Minnesota Cities Magazine

Bits & Briefs

Good Idea
St. Paul’s Online Permitting Process
The City of St. Paul is developing an online program to ease the permitting process for developers and residents. Taking its cue from TurboTax, the city’s portal, “Permit St. Paul,” will get the permitting process started based on keywords, such as “chicken coop” or “industrial building,” that the user provides. The program will then provide an overview of the steps needed, and for most projects will provide an online application and payment methods. This process will free staff time to focus on more complex development projects and provide know-how when needed. The program has been chosen as a finalist in the Mayors Challenge, a project hosted by Bloomberg Philanthropies and The Huffington Post.
Learn more from The Huffington Post

Graph: Minnesota Foreclosures (2005-2012) Foreclosures on the Decline
There were 17,895 foreclosures in Minnesota in 2012, according to the latest foreclosure report from HousingLink, which has been tracking the state’s foreclosures since 2005. This number is down 16 percent from 2011, and the lowest statewide total since 2006.

This is great news, but the total number of foreclosures remains elevated—still nearly three times the number of foreclosures the state saw in 2005 (see graph at left). HousingLink was commissioned to complete this report by The Minnesota Home Ownership Center, Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, Minnesota Housing, and Family Housing Fund.
Access the full report

MN Agriculture Commissioner: “Thank You, Cities!”
The following is a note to local officials from Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA)
Commissioner David J. Frederickson:
“The MDA has had close relationships with cities, plant/MDAcounties, and townships over the past 100 years to help educate communities and enforce noxious weed regulations. I cannot begin to explain the high level of appreciation I have for each city, county, and township official who has assisted our agency. We also appreciate the hard work you provide for other MDA programs, including seed sampling, pesticide applicator testing, and the monitoring of invasive insect species.

“We understand that our local government partners wear many hats, and continue to do an excellent job finding the time to serve as critical links for county and state programs. In the age of limited resources and increasing threats from newly emerging noxious weeds and invasive pests, your assistance helps us stretch our limited funds. Our success in controlling noxious weeds and invasive pests is directly dependent on your ability to continue the high level of service you provide your counties and municipalities. We are facing increasing threats from invasions of both plant and insect species, but we are optimistic your continued help and support will reduce these threats and efficiently manage noxious weeds and insect pests currently established in the state. Before we begin another field season, I wanted to take the time to sincerely thank each and every one of you for your past and continued hard work.”

Get Your 2013 City Directory
The League of Minnesota Cities recently released the 2013 Directory of Minnesota City Officials, the only printed resource that provides comprehensive information on all 853 Minnesota cities. City information includes elected officials, key staff members, and department heads; city hall address, phone number, email, and website; council meeting times; election year; and population. In addition to city information, this handy desk reference includes listings of League staff, counties, legislative and congressional members, and more. Get your copy now for $59.
Read more and access an order form

Bringing City Hall to You
Boston is taking City Hall on the road with its new “City Hall to Go” program. A roving truck stocked with forms and information from a variety of departments is now making neighborhood visits. Boston's The intent is to make essential tasks such as paying taxes, handling parking tickets, or requesting documents more available to those with limited English skills or lack of Internet access.
Learn more from the City of Boston website

LMC Training & Events

2013 LMC Annual Conference and Marketplace
June 19-21—St. Paul
Join us at this year’s Annual Conference and Marketplace, where you’ll learn the latest about community planning and development, innovation and collaboration, interpersonal relations, human resources issues, municipal finance, and much more. You’ll also be part of the fun and festivities as the League celebrates its centennial year!

2013 Clerks’ Orientation Conference
June 19-21—St. Paul
If you’re a new city clerk, this threeday orientation is a must-attend event. You’ll learn about council-staff relations, human resources, Open Meeting Law, legal compliance issues, internal controls, financial management, and insurance and loss control basics.

City Learning Point
Online training courses

  • Human Resources Basics for Managers Series
  • Land Use Series
  • Respectful Workplace Course

Learn more about these and other events

Read the May-June 2013 issue of Minnesota Cities magazine

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