Minutes - 8/2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008 2:45 PM

  

1 

 

DISTRICT 10 COMO COMMUNITY COUNCIL 

Board Meeting 

  August 19, 2008 -  7:00 p.m. 

Historic Streetcar Station 

1224 N. Lexington Parkway 

St. Paul, MN 

 

The agenda and supporting materials were mailed to directors prior to the meeting. 

Directors present: David Arbeit, Sehoya Cotner, Sharon Frisell, Tony Hainault, Kim Klose, Mike 

MacDonald, John Marino, Marcy Micek, Dennis O’Rourke, Sue Phillips, Marc Prokosch, Matt 

Schmitt. 

Directors excused: Luke Kuhl 

Staff present: Camille Schafer, Rhonda DeBough-Insook 

BOARD SECTION 

1. Call to Order 

David Arbeit called the meeting to order at 7: 05p.m. 

2. Review, Amend, Approve May Agenda 

David extended an invitation to community members to add items to the agenda.  Paul Wilbur, 

resident, expressed concern about the reuse of the Shalom Home.  Dennis asked to move 

Resolution D up to the public comments section, discussion about organizing a community 

meeting.  David stated the discussion will stay in the public comment section, and resolutions 

will remain where it is in the agenda.   

Kim noted that item IV should read July, not June. 

Tony proposed that we limit discussion to 3 minutes per person during the community section. 

John proposed that we extend the community section from 10 minutes to 45 minutes. 

Tony  moved to accept the agenda as amended.   John seconded the motion. The motion passed 

with unanimous approval. 

COMMUNITY SECTION 

3. Community Section 

A. Elections for Vacant Positions 

Vice Chair.  The position is vacant now, and will be up for election again in October, 

2008.  Nominations: none.  Position will remain vacant until October. 

 

Board Meeting Minutes 

August 19, 2008 

Page 2 of 7 

 

At large, Sub-district 1. Nominations: Misty Havens.  Misty is a 4-year resident who also 

works in the neighborhood.  She is invested in the park, and eager to support/encourage a 

balance between local businesses and community.  Vote: Unanimous in favor of Misty.     

B. Public Comments 

Discussion item: Shalom Home –this is a relatively new issue for D10.  There is not a lot 

of public information available yet.  This issue was discussed at the last Land Use 

Committee meeting.  Tony Hainault will provide the Land Use committee report at this 

point in the agenda. 

o Jerry Wynn, resident: Requesting information about what the plan is, who the 

residents will be, and what the proposed timeline is. 

o Delores Rufenacht, 30-yr. resident: She has seen the property go through 

several uses. She expressed a desire to know about the proposal earlier.  She 

didn’t know about the neighborhood alliance.  She acknowledges there are 

many possible uses for the site, for example she would like to see the property 

used as a senior residence. 

o Tony Hainault: The RS Eden proposal brought to the LU committee last week.  

RS Eden approached D10 saying they haven’t decided on making an offer on 

the property yet, but wanted to include D10 in the process. Lois Mueller and 

Dan Cain, RS Eden representatives, were present at the LU Committee 

meeting.  The proposal indicates a sober house, with family units, and single 

person housing.  Clients would need to meet certain requirements for living 

there, including employment and sobriety.  Some issues are still not clear: it is 

unknown as to whether the residents be people with criminal records, or sex 

offenders.  If RS Eden decides to move forward, they would like to have a full 

community meeting, possibly in October, and will not make an offer on the 

building prior to then.  Timeline: there would be no financial movement until 

summer 2009.  RS Eden indicated they would not proceed if there is a lot of 

community opposition. Full LU committee minutes are available on the D10 

website. 

o David Arbeit affirmed that we will hold a community meeting, providing a 

mechanism to express views. 

o Jerry Wynn requested that the meeting be held on a weekend day, to allow for 

maximum attendance.  Perhaps more than one meeting could be offered. 

o Chai Insook asked if this is even a viable option.  The property is located near 

the Booth-Brown house (one of two Ramsey County shelters that serve 13 to 

17 year olds who are homeless) and the Hubert Humphrey Job Corps 

(providing training for independent living and full-time employment).  Chai 

expressed concern about the timing of the community meetings vs. possible 

purchase timelines. 

o Dennis O’Rourke shared his historical knowledge of RS Eden.  He stated they 

do have some serious interest in the property.  Visitors to the property would 

include social workers and probation officers.  Clientele would probably be 

people with limited sobriety.  Dennis stated that there are a variety of possible 

uses for the property, and the neighborhood can have some input on the use. 

