Food trucks in Blaine will now be allowed to operate at business events where they are the lone attraction, after the City Council on Nov. 15 amended an ordinance governing food trucks.

Prior to the change, food trucks were considered a "transient business," defined as a vendor who temporarily sets up shop and does not remain in one location for more than 14 consecutive days. Transient businesses were only allowed in industrial areas.

Under the new regulations, food truck operators won't have to get a license from the city but will have to show proof they obtained a license from the state and Anoka County. Vendors, however, will have to register with the city once a year.

Blaine is seeing more vendors who want to operate in the city and more groups that want to host a food truck, according to Community Development Director Erik Thorvig. The new rules aim to make it a "less cumbersome process for vendors," he said.

Tim Harlow


Council chooses new city manager

The Shoreview City Council has hired Corcoran City Administrator Brad Martens as city manager.

Martens was one of three finalists city leaders interviewed in October. He will replace City Manager Terry Schwerm, who is retiring after 28 years in the city's top job.

Martens has worked for Corcoran since 2013. He has also served as Winsted city administrator for two years and New Brighton Community Center manager for six years.

He has a master's of public administration from Hamline University and bachelor's degree from Minnesota State University in Mankato.

Martens' first day will be Dec. 6. His starting salary will be $160,000 and will increase to $163,000 on July 1, according to meeting minutes.

Shannon Prather

Coon Rapids

City Council appoints new member

The Coon Rapids City Council appointed Pablo Hernandez Jr. to the Ward 3 seat at its Nov. 3 meeting.

Hernandez will replace Wade Demmer, who resigned in September because he moved out of the ward. Hernandez will serve the remainder of Demmer's term, which runs through Dec. 31, 2022.

Eight applicants applied to fill the seat, and the council interviewed five candidates.

"We had some very good applicants who interviewed very strongly, and Pablo rose to the top," said Mayor Jerry Koch.

Tim Harlow

West St. Paul

Planning Commission expands

The West St. Paul Planning Commission is adding members in an effort to give each of the city's three wards equal representation — a change the city's mayor said he opposed.

The City Council voted earlier this month to raise the number of members from seven to nine so each ward would have the same number of votes, said Mayor Dave Napier.

Napier, who as mayor is responsible for appointing planning commissioners, said he favored keeping seven commissioners — two from each ward and one at-large member. Two additional members will likely mean more questions that require additional research from the city's planning staff, he said.

Under the new rules, any Planning Commission vacancy must be advertised in the ward with the fewest members for 30 days. If at that point the seat can't be filled, the seat may be designated "at-large" and filled by someone from another ward.

Erin Adler