Category Archives: ~Uncategorized

City Administrator’s weekly memo for Friday June 4

Joel-WalinskiThe “Friday Memo,” written by Northfield City Administrator Joel Walinski, department heads, and other City staff, summarizes the staff activities for the week. The Friday memos are published and archived in PDF form at the bottom of the City Administrator’s web page.

It’s the first Friday of the month, so this week’s memo (PDF) also includes the Boards & Commissions report (PDF) for May. I admit to colossal failure as this is the third consecutive month for which there is no report from the Planning Commission.  I think that’s been remedied for future, i.e. it will be handled by someone other than me.

You can find the Friday Memo and the Boards & Commissions report on the memo page for the week.

Items of note in the Friday Memo include:

  • A timeline for the Mayo Clinic project – annexation request, hearings, etc.
  • Acknowledgment that the downtown recycling cans are ugly
  • Great update on activities from the Housing department
  • Miscellaneous engineering & construction updates – Fourth street, trails, etc.

It’s a busy week at City Hall, including a City Council work session on Tuesday (which includes the next segment of the new LDC from the Planning Commission), and an open house (PDF) to review the preliminary draft of the new stormwater ordinance (more on that to follow in a separate post).

You can view all upcoming City meetings on the City Calendar.

City Administrator’s Friday Memo of Feb. 26, 2010

Joel-WalinskiThe “Friday Memo,” written by Northfield City Administrator Joel Walinski and various department heads and other City staff, summarizes the staff and department activities for the week. The Friday memos are published and archived in PDF form at the bottom of the City Administrator’s web page. This is the  memo page for the week.

This week’s memo consisted mostly of business as usual (ongoing projects, etc.)  Engineering gave a heads-up about construction at the intersection of 4th and Division which will take place this spring.

There is a special closed meeting for review of the City Administrator will start at 6:00p, with a regular City Council meeting to follow. You can view all upcoming City meetings on the City calendar.

City Administrator Joel Walinski’s Friday Memo of Sept. 11, 2009

Joel-WalinskiThe Friday Memo, written by Northfield City Administrator Joel Walinski and various department directors, managers, and supervisors, summarizes many of the staff activities for the week. The Friday memos are published and archived in PDF form at the bottom of Joel Walinski’s web page. Friday’s memo can be found on the memo page for the week. This week’s memo also includes the monthly Board & Commission update.

Some items of interest in this week’s memo include various engineering/infrastructure updates, timeline for the business park(s) master plan, work with the MPCA on remediation of the underground storage tank at the Safety Center, and lighting options for the Riverside Trail.

NOTE: There will be a City Council meeting tonight, beginning with a closed session at 6:30 to discuss litigation against  the City, and a regular meeting at 7:15p.

You can view all City meetings on the City calendar.

Talking Head on Perfect City

DavidByrneIn yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, there was a piece by Talking Heads’ frontman (and visual artist) David Byrne on his vision of a perfect city.  I think that he has an interesting perspective.

Most significantly, at least in my mind, he notes that a “liveable city” means different things for different people.  It’s all about your priorities: access to freeways or access to wi-fi.

His evaluation system uses the following categories: size, density, sensibility and attitude, security, chaos and danger, human scale, parking, boulevards, mixed-use, and public spaces.  I don’t agree with everything he says, I certainly value parking more than he does, but he definitely raises some interesting ideas.

One of his thoughts was extremely appealing to me, “In my perfect city there would always be something going on nearby.”  However, I’ll admit, from 1977 to 1987, one of my priorities was the Talking Heads.

It’s That Time of Year Again – Ideas for Holiday Shopping in Northfield!

majoraward.jpgI wrote a post last year about shopping local for the holidays, which yielded some excellent ideas.

Northfield is such a great place for holiday shopping – our local independent retailers have such cool, innovative, retro, practical, and quirky stuff. We’ve had lots of conversation here about shopping local, and hows and whys and pros and cons, but at this time of year, it becomes especially relevant.

This post may become an annual thing; I must confess that it’s 50% local business boosting, 50% laziness (so I can benefit from other people’s ideas when my creative well runs dry).

So – who’s got cool stuff? Who has good ideas? Creative options for recessionary times? Feel free to review some of the fabulous suggestions in last year’s post, but I closed comments on that one in order to redirect everyone back here to post suggestions or information about what’s new.

Love Your Town

DowntownNorthfield.jpgIn yesterday’s Star Tribune, there was an article titled “Love your city? It might love you back“. The piece suggested that well-loved cities are more economically successful.

A three-year study of more than two dozen cities has found that there is a relationship between civic pride and economic growth. Paula Ellis of the Knight Foundation, the group funding the study says, “This is a new way of looking at how engaged residents create successful communities”.

For the Minnesota cities studied, the findings indicate that a city’s offerings for social life, how welcoming residents were to others, education and community aesthetics were the qualities that most inspired loyalty and passion. There’s a significant correlation between this loyalty and passion and the gross domestic product growth over the past five years in each of the 26 cities studied.

A vibrant social life, welcoming environment, quality education, and community aesthetics…could this be the conceptually elusive “sense of place”?