Saturday, May 24, 2014 12:40 PM

District 10 Como Community Council Board Meeting

Historic Street Car Station

1224 Lexington Parkway, Saint Paul, MN  55108

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

7:00 PM



I. Call to Order: Chairperson Jon Knox called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

II. Board Introductions:

Present: Jon Knox, Chris Harkness, Linda Hinderscheit, Debra Pursley, Pete Bolstad, Julie Tholen, Patrick Tschida, Frank Dolejsi, Dana Saeger, Kim Moon, Tom Eyre, Mary Michalski, Tedd James and Ryan Flynn

Absent: Bill Lipkin and Curt Stock

Staff Present: Ted Blank

III. Review, Amend, Approval of Agenda:

Motion: Approve the agenda (Moon-Pursley) Passed


A. Board Chair Report: Jon Knox summarized the achievements of the District 10 Community Council for the past year. A major accomplishment was the inclusion of the South Como area into our community council. Neighborhood events included: ComoFest, Como Park garden tour, Halloween Pancake Breakfast fundraiser (including silent auction), Environment Committee's Sunday Series, bike safety fair, the first Como business network meeting, and a volunteer open house. Subscriptions to the weekly e-newsletter grew from 750 to 1100. In 2014, we will focus on finalizing our District Plan, hosting an ice cream social, and ComoFest will become Como Neighborhood Days.

B. Treasurer's Report: Tom Eyre reported that the grant reimbursements for the last three months have been approved for payment. 

C. Annual Election: The following seats were up for election: Vice Chair; Treasurer; one representative each from Sub-districts 1, 2, 3 and 4; and two at-large seats.  One nomination for each position was received prior to tonight's meeting. There were no nominations from the floor. There is no nominee at present for the position of Treasurer. 

Motion: Re-elect by acclamation Chris Harkness to a two-year term as Vice Chair (Moon-Michalski) Passed.

Motion: Re-elect by acclamation Curt Stock to a two-year term from Sub-district One (Moon-Pursley) Passed.

Motion: Re-elect by acclamation Kim Moon to a two-year term from Sub-district Two (Bolstad-Hinderscheit) Passed.

Motion: Re-elect by acclamation Debra Pursley to a two-year term from Sub-district Three (Dolejsi-Michalski) Passed.

Motion: Elect by acclamation Bill Lipkin to a two-year term from Sub-district Four (Bolstad-Dolejsi) Passed. (Bill Lipkin has been serving in one of the interim positions for Sub-district Four since January 1, 2014.)

Motion: Re-elect by acclamation Tedd James to a two-year, at-large term (Pursley-Harkness) Passed.

Motion: Re-elect by acclamation Mary Michalski to a two-year, at-large term (Dolejsi-Tschida) Passed.

D. Special Election: A position with a one-year term is up for election from Sub-district 4. This shortened term is necessary to stagger the term-end dates for the two representatives for the newly added Sub-district 4. 

Motion: Elect by acclamation Kevin Dahm to a one-year term for Sub-district 4 (Dolejsi-Michalski) Passed.

E. Our Community's Plan (Interactive Presentation on our District Plan): Chris Harkness and Ted Blank presented an update of the ad hoc committee's work on revising the District 10 Land Use Plan. The plan will be incorporated into the City of St. Paul's Comprehensive Plan, which guides land use, investment priorities and certain city policies. Through information gathering from the neighborhood, four priorities were identified: transportation, housing/land use, parks & rec, and business environment. Proposals will be presented to the community for feedback in 2014 and early 2015. Chris led the group in a written exercise designed to identify what people think would make our neighborhood even better. 

F. Invited Guest: County Commissioner Janice Rettman spoke to the group tonight about citizen participation. The City of St. Paul created the district councils as a system for inclusion of citizens in the decision-making processes that affect them. "The Park may bring people here, but it's the neighbors who keep people here."

G. Miscellaneous Community Discussion: None


A. Review/Amend/Approve Minutes and Financial Statements:

Motion: Approve tonight's financial statements and minutes of the 03/18/2014 meeting (Moon-James). Passed.

