I. Call to Order/Welcome
II. Meet Your Elected Officials
Mayor R.T. Rybak spoke about the need for city government to work in partnership with the neighborhood association in developing downtown (there are approximately 30,000 residents and 165,000 workers), the importance of recognizing downtown as a 24-hour neighborhood, and to focus on the amenities required to serve this unique community (i.e., retail mix, transportation – including removing buses from Nicollet Mall – streetscape, arts, and education). Mr. Rybak also expressed his pride as mayor of such an incredible downtown and encouraged the audience to contact him with their issues at [email protected].
Linda Higgins, State Senator, advised that the Minnesota legislature, come January 4th, will have a different configuration since every member of the House of Representatives was up for election, and in the Senate the republican control was significantly reduced and as such will be much more transportation and transit friendly. She also hopes to get the bonding passed for many important downtown projects including the Shubert and the planetarium for the new Central Library. Linda’s contact information is [email protected].
Lisa Goodman, 7th Ward Councilmember, briefed the audience on the following “cool” privately-financed projects:
· A proposal for a 50-story, high-rise project at 10th and Nicollet Mall that would include the Handicraft Building (constructed in the 1890s by the Handicraft Council, a council of women interested in the arts and crafts)
The restaurant, bar and dance club redevelopment proposal for
· The RFP for the Nicollet Hotel block, a residential development with transit hub
Lisa then encouraged the community to support the removal of buses on Nicollet
Mall after ; fund
Natalie Johnson Lee, 5th Ward Councilmember, had laryngitis and was unable to speak.
Paul Zerby, 2nd Ward Councilmember, thanked his former aide, Alan Bernard who resigned to run for the 10th Ward Council seat, and welcomed his new assistant, Greg Zimback.
Peter McLaughlin, Hennepin County Commissioner, advised that due to
the success of the LRT and the recent election (wherein opponents to transit
investment were voted out of office) we’re at a point of taking off as a transit
corridor which will improve movement in and out of the downtown core. He believes
Regarding criminal justice, Peter advised that there is a new fee schedule that he help initiate last year that will drop the booking fees the City pays by $400,000; there will be more probation officers out on the street working with the MPD; and they’re trying to find funding to stabilize the Restorative Justice Program to deal with the livability crimes.
III. Crime and Safety Update
Chief William McManus, Minneapolis Police Department, discussed the $12 million budget cut the department will face over the next 5 years and its impact on the force. The budget shortfall equates to the loss of approximately 137 police officers, and in order to keep street strength up it will necessitate diverting support function personnel to gangs, drugs, prostitution, and domestic violence as officers attrite out of the force. The MPD is in the process of reorganizing the Criminal Investigation Division to improve ability to cover “off hour” crimes, and the bar has been raised for performance, accountability and customer service. Overall, the crime trend is down citywide as well as in the downtown neighborhood.
Inspector Rob Alan discussed the technical issues related to the installation of the SafeZone cameras and the movement underway to create a Police Foundation to fund training, equipment, and special needs.
Lt. Michael Kjos introduced himself and explained his area of coverage (i.e., the Warehouse District and the SafeZone cameras).
Emily Buehler of the Restorative Justice Program thanked DMNA for its continued participation and donations to the program.
IV. Update on Downtown Development
Jack Byers, Principal Planner, CPED, distributed organizational charts
and explained the integration over the past 18 months of the Planning Department
and the Minneapolis Community Development Agency to improve the efficiency of
city planning and development. Lee Sheehy was hired by the Mayor and the City
Council to achieve the integration of the former organizations. CPED is divided
into three areas: Planning; Economic Policy and Development; and Housing Policy
and Development. Planning is further divided into two teams: Zoning and Development
Controls, which deals with day-to-day planning (i.e., application processing);
and Community Planning which deals with long-range strategic planning. Jack,
who works on the Community Planning team, represents the downtown neighborhoods
Jack noted the update of the Minneapolis Planning Division’s web page and the documents contained therein which are specific tools for neighborhoods.
Thereafter Jack answered questions related to various downtown projects: MacPhail’s
intentions; the RFP for the Nicollet Hotel block; the market for affordable
and cooperative housing; hospitality development; the Depot skating ring; and
Danielle Salus, Brighton Development, thanked DMNA for its two rounds of support for its St. Anthony Mills Apartment project which helped to generate support from other funders. Danielle then showed some preliminary views by ESG Architects depicting the project and streetscape, and described the 2-phase design and its affordability configurations.
Rick Johnson, Project Manager, the new Central Library, advised that this project is on schedule and on budget. Two milestones have been achieved: the completion of the concrete structure (a high-risk component of the building); and the raising of approximately $10.5 million of private funds toward the $15 million capital campaign. A couple months ago they initiated the public phase of the capital campaign (literature and donation materials were made available). They plan to have the building totally enclosed by March 2005 and will begin all interior work (i.e., mechanical, electrical, flooring, carpeting, shelving). The hard hat tours will resume in spring. Final move-in/clean-up and grand opening anticipated for May 2006. The project was designed to incorporate a planetarium any time in the future. They will go before the legislature again to seek the $24 million needed.
V. DMNA Elections
David Abele explained the election process then Pat Warner and Susan Simmons
from the League of Women Voters facilitated the election process. After nominations
were submitted, ballots collected and counted, the following individuals were
reelected for a 2-year term:
There being no further business, the annual meeting was adjourned at
Signed this ________ day of ________________________, 2004.