Minutes - 12/2008
Monday, February 09, 2009 2:30 PM

 Community Council Meeting Minutes 

December 16, 2008 

Page 1 of 5 

 

 

DISTRICT 10 COMO COMMUNITY COUNCIL 

Board Meeting 

December 16, 2008 - 7:00 p.m. 

Historic Streetcar Station 

1224 N. Lexington Parkway 

St. Paul, MN 

 

Meeting Minutes 

 

 

Directors present: David Arbeit, Ted Sheu, Marcy Micek, Lori Klongtruatroke, Misty Havens, 

Marc Prokosch, Matt Schmitt, Barbara Frick, Scott Baker, Barbara Clark, Ken Kunkle, Mike 

MacDonald, Sehoya Cotner. 

 

Directors excused:  John Bjork, Chris Martineau 

 

Staff present:  Camille Schafer, Rhonda DeBough-Insook 

  

1. Call to Order 

David Arbeit called the meeting to order at 7:05 

2. Review, Amend, Approve Agenda. 

David moves to add T-Mobile speaker to agenda and approve agenda. The agenda was 

unanimously approved. 

3. Community Section 

A. T-Mobile: 

Kelly of T-Mobile attended the Land Use meeting last night. She spoke about 

zoning in parks that allows for wireless towers and T-Mobile’s interest in adding 

a new single pole to the field at North Dale and shared pictures with the Board. 

The pictures will be posted on the web site. January 12th or the 13th there will be a 

community meeting. David asked about any public concern. Kelly explained that 

neighbors felt that the new technology should eliminate any issues with light 

flooding the neighboring homes. Ken Kunkle lives in that area and expressed a 

concern about the area getting cluttered, but does not outright oppose the lighting. 

He suggested that the neighbors directly affected by the light be contacted. 

Sehoya Cotner had a question about the fee T-Mobile will pay for the tower, and 

Kelly explained that it is a yearly lease. The pole will belong to T-Mobile, but it  

will lease the land from the Parks Dept. It is a five year lease with options to 

renew.   

Community Council Meeting Minutes 

December 16, 2008 

Page 2 of 5 

 

B. Vacant Buildings (City Staff and Police) 

Joe Ehrlich of St. Paul’s Department of Safety and Inspections spoke about vacant 

buildings. They are classified into three categories: vacant home that are in decent 

shape, those that have to be brought up to code, inspected and certified before 

they can be reoccupied, those that will need to be demolished. The City imposes 

vacant building fees, and they have increased from $250 to $1000. Ken Kunkle 

asked about blocks adopting vacant houses. Mr. Ehrlich explained that neighbors 

can keep an eye on vacant homes. He said that neighbors should notify the City if 

there is a property that is a problem.  Residents can contact the St Paul 

Department of Safety & Inspections (651-266-8989) or the non-emergency police 

number (651-291-1111).  David Arbeit asked what it takes for a building to be 

deemed vacant. Mr. Ehrlich explained that the criteria is on the DSI web site, but 

basically a home is declared vacant when it is unoccupied or has multiple code 

violations. Mr. Ehrlich also suggested that the Neighborhood Safety Committee 

should meet with other districts that deal heavily with this issue to better 

understand the options that the community has. David Arbeit asked if Mr. Ehrlich 

deals with vacant non-residential buildings. Joe explained that they have dealt 

with a few and as far as Sholom Home goes, he has spoken with the fire chief and 

he says that Sholom is doing everything they can to avoid letting it fall on the 

vacant building list. Marc Prokosch asked if Mr. Ehrlich’s department notifies 

police of category 2 or category 3 buildings, and Mr. Ehrlich explained that this is 

the purpose of the notices on the outside of the building. Camille asked how often 

the property is checked on after it is reported as a problem to Mr. Ehrlich’s 

department. He explained that it should be about every three weeks or when 

people call.  

 

Community Co-Chair of the Sholom Home Ad-Hoc Committee, Jon Knox, 

reported that Sholom Home is making every effort to ensure that the building is 

secure. 

 

Cate McGuire (police officer guest speaker) discussed what the neighborhood can 

do regarding vacant buildings. The biggest issues tend to be with residential, 

rather than commercial, buildings. The police are normally notified by alarm in 

large buildings – the officers will go out and look for signs of forced entry, and 

they assess if the building is secure. Officer McGuire is not anticipating the 

Sholom Home building will have a lot of problems, especially since there is an 

alarm system. Criminals follow the path of least resistance and in Sholom it is 

going to be more difficult than it will be in an abandoned home. David stated that 

Districe 10 staff attends the monthly community meetings with the police 

department. Community member Panod Klongtruatroke asked if the District 10 

area is heavily patrolled. Officer McGuire explained that police officers have 

some freedom in deciding where to patrol. Residents should call the non- 

emergency number police department number (651-291-1111) if they would like 

to discuss issues that do not require immediate attention. 

  

Community Council Meeting Minutes 

December 16, 2008 

Page 3 of 5 

 

4. Review, Amend, Approve November Minutes 

Marcy Micek moved to approve the minutes and Marc Prokosch seconded. Minutes 

unanimously approved. 

5. Board Updates 

A. Board Chair report 

David Arbeit thanked Scott Baker, Ted Sheu and Chris Martineau for getting the 

Committees up and running and getting folks engaged. He asked committees to be 

sure to get their charters completed. They all need to address the expectations for 

joining and when people can join. It is also required in the bylaws that the member 

list be provided. 

