Minutes - 6/2008
Sunday, June 1, 2008 2:50 PM

  

DISTRICT 10 COMO COMMUNITY COUNCIL 

Board Meeting 

  June 17, 2008 -  7:00 p.m. 

Historic Streetcar Station 

1224 N. Lexington Parkway 

St. Paul, MN 

 

The agenda and supporting materials were mailed to directors prior to the meeting. 

Directors present: David Arbeit, Sharon Frisell, Tony Hainault, Chai Insook, Kim Klose, Luke 

Kuhl, Mike MacDonald, John Marino, Marcy Micek, Dennis O’Rourke,  Sue Phillips, Marc 

Prokosch, Matt Schmitt. 

Directors absent:  

Directors excused: Nathan Volz, Sehoya Cotner 

Staff present: Jae Asancheyev,  interim Community Organizer  

Guests present:  Dakotah Rae 

BOARD SECTION 

1. Call to Order 

David Arbeit called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m. 

2. Review, Amend, Approve May Agenda 

Marc Prokosch  moved to accept the agenda. Mike MacDonald seconded the motion. The motion 

passed with unanimous approval. 

COMMUNITY SECTION 

3. Community Section 

A. Invited speaker: Dakotah Rae, Better Ballot Program Coordinator 

Ms. Rae spoke about a proposal to change the way we vote in St. Paul for mayoral and city 

council races. Instant Runoff Voting is a ranked ballot voting method that replaces the two- 

round runoff (primary-general) with one election. Voters can rank their choices. A sufficient 

number of signatures was obtained to place this issue on the ballot for November. What can 

we do? The Better Ballot Campaign is asking for Community Council endorsements. More 

information is available at betterballotcampaign.com. 

B. Public comments: Deb Robinson (District 10) , Mary Wawro (District 6) and Susan Janda 

(community member) gave a brief history of meetings that have been held since last July 

regarding renovation of the Como Park Pool. Some community members have met with 

Councilmember Lee Helgen and St. Paul Parks Aquatic Manager Vince Gillespie to form a 

Board Meeting Minutes 

June 17, 2008 

Page 1 of 5 

Board Meeting Minutes 

June 17, 2008 

Page 2 of 5 

  

task force, possibly in the fall of 2008. The City plans to go to the Met Council in the fall to 

get money to begin the pool planning process. Construction is projected to begin in 2010.   

Deb circulated a drawing of one possibility for renovation of the pool and surrounding area. 

She and Mary described some of their concerns regarding the project: size of the proposed 

water park, parking, no place to actually swim in plan depicted in the drawing (there is a 

wave pool, a vortex pool and a splash area, but no lap pool or children’s pool). They agree 

that the existing pool does need updating, especially the changing rooms. 

The group Como Park Alliance (CPA), of which Deb and Mary are members, developed a 

survey to gather input from the community regarding the pool. Deb and Mary asked that we 

post the drawing and survey on the D10 website.  

David clarified that the role of D10 is to promote dialog and engage people in the process, 

not to take a position. Dennis commented on the process and timeline involved. Sharon 

clarified some of the background and possible language to use to solicit neighborhood input. 

Councilmember Lee Helgen is aware of the concerns of CPA. 

In her role as a member of the Events & Institutions committee,  Sharon volunteered to work 

with CPA to help get the public engaged in the dialogue. The committee could assist in 

creating a final draft of the survey and distributing it. One of the goals of the Environment 

Committee is to be a participant on the Task Force. 

Luke recommends getting something in writing from the city that says something to the 

effect of “we are dedicated to incorporating the input of the community as we move forward 

with the process.” Chai advocated for trying to figure out where the City really stands, what 

their process is, and what their obligations to the community really are. Does this proposal 

cross the line into a profitable venture vs. a park? 

Metropolitan Design Center is interested in doing an alternate plan based on the 

recommendations from the CPA survey. 

 

C. Other Public Comments:  Two Boy Scouts (Garrett Kruchowski and Brett Boferman) are 

here earning a merit badge regarding community involvement..  