B. Staff Report: Ted Blank reported that we are hosting a neighborhood garden tour on 6/21. There is a spring fire safety event on Saturday, 4/26. Our final spring Sunday series presentation is on Sunday, 4/27. Dianne Wanner spoke about upcoming District Council workshops. The length of the workshops has been shortened in order to fit into the schedules of volunteers more easily. All will be held at the Wellstone Community Center on the West Side. The newly updated policy on conflict of interest was distributed and board members signed disclosures of any conflicts. Ted's staff report distributed prior to the meeting included: Como Business Network hosted it's first quarterly networking breakfast on 4/11/2014 at Lyngblomsten. There were 15 representatives from neighborhood businesses present. The next meeting will be held on July 25th 

Ted will hold a meeting on 4/28 in order to organize a committee to work on the next steps for the community garden. The response to single-sort recycling has been strong and we ran out of bins and composting bags. Weekly Streetcar Station Museum hours begin on May 4th and run through October. 

C. Committee Updates:

a. Land Use: Kim Moon proposed three action items:

Motion: Affirm the Executive Committee's approval of Land Use's letter of support to the BZA for a minor variance requested by the owners of 1478 Sheldon in order to build a second story to their home. (Moon-Eyre) Passed.

Motion: Affirm the Executive Committee's approval of Land Use's letter concerned a sound variance request for a March of Dimes event to be held at Como Park on April 26th. Land Use recommended DSI's approval of a sound variance for the event at the picnic pavilion, but recommended denial of a sound variance for the East Como and Lakeview Avenue location due to the intensity of the proposed sound and the proximity to homes. (Moon-James) Passed.

Motion: Affirm the Executive Committee's approval of Land Use's letter of support for the waiver of the 45-day waiting period for the liquor license at the Como Golf Course, now under the management of Prom Management. (Moon-Harkness) Passed.

b. District Plan ad hoc Committee: Chris Harkness distributed a letter that she wrote to Rueben Collins, from the Department of Public Works, who presented the St. Paul Bikeways Plan to the ad hoc committee on March 10th. The letter expresses some changes to the proposed plan, as identified by residents who had attended meetings regarding bike routes in the neighborhood. A priority is to avoid having bike traffic on Lexington north of Como Park because Lexington is narrow and heavily traveled by car traffic. Milton or Chatsworth were discussed as options. 

Motion: Approve Chris Harkness' letter to Reuben Collins re the proposed bikeways plan as amended to include both Milton and Chatsworth as possible alternatives to Lexington (Moon-Michalski). Passed.

c. Neighborhood Relations and Safety: Mary Michalski reported on some upcoming neighborhood events, which will need volunteers, especially the ice cream social on June 13th. Julie Tholen reported on the upcoming fire safety event, which is geared for families, on Saturday, April 26th.

d. Environment Committee: Dana Saeger reported the next meeting of the committee is tomorrow night. The topic will be community solar energy. 

e. Como Regional Park Advisory Committee: Pete Bolstad reported that the committee met on April 8th. Twin Town Pedicabs has lobbied the committee to allow a pedicab presence in the parks. There will be some test events, especially at Phalen. There is now a Nice Ride bike corral at the Pavilion. There were updates re the removal of ash trees because of EAB. The removal of 200 trees should be done by the end of April. Two hundred fifty trees should be planted by the end of May. There are new way-finding signs going up in Como Park. There will be hoof stock facility improvements in the zoo. The 100th anniversary of the conservatory will be next summer. Como campus requested $8.9 million in a state bonding bill; this includes a "parking lot." This is meant to be a shuttle parking lot, but the location has not yet been identified. It will not be at Arlington and Hamline. 

f. Executive Committee:  Jon Knox had nothing further to report.


Motion to adjourn was made at 9:00 p.m. Passed.

VII. AMMENDMENT:  An electronic vote from the Council was taken on April 17, 2014.

The motion was passed:

Motion: Approve the expenditure of $801 to D&O insurance to indemnify the directors of District 10 Community Council against claims that could arise out of actions taken during the course of work as a D10 board member. The cost of this insurance has been budgeted for in the 2014 budget.    

Respectfully submitted by Linda R. Hinderscheit, Secretary

These minutes were approved on 5/20/2014.

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

Site donated by: Havens Design, Matt Schmitt Photography
and UrbanPlanet Software LLC