 

David Arbeit thanked Ted Sheu, Mike MacDonald and Chai Insook for reviewing the 

applications for District 10 Como Pool Task Force representative. Marsha Millgrom 

from subdistrict 1 was appointed and Tom Olesak is the alternate. The next Task 

Force meeting date will be posted to the web site.   

 

David also thanked those who took the time to complete the survey on the board 

retreat.  Overall, people thought it was a good use of time, but that a few changes 

should be made for the retreat next year.. 

 

B. Financial report – Marcy Micek 

Marcy reported that the Financial Development Committee will not complete its 

charter until January 2009. She and Camille met with the accountant.  The 

Community Organization Partnership Program (COPP) funding will likely be less than 

requested. We will be requesting $6,000 for Sholom Home meetings (fliers and staff 

time), and for outreach to the Energy Park area. 

 

David Arbeit explained that we need other sources of funding since the current 

sources of funding barely cover operating expenses. There will also be other issues 

that come up that need more funding. We will likely need a little bit of money for the 

web site, Sholom Home meetings, and the outreach of the Energy Park area. Perhaps 

creating a fourth sub-district in the Energy Park area would be a good idea.   

 

The Financial Development Committee has some really good fundraising ideas for 

the council. Marcy Micek also brought up the fact that she, Matt Schmitt and Chris 

Martineau will be talking strategy on how to approach businesses for funding.   

 

Community member, Panod Klongtruatroke, asked how transferable the COPP 

funding is. David Arbeit explained that it will be more flexible than the basic contract 

with the City but will need to be consistent with the grant request.  If there is a need 

to redirect funds, it can be negotiated with Councilmember Russ Stark’s office.   

 

David Arbeit wants the Council to formally adopt a budget in January. 

Community Council Meeting Minutes 

December 16, 2008 

Page 4 of 5 

 

C. Staff report 

Rhonda DeBough-Insook spoke about the collaboration with District 6 staff members 

about the Senior Fair event.  She was there mostly to observe and to get ideas on 

ways to have seniors involved in the community. They will probably wait until nicer 

weather to have another Senior Fair. Rhonda saw it as being a very positive 

experience and would like to ensure that this event continues.   

 

Camille met with Diane Wanner (District Council Liaison) about Community Council 

coordinating and members’ roles. Camille will be adding a crime report to the board 

packet. Diane was at the Sholom Home community meetings and was impressed with 

the turnout. 

D. Committee reports 

Matt Schmitt (Communications) – The newsletter is completed and distributed. Our 

contract with Job Corps to have them print the newsletter expires in March, and Matt 

will discuss this with them. It has been a good arrangement and Matt hopes it will 

continue with a few minor changes. The Communications Committee has developed a 

subcommittee to launch a new website. Misty added that the next few months there 

will be time to have input for website design. People can email them to the 

Communications Committee if they wish.   

 

Environment Committee (Matt) – Mike MacDonald reported that the committee is 

working on a CIB grant to restore the Dutch Ovens. They are also working with 

another grant that involves transporting children to the outdoor classroom. The 

committee is trying to find ways to get residents involved in removing buckthorn 

from their yards. Mike is trying to get funding to conduct another rain barrel 

workshop.   

 

Land Use Committee (Ted Sheu) – A representative from the Metro Deaf School 

and their architect presented their plans for the school’s redesign. The plan will be 

posted on the web site, including a shadow study. Penelope Simison of the City’s 

Planning & Economic Development Department was not able to attend last night’s 

Land Use meeting to discuss the Midway Area Small Area Plan update.  Ted Sheu 

wants to make sure that the City has not recertified it already. David Arbeit suggested 

that Penelope address the Board. Luke Kuhl will attend the next Land Use meeting 

and discuss the Larpenteur-Lexington Node study. David Arbeit suggested that Lee 

Helgen attend that meeting as well. 

 

Neighborhood Safety Committee – Ken Kunkle spoke about neighborhood block 

clubs and requested crime reports in the board packets.  The next meeting will be 

aimed at getting the workplan completed.   

 

Neighborhood Relations Committee – Rhonda reported that the committee is 

working on defining who they are and what the committee’s focus will be.   

 

Sholom Ad-hoc Committee – Scott Baker reported that the committee will be 

Community Council Meeting Minutes 

December 16, 2008 

Page 5 of 5 

 

working on a criteria list for ideas relating to alternative uses for the Sholom Home 

site. 

 

Other – Sehoya Cotner discussed the District Council Collaborative (DCC) and who 

from District might serve onit, as she is no longer able to do so. District 10 has 

historically not been very involved. Sehoya is not sure if the representative has to be a 

board member. The DCC deals heavily with the central corridor and light rail. David 

Arbeit requested that staff speak with the Executive Director of the DCC to find out 

why we might or might not want to be involved. Ken Kunkle volunteered to be the 

DCC representative; Sehoya will be an alternate.   

6.  Discussion Items 

A. Priorities for 2009 

The Board reviewed the list that David Arbeit prepared. David asked board members 

to add to it over the next few weeks. The list generated will be things that are 

eventually added to our committees. Sehoya wants to make sure that we add things 

that can be obtainable by December, 2009.  David suggested that piece will come 

after the list is revised.  Committees will identify their priorities and they will be 

added to the list. 

 

Barbara Clark wants to add timer to meeting so that we make sure that time is 

managed efficiently and in a timely manner. Marcy said that this has been discussed 

before, but wants to ensure there is ample time for discussion.   

   

7. Action Items 

A. Send out a formal request for formal work plans from the committees to be approved 

by the Board. 

 

8. Future Agendas 

9. Adjourn 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:15pm. 

 

 

 

Minutes prepared by Lori Klongtruatroke 

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

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