Community Section closed at 7:55 pm 

4. Review, Amend, Approve May Minutes 

Change Marc P. from absent to excused.   

Page 3, Node Study item C – typo: remove the word “LIST”  it should read “… generated a 

growing listserv.” 

Motion: Marcy moved to approve the May minutes as amended. Matt seconded the motion. The 

minutes were unanimously approved 

Action Item: Kim will amend the May minutes as requested. 

5. Board Updates 

A. Board Chair Report – David  

Work plans have been submitted but we have not received approval from the City.  

Board Meeting Minutes 

June 17, 2008 

Page 3 of 5 

  

Reminder to committees to really focus on the work plans in their upcoming work 

(National Night Out,  neighborhood clean-up) 

City has hired a Community Council Coordinator.  David will try to arrange a meeting. 

John Marino has completed the newsletter, should be in mailboxes soon. 

Staff/Community Organizer update:  the office and related tasks are moving along 

smoothly. Thanks to Jae. There are regular office hours 8-10, M-F.   

Passed around a sign-up for the Museum schedule.  Each Board member must each 

volunteer 3-4 times per year in order to fill our lease commitment. 

B. Financial Reports (review and accept the reports) – Marcy Micek 

Marcy reviewed the financials.  The Treasurer’s Report was emailed to Board members prior 

to the meeting.  Balance Sheet shows cash on hand at the end of May is $5186.  Expenses for 

June may be $4500-5000.  We won’t receive reimbursements from the City until all the 

contract paperwork is signed.   

Comment about the accountant – they are restating past months, and they filed an extension 

for the 990. Marcy and David will schedule a meeting with them. 

Motion: Kim K. made a motion to accept the May financial statements.  Tony H.seconded 

the motion. The motion passed with unanimous approval. 

C.  Staff Transition/Recruitment 

 We received 33 applicants, and the Personnel committee interviewed five. We have made a 

verbal offer, and are in process of completing the offer letter. We are on track to have the 

position filled by early July. Jae will help provide transitional information. David will make a 

formal announcement when everything is finalized. 

D. Lexington/Larpenteur Node Study Update 

Luke distributed a handout re: node plan design workshop. The City will present all the 

options to the community (there are 6-7). Luke would like to get together with stakeholders 

(business and community leaders) to narrow the options  to 2-3. There are no 

recommendations to re-zone the residential houses currently located adjacent to the alley and 

MGM. 

Regarding the City’s case against MGM and the fence issue, Luke has not heard of any 

progress being made yet. 

The Node study will be difficult from a community perspective: visionary vs. immediate. 

Tony advocated for soliciting public input from the whole district, not just the immediate 

neighbors. David reconfirmed D10 commitment to hosting a public meeting in the fall.  The 

Land Use committee has not made an effort to include press, but is certainly open to the idea. 

We can use the D10 website and email blast. 

E. Neighborhood Cleanup Plans – Dennis 

Dennis reported that Community Organizers from other districts are taking the lead and will 

work with our new CO when the position is filled.  This is a big event, and all the details will 

be (and are) being covered. This year, D10 is required to get 30 volunteers, 15 per shift 

Board Meeting Minutes 

June 17, 2008 

Page 4 of 5 

  

(morning and afternoon)  Dennis has a list of previous volunteers, and will be asking for help 

contacting people. The Cleanup will be held at the Fairgrounds on 9/20/08.  

Dennis has the Cleanup information files from Sue McCall. Marcy asked if someone is 

creating a Neighborhood Cleanup procedure handbook. It seems it’s well documented 

already. 

On July 12, 2008 a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Gene Corbey memorial bench will be 

held. Gene was a lifelong resident of D10 and very involved in the community. His family 

donated the funds for the bench. 

F. Committee Chair Reports 

Executive Committee –  addressed above 

Neighborhood Safety – Marc P. stated that there was no June meeting. The next one is 

scheduled for July  - exact date is TBA. Planning for National Night Out. Will discuss recent 

uptick in crime statistics. A suggestion was made to restart the block clubs. 

