhelming support and for your vote. 

I appreciate your interest in this campaign and your commitment to a better Maplewood for us all. The last 5 years of steep decline have taken a toll on our city.

It's time to say enough is enough and make a positive change. I appreciate your vote and your votes for 2 new councilmembers. Together we can make a difference.


My work for our community will continue as I have a lifetime commitment to public service and my community.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Our campaign Facebook Page is transitioning into a community activism page. I will be continuing my public service and you may join me as I work to improve our city and bring peace and unity to our community. My campaign website will remain active. Although updates may be less frequent and more as available.

I have always been transparent and have upheld the public trust.

That will not change.

Please continue to like -follow-share the posts and the pages.

I look forward to seeing you out and about around town throughout our community.- It's all about you. Together we can make a difference.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

Ramsey County is planning to build a Bus Rapid Transit Route on the Bruce Vento Trail through north Maplewood with several Park and Rides and bus Stations along the way. One such bus station is one of the only 3 fire stations that our large city has left. That will leave us under protected with only 2 fire stations in our large and growing city.

The Vento trail is the only bike, walking, hiking recreational trail that north Maplewood has connecting our neighborhoods and our community.

The buses will run 7 days a week early morning to late into the evening with buses leaving every 10 minutes during rush hour and every 15 minutes during off-peak hours.

This will destroy the last green way in north Maplewood and will forever change our city and the environmental assets that we have to offer and to enjoy. The increased traffic and congestion on a natural recreational trail will present safety and environmental hazards to residents of the area.

Help slow the process and find the RIGHT location for the Bus Rapid Transit and preserve the charm and character of our city and preserve the environmental and “green assets” for generations to come. We must protect it. We cannot leave the responsibility up to someone else. Please follow “Save Our Trail” on Facebook.


You must reside in Maplewood to hold the office of Mayor of Maplewood.

 Issues of Conhttp://maplewoodmn.gov/1687/Truth-in-Taxation-Hearingcern

I just finished a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Ramsey County League of Local Governments. I spoke with North St. Paul City Council Member Candy Peterson who is now the President of the RCLLG. It was great visiting. During our conversation she mentioned that I should win the election of Maplewood Mayor by default because the current mayor lives in Lake Elmo and not in Maplewood. The current mayor knows the law regarding the issue of residency. If she is not living in our city she should immediately resign.

This is two elected officials now stating that the current mayor of Maplewood does not live in Maplewood. The first was State Rep. Leon Lillie.

People should be demanding transparency and truth. The person holding the office of mayor in our city should resign.