 

Board Meeting Minutes 

August 19, 2008 

Page 3 of 7 

 

o Lisa Murphy, resident: Question: where do clients come from – the Twin Cities 

or a broader area?  Tony responded that it’s not known at this time.  Question: 

What happens if clients/residents of the property are asked to leave?  Answer: It 

would be similar to an eviction notice.  Violation of their lease/contract would 

terminate their housing.  RS Eden provides incentives to maintain the (client) 

contract. 

o Sue Phillips stated that the proposal is not an institution, it’s a housing unit.  RS 

Eden won’t make an offer until 6/09 (if they make an offer), and the property 

wouldn’t be open until 2012.  There may be other offers on the property by next 

June. 

o Paul Wilbur, resident:  He asked for clarification of the role of the Land Use 

Committee.  David described our nonprofit status and the role of the 

committees.  Paul asked if there is a community distribution matrix for certain 

types of housing/businesses?  Como already has the HH Job Corps and the 

Booth-Brown House, how does this compare to other districts in the City. 

o Janice Rettman, County Commissioner, stated that RS Eden has numerous 

contracts in the 7-county metro area.  In her opinion it is legitimate to look at 

over-concentration in that particular (SW) quadrant of D10.  She suggested D10 

research that, and the sober-house ordinance that was recently passed  (it 

contains zoning information).  She also noted that the Booth Brown House 

recently increased the number of individuals who can be housed  there (to 

accommodate youth aging out of other programs). 

o Jerry Wynn: Do we have the ability to say this is a population not wanted in 

this neighborhood? 

o Delores Rufenacht: Suggested D10 research subsidized housing in the 

apartments, and related drug/crime problems. 

o John Marino asked if  any research has been done on property values 

surrounding sober-houses. Tony responded no, not by the LU committee.  RS 

Eden is in the initial stages of inquiry, expressing an interest in understanding 

the process of public engagement.  LU would rely on the City for that kind of 

research/information, not volunteer committee members. 

o Paul Wilbur stated that this property would involve County Social services, 

County corrections, and County referrals.  As a county-wide issue, what is the 

ratio of this population in Como compared to other suburban communities in 

Ramsey County? 

o David stated that the role of D10 is to provide a forum for discussion.  We will 

forward any & all information (zoning, variances, etc.) we receive from the 

City.  There may be no zoning changes required. 

o Dennis noted that a D10 vote on this plan can include registered community 

members, not just Board members. 

o Jerry Wynn asked if there is there a City or County contact person that 

community residents can call.  Questions/concerns should be directed to Janice 

Rettman, County Commissioner; Leila Hague, from CM Helgen’s office; 

and/or CM Russ Stark. 

 

Board Meeting Minutes 

August 19, 2008 

Page 4 of 7 

 

o Janice Rettman offered to contact Corrections and Human Services if the timing 

coincides with D10 process.  She will send subsequent notes/comments to D10 

staff.   

o D10 staff have a copy of the sobriety ordinance, and will make it available to 

the community, as well as post it on the website. 

o Marcy Micek addressed the concern about notification/communication issues, 

stating that the D10 newsletter presents a significant expense for our 

organization, and the website is a free resource. 

Neighborhood Clean-up: Dennis solicited volunteers, pointed out the sign-up at the door. 

Susan Janda -  update on the pool survey.  The survey is available online at Como Park 

Alliance (CPA) website.  CPA has also distributed paper surveys in the neighborhood, at 

National Night Out events, and at the pool.  To date they have received 184 online 

surveys, and ~50 paper copies.  CPA plans to analyze the responses within 1-2 months.   