Events & Institutions –Dennis reported no news on the Como Park shuttle discussions.  

Indications point to the City working on it. A suggestion was made to contact Mike Hahm 

regularly to inquire about status. Chai will draft an action item for the next board meeting.   

Communications Committee – John Marino reported that the newsletter went through formal 

board review process. He only received one comment. Board members reported not receiving 

the draft. John will post the draft in the “Discussion Forum” area of the website, then notify 

members via email asking them to go look at the draft. David volunteered to do a website 

tutorial to anyone who wants it. There was a shortage of about 1200 newsletter copies from 

Job Corps, they have now been picked up, but there was a time lapse in the process (mailing 

house). Looking into the MOU (memo of understanding) so everyone knows the process for 

next time. 

Email Blast – This would be a mass emailing newsletter that would be sent between the 

printed newsletters. The committee has a current set of email addresses. Matt would like to 

gather new names/addresses at D10 events. There is an announcement in the printed 

newsletter. 

Matt asked Vince Gillespie, St. Paul Parks official, if the kiosk near the falls in front of Black 

Bear Crossing could it be used? Vince said we can’t post on it, but thanked Matt for the 

reminder to get it in workable condition. 

Tai Chi class starts this Saturday, 6/21/08.  Flyers are out. 

Next meeting: 4th Wednesdays, 6:30-8:00, at the Streetcar Station. 

Environment Committee – Mike MacDonald reported that the committee met last month.  

The second Rain Barrel Workshop was held last Saturday. There were 88 participants. Mike 

will complete the report and get the money from CWRD. 

Tree Trek last Saturday – about 10 participants. 

Upcoming event: shoreline cleanup at the pavilion 6/24/08, 6:00 pm.  It’s listed on the 

calendar on the D10 website. 

Land Use Committee – Luke said LU met with Lance Soderholm. The committee is trying to 

focus on their work plans, since they’ve had so many other issues lately. 

Board Meeting Minutes 

June 17, 2008 

Page 5 of 5 

  

Transportation – none 

6.  Action Items 

A. Resolution LU0617081 (Land Use) Council position on Como Golf Course liquor license 

request to serve wine and full-strength beer.  

 

The Land Use committee is recommending a letter of support from D10. Because of 

competition from other city courses and declining revenues, the golf course is looking for 

ways to attract business, especially tournaments. 

  

 Motion: Luke made a motion to provide the letter. Sharon seconded. John asked if we want 

to support something that will bring even more traffic to the neighborhood. Sharon discussed 

her desire to sustain the golf course. If it weren’t there, would the area be developed into 

something less desirable? Tony called the question. John asked if the liability insurance at the 

golf course would be increased Luke didn’t know. There were 12 ayes and 1 nay. The 

resolution passed. 

  

7. Discussion Items 

 A. Future agendas/other discussion items:   

Guest speaker – transit for livable communities.  Friendly Streets (biker, pedestrian, jogger).  

City bicycle planner too. 

July speaker – City of St. Paul police efforts during RNC. 

Have an August meeting (by-laws specify that we don’t meet, but David can call a special 

meeting) 

Process of moving elections to the spring (would require a by-law change).  Other districts 

are trying to coordinate them for April. 

B. Announcements 

Eureka is having a press conference 6/25/08 and wants to invite a D10 member.  Maybe John 

can attend. 

Police are suspending the monthly neighborhood safety meetings until after the Republican 

National Convention. This will affect police coverage in our neighborhood during the Fair. 

Dianne Wanner, the new St. Paul District Coordinator, will start June 30. She will report to 

Trudy Maloney.   

 

8. Adjourn  

  

Marcy moved to adjourn. Marc seconded. The meeting was adjourned at 9:16  p.m. 

 

Minutes submitted by Kim Klose. 

 

 

District 10 Como Community Council | 1224 Lexington Pkwy N, Saint Paul, MN 55103 | 651.644.3889 | district10 [at] district10comopark.org

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