February Meeting Highlights
Presentation by Save Our Minneapolis Parks
This citizen-led group, chaired by former Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Andrew, is dedicated to supporting the 2016 Minneapolis parks referendum. The Park Board can’t put the referendum on the ballot, it has to come from support through the City Council. They hope to have someone at each caucus site on March 1 to present the referendum and garner support from constituents who can then in turn contact their Council Member. The parks face a $15 million per year funding gap which is a result of deferred maintenance and much of the neighborhood park facilities aging at the same time (so requiring lots of maintenance at the same time).
City Council Update, Linea Palmisano
13th Ward Forums
- Implicit Bias in the Minneapolis Police Department
When: Wednesday, February 17, 7-8 PM
Where: Studio 2 Café, 818 W. 46th St.
The City Council recently approved funding to train the MPD on implicit bias. I’ve invited MPD Deputy Chief of Police Medaria Arradondo to discuss what implicit bias is and what the training will cover. A couple officers that have already been through the training will also be present to share their experiences. This yearlong procedural justice training is being done in conjunction with the Department of Justice’s National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice. Every MDP officer will receive this training in 2016.
- Minneapolis’ Environmental Services Department
When: Wednesday, February 24, 7-8 PM
Where: Bakken Museum, 3537 Zenith Ave. S.
Minneapolis Health Department’s Environmental Services Unit is responsible for addressing air, land, noise and water pollution in Minneapolis. The department’s Environmental Initiatives Manager, Patrick Hanlon, will present on the very cool (and often unheralded) work his team is doing, from analyzing the urban tree canopy to administering the Green Business Cost Sharing program.
Please forward other topic ideas to Council Member Palmisano’s office.
Area road projects
- Kenny neighborhood road resurfacing will begin early spring.
- 54th Street reconstruction will begin this spring and if scheduled as a two-year project.
For residents who signed up by February 1, you can expect your cart to be delivered this spring. You can still sign up to get an organics cart at your home.
Although there is money, including a grant, available to fund the body camera program, there is still not a policy established for the management of the program.
The Council Member, though extremely supportive of our Parks and understanding the funding needs, does not think a referendum is the best solution. Her concerns about a referendum are: 1) they aren’t flexible to respond to unforeseeable changes and can lock monies down in a way to actually make it hard to do what the people believe the referendum is hoping to accomplish; 2) other methods, such as a levy, have more accountability and shorter time periods to allow for adjustments to needs along the way. She is working behind the scenes right now to see what other viable options there may be for helping the Parks.
March 1 Caucus
On March 1, Minnesota voters have the chance to make our voices heard in the selection of our presidential candidates. Caucusing is easy and fun, and we encourage everyone to participate! The Secretary of State’s office has put together a helpful caucus finder to help you figure out where you need to go, no matter which party or candidate you’re supporting.
Property Tax Notices
The process of mailing out property valuation notices has begun. Those notices include information advising property owners of their rights to appeal their estimated market value (EMV) and/or property classification, both of which form the basis of property taxes levied against property in the city.
If you believe that your valuation is not accurate, you may file appeals with the Office of City Clerk. Information on how to appeal is available online. Many of those who filed appeals with the City in 2015 saw some decrease in their valuation.
Also, a new email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) has been created this year to expedite communications about property appeals.
Summer Park Programming Guide
Grab your calendar and start planning your summer in the city and get a jump on FUN! Registration begins March 9 at noon. [Lower SW Area Guide PDF]
Kenny & Armatage Spring/Summer Sports
T-Ball, Pitching Machine, Baseball, Softball and Track & Field
Registration opens online March 2
Drop-in registration nights (6:30-8:30pm)
- Thursday, March 17 at Armatage Park
- Tuesday, March 22 at Kenny Park
Roberts Bird Sanctuary
Thursday, Feb. 18, 6:30-8:30 pm
Lyndale Farmstead Recreation Center, 3900 Bryant Ave. S.
Please join the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board for the first public meeting regarding the Roberts Bird Sanctuary project. The project team will introduce the project, present the Draft Habitat Assessment Report and identify current habitats that are critical to the future health of the sanctuary. At the meeting we will discuss the draft bird list, identification of bird species that are threatened, endangered, or of special concern, and how the site can best support avian habitat.
The public is encouraged to attend this public meeting and share opinions and concerns related to Roberts Bird Sanctuary.
Report on Park Use of Pesticides and Herbicides
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s (MPRB) assistant superintendent for environmental stewardship will present a report to Park Board Commissioners on March 16 regarding the MPRB’s current, and limited, use of pesticides and herbicides in parks and recommendations for further modifications. The report will be presented at the March 16 Operations and Environment Committee meeting following the regular Board meeting, which begins at 5 pm.
The report will identify the MPRB’s current uses of pesticides and herbicides, catalog practices, and include recommendations for modifications to be implemented in 2016. The report will be presented at the March 16 board meeting and will be available at www.minneapolisparks.org during the presentation to the Board.
Prepare + Prosper (formerly AccountAbility Minnesota) is a nonprofit that provides free tax preparation, financial services, and financial coaching. We run free tax clinics in Minneapolis at Hope Community Center, the Minneapolis Urban League, and East Side Neighborhood Services.
Pearl Park on Wednesday, May 18 from 6:00-8:00pm
Help keep our lakes and rivers clean while creating a beautiful and bee/butterfly-friendly habitat in your yard! This workshop, Raingarden Workshop: Planting for Pollinators, presented by Metro Blooms will give you an overview of our DIY approach to raingardens and native plants, as well as resources for hire if you need some extra help. You’ll receive recommendations for your property with one-on-one assistance from Metro Blooms landscape designers and Hennepin County Master Gardeners, as well as information about cost share programs and how you can apply.
To find more workshop locations, plant sale events and additional topics, visit metroblooms.org or call 651-699-2426.
Minneapolis Animal Care & Control
The City Council voted to approve significant amendments to our animal care ordinance. Authored by Council Member Andrew Johnson, this is a major rewrite that will bring our policies and practices into better alignment with community expectations to be an animal-friendly city, using best practices for humanely regulating animals in urban areas. The new ordinance provides more transparent protocols for use of euthanasia, transfer to rescue partners, and a holding period for stray and surrendered animals. It will also allow people to keep non-toxic, non-venomous, non-poisonous reptiles and amphibians as pets, eliminate the requirement for a rabbit license, prohibit the use of bullhooks with elephants, and increase the number of mature pets allowed in one home or apartment from 3 to 4 (no more than 3 of which can be dogs) unless a “multiple animal” license has been issued to the resident.