Tag Archives: Michele Merxbauer

City of Northfield dipping its toe in crowdsourcing: Mitch wants you to submit your photos for its new website

Michele 'Mitch' Merxbauer City of Northfield photo uploader

I coaxed Northfield Interim Community Development Director Michele ‘Mitch’ Merxbauer to stop by my corner office at GBM last Friday so I could take her photo to go along with her email request for photos:

The City of Northfield is undergoing a major website overhaul and we need your help! The City’s website is representative of our community and we are in need of pictures to showcase all the great places, people and events that make Northfield a fabulous place to live, work, shop and play!

Please submit any photos you feel represent Northfield. All seasons are needed! The website committee will review all submitted photos and choose several to frame the main pages of the new website. All photos used will be credited to the submitter. By submitting your photo, you are giving the City of Northfield permission, without compensation, to use the photo on the website and in any other media to represent Northfield.

Photos not chosen for the main page frames *may* still be used in other spots throughout the new website. Photos should be submitted to http://nfldmn.net/cpg/login.php by August 20, 2012. Photos should be submitted in JPG format at a maximum width of 300 pixels. For additional photo information, please see the web page listed above.

I think’s a very good sign that the City is engaging the citizenry in a little crowdsourcing at this early stage in the web site development process.

An even better sign? When I first registered for the photo submission site, the disclaimer text stated that the City of Northfield would have exclusive ownership over submitted photos. I explained to Mitch how that would be a big disincentive to many people, especially hobbyists like me and professional photographers, from submitting their favorite Northfield-related photos. We want to share the photos but we also want to retain ownership. Within a couple of hours, the City staff met and had the wording changed.  Cool.

Home Matters, so green your garden and follow their blog

Home Matters in Northfield Home Matters in Northfield Home Matters in Northfield
I was riding my bicycle through the southwest neighborhood back in March when I noticed two homes with a patio bistro set from VonHause Greening Your Garden flyerand then I see that these two houses and many  more have Home Matters signs in their yards. I’d never heard of the project so I took photos but alas, totally forgot to blog them.

Earlier this week, Michele Merxbauer (AKA “Mitch”), Manager for the City of Northfield’s Housing & Redevelopment Division and Staff Liaison on the Housing & Redevelopment Authority, sent me an email alerting me to a Home Matters Greening Your Garden seminar on Saturday morning, May 15. That links to a blog post with more info but the short version is: “Three garden gurus get together to discuss the benefits of rain gardens, rain barrels, and planting native.”  The blogsite says:

Home Matter blog siteThe Home Matters Project is about stabilizing neighborhoods affected by foreclosure and creating healthy, affordable, and energy efficient housing opportunities.

And they’ve got a very well-done WordPress-based blog site, including photos of the rehabilitation process of a home at 311 Cherry Street.

Podcast: Housing and Redevelopment’s Michele Merxbauer

City of Northfield’s Housing and Redevelopment Division staff person Michele “Mitch” Merxbauer was our guest this week. Northfield was just selected, out of communities all around the state, for funding by the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund (GMHF) and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation. Michele is staff liaison to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA).

Eric MerxbauerMichele MerxbauerTracy was AWOL and I was napping so Ross carried the load all by hisself. To complete the meltdown, KYMN goofed and didn’t air the show at 5:30 pm. Fines and suspensions will be announced next week.

Since I wasn’t there, we don’t have a photo of Michele. Here’s the best we can do: a Harley motorcycle shop foreman. What’s the connection? Listen to the show to find out.

(Update 4:45 PM: I stopped by Michele’s office at City Hall this aft. for a photo. Click thumbnail to enlarge.)

The HRA is securing 14 acres at reduced prices to create approximately 60 units of ownership housing, targeted as starter homes, workforce housing and down-sized homes for empty-nesters.  See the Dec. 19 Northfield News article titled HRA may purchase 14 acres for more background info.

In last week’s Weekly Memo, City Administrator Al Roder wrote:

Staff met with John Harrington from Greater MN Housing Fund this week and also Janet Mutch from Growing Up Healthy, Rice County. These two organizations, as well as Blue Cross Blue Shield, are involved in the new housing development that the HRA is planning with Three Rivers for the Southbridge site. The focus on this neighborhood will be emphasizing healthy communities by utilizing not only “green” building techniques, but also promoting a healthy neighborhood by incorporating a walkable neighborhood that connects to the greater community.

There will be a Community Input session on Tuesday, March 4, from 6-8 in Council Chambers. Staff will be on hand to greater explain the collaborating partners, ideas for the neighborhood, and receive input from the Community as to what they would like to see incorporated into the neighborhood.

Click play to listen. 30 minutes.

Our radio show/podcast, Locally Grown, usually airs Wednesdays at 5:30 PM on KYMN 1080 AM. You can also subscribe to the podcast feed, or subscribe with iTunes. We seek your comments and suggestions.