Maple Grove is a great place to live because of our abundant natural resources, close-knit, safe neighborhoods, vibrant business community, and a population rich in cultural diversity.
We have an extremely generous and giving community, and that was especially evident the last two years during a global pandemic where some of our neighbors experienced need like we’d never seen before, but people stepped up with kindness and compassion to take care of one another.
For me that was also evident at the Friends of the Angel Candlelight Memorial, a space we hold annually for public grief and support. This year Maria’s Voice held their third annual Community Tribute to Domestic Violence Awareness at Town Green – and the Maple Grove Police Department’s purple patch initiative raised money for their mission.
I’ll try not to repeat my colleagues’ comments, but I do want to highlight a few things I’m personally excited about in the future:
• The newly expanded North Metro Regional Public Safety Training Facility will allow for exactly the kind of training that is being discussed on a national level, and we have it right here in Maple Grove.
• Hiring an embedded social worker to support our police department
• Expanding the community center, creating new improved spaces for the arts, seniors, and teens
• Our human resources director’s plans to foster a well-compensated, diverse and dynamic city workforce,
• The formation of our destination marketing organization “Experience Maple Grove”, positioning our city as sought-after place for national events but also our residents and nearby patrons
• The construction of the final piece of Highway 610 now that all the funding is secured, a project that has been pursued for more than 50 years.
We do have several opportunities and challenges moving forward that have been top of mind for me.
o Listen to citizen input so that our decisions reflect their wishes
o Be mindful with development to not overly stress our public infrastructure, while protecting our natural resources
o Further engage our residents in connecting with our law enforcement officers and one another so that everyone is safe. Because knowing your neighbors can be crime prevention.
o Find ways to incorporate affordable and workforce housing in new developments as well as transportation options to support our growing commercial industries.
o Keep our various funds solvent and be fiscally responsible with our tax dollars.
I want to thank all our amazing city staff. Your everyday behind the scenes work really matters. Finally, I want to thank past council members Karen Jaeger and Phil Leith for everything you sacrificed to serve the city in the past 20 plus years. Your guidance and legacy will always be with us.