CPA feels neighborhood response is good, but would like to get a wider base of 

respondents, including District 6.  Sharon tried to call Mr. Biersheid today, but he is 

currently out of town.  The next D10 newsletter will include an article about the pool. 

Community Section closed 8:06 pm 

4. Review, Amend, Approve July Minutes 

David requested clarification/expansion on the July minutes. There are a few question marks on 

names, action items, resolutions – include actual wording, not shorthand.  Kim will send minutes 

out to board members well in advance of the board meetings.  David is asking members to take a 

detailed look at them to clarify if needed. 

Motion: Sharon moved that we table the approval of the minutes, and provide comments to Kim 

via email.  Marcy seconded the motion.  So moved. 

5. Board Updates 

A. Board Chair Report – David Arbeit 

D10 t-shirts are available for purchase. 

Mid-year committee reports are due.  Camille has received them from all committees, 

and will compile and submit them. 

Committees are encouraged to start thinking about next years goals. 

Several members have terms that will expire in October 2008.  Current members 

wanting to run again are encouraged to indicate their interest in writing 21 days in 

advance of the Board meeting.  Please notify staff and Board Chair. 

Thank you to board members for coming to an August meeting. 

B.   Review & Accept Financial Reports – Marcy Micek 

Treasurer’s report is included in the packet for this meeting.  Camille and Marcy have been 

working diligently on D10 finances and policies.  An unanticipated payroll tax occurred at 

the end of July.  Marcy extended a personal loan to the District on July 29th  which will be 

repaid very soon.  We also received a reimbursement from the City on July 31st.  We 

anticipate being in a better position next year, pending timely reimbursements and knowledge 

of regular expenses, so as to avoid unexpected emergencies.   

 

Board Meeting Minutes 

August 19, 2008 

Page 5 of 7 

 

Marcy wants to amend paragraph 2 of her report, removing the word “only.”  It now reads 

“This was a problem because the balance in the bank account at the time was insufficient to 

cover that amount.” 

Motion: Dennis made a motion to accept the July financial statements as amended. Sue  

seconded the motion. The motion passed with unanimous approval. 

C. Staff Report 

Camille is working to familiarize herself with processes, systems. 

Rhonda is meeting with different people in the community (Booth Brown tour, HH 

Job Corps, Block Nurse Program, nursing home), introducing herself and making 

connections.  Contacting block club leaders. 

D. Committee Chair Reports 

Executive Committee – addressed above 

Neighborhood Safety – Marc Prokosch reported that since NNO was the big local event last 

month, he was the only person at the August committee meeting.  Marc used the time to 

review work plan goals, plan for next year’s NNO, and write an article for the newsletter.  A 

neighborhood resident requested crime statistics and Rhonda will look into obtaining 

archived data. 

Events & Institutions –Dennis O’Rourke reported that he and Chai Insook attended the LU 

meeting to learn about Shalom Home.  Not much going on with E & I.  Sharon Frisell is still 

attending quarterly Community Relations meetings at the HH Job Corps, the next one is in 

October. 

Communications Committee – John Marino reported that he attended a recent blogging 

workshop, which could be another venue for D10 communications.  The Newsletter 

progressing, and will be distributed soon.  Matt Schmitt reported that they sent out the first 

email blast this month (to ~300 people).  The committee is using  the email list as a way to 

distribute information to the public between newsletters.  Committee meetings are always the 

4th Wed of every month. 

Environment Committee – Mike MacDonald reported that they are working on native plant 

areas in the neighborhood.  Sehoya Cotner, as a Task Force member, added a comment on 

the Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom.  Bryan Murphy, St. Paul City Landscape Architect, 

is working with the Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom Advisory Committee (of which 

Sehoya and Matt are members) to produce a Comprehensive Site Plan for the project.  The 

site plan is a result of a successful CIB proposal written by an Environment Committee 

member (Deb Robinson).   Sehoya presented a graphic visual aid.  They would like to 

incorporate it into the City plan, and would like to see D10 voice support for this version of 

the plan.  The Environment Committee will discuss it further at their next meeting. 

Land Use Committee – Tony Hainault covered the RS Eden discussion earlier.  Tony 

provided an update on the Node study, the drawings, and exploration of the CIB process for a 

“gateway” corridor – what is the business/neighborhood interest in such a project?  

Regarding the T-Mobile cell tower at North Dale Recreation Center, the City and T-Mobil 

need to have conversations to work out the details. There is no neighborhood opposition.  

The Booster Club needs 8 more lights, and wants T-Mobile to cover the costs up front.  The 

 

Board Meeting Minutes 

August 19, 2008 

Page 6 of 7 

 

primary issue was the rent collected for the tower, and distributed to all Recreation Centers in 

the city.  If North Dale gets the lights, they may forego the funds. 

Sue Phillips reported on park benches, the desire to install 8 benches in District 10.  She is 

working to determine necessary permits, applications. 

District Council Collaborative – Sehoya Cotner currently attends the light rail/Met Council 

meetings, and feels she is not qualified to deal effectively with mass transit issues.  She 

would be willing to forfeit this role and focus her energy on the environment committee.  

Janice Rettman stated that there are plenty of engineers at the meetings already, and the 

human/passionate perspective is necessary as well. 

6. Discussion Items 

A. There was good public turnout for National Night Out events.  Board members attended 

events at Chelsea School, the Java Train and the North Dale Recreation Center.  D10 had a 

table with flyers, newsletters, and information available to the public.  Board members 

provided their observations of the events. We would like to encourage block parties to have 

their own events year-round, not just the annual NNO event.  D10 is required to write a 

summary of the event. Board members are encouraged to send summaries of the recent 

events and thoughts on how to build on this year’s events to Marc via email. 

B. Neighborhood Cleanup is scheduled for Sept.20, 2008. A residential mailing will be 

circulated after the Fair.  D10 is committed to providing 30 volunteers, and Dennis is 6-7 

people short to date.  Staff will look for electronic files in the office for passes, instructions, 

etc.   

7. Action Item 

A. Resolution EX0819081 (Executive Committee) 

Request Board vote of approval for adding a provision to the Board’s Financial Policy & 

Procedures guide specifying that all expense reimbursement requests must be submitted 

to the Community Organizer/Administrative Organizer within 30 days of the 

transaction. 

 Motion:  David moved to accept the request.  John seconded the motion. 

 Discussion:  Mike noted a typo, adding the word “days” to the Implementation section. 

 Motion passed. 

B. Resolution EX0819082 (Executive Committee) 

Request Board vote of approval for modifying the Financial Policy and Procedures 

guide to authorize any Executive Committee member to sign and approve staff time 

cards for payroll processing. 

Motion: David moved to accept the request.  Marc seconded the motion 

Discussion:  Is there a concern that it is too lax? No, there is a separation between 

signing time cards, and signing checks. 

Motion passed. 

C. Resolution LU081901 (Land Use Committee) 

Request that the Board send a letter of support for Jeffrey Vik’s variance request for 

1514 Lexington Parkway North, an attached garage variance. 

Motion: Tony moved to accept the request, Sehoya seconded the motion.   

Discussion:  Neighbors have given approval.  Variance hearing is 8/25/08.   

Motion passed. 

D. Resolution CO081901 (Dennis O’Rourke) 

 

Board Meeting Minutes 

August 19, 2008 

Page 7 of 7 

 

Desire to hold community meeting(s) regarding the reuse of the Shalom Home, with 

plenty of advance notice to residents.  Dennis, on behalf of E & I offered to write a 

formal resolution, and suggested that this issue be tabled until the September Board 

Meeting. Luke, as Land Use Chair, is committed to this issue and process, and Tony 

doesn’t want to speak on his behalf.  Dennis suggested that LU and E&I meet together.  

David stated that resolutions need to come to the Board through a committee.  

Resolution withdrawn. 

 

8. Future Agenda items 

Sharon does not intend to run for another Board seat in October, recommends that a Board 

Member/committee member continue to attend HH Job Corps meetings. 

 

9. Adjourn  

  

David moved to adjourn.  Kim seconded the motion.  The meeting was adjourned at 9:22 p.m. 

 

Minutes submitted by Kim Klose. 

 

 

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

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