Mendota Heights will see several fresh faces in leadership positions beginning in 2017. While incumbent Sandra Krebsbach — the city’s mayor for six years — and City Council members Steve Norton and Mike Povolny all vied for re-election, each was replaced by someone who hasn’t held public office before.
Retired police Sgt. Neil Garlock and Krebsbach were neck-and-neck in a tight mayoral race, each garnering 46 percent of the vote. Garlock, who has run for mayor before, won by just 56 votes.
Joel Paper and Jay Miller will fill the City Council spots. Paper, who also ran for City Council in 2014 and chairs the Mendota Heights Parks and Recreation Commission, received 3,166 votes or about 27 percent of the vote. Miller, who serves on the parks and recreation commission and as a captain with the city’s volunteer fire department, captured 2,741 votes, about 24 percent of the vote. Povolny, a council member for six years, was next in line with 2,271 votes — about 20 percent of the vote.
West St. Paul
West St. Paul police land $250,000 Department of Justice grant
West St. Paul’s police department has received a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) department. The three-year COPS grant will allow the force to hire two new police officers and create a Multi-Cultural Advisory Committee to help the city better serve communities of color.
The grant will fund about half the $518,000 necessary to pay the new officers for three years, city documents said, and also requires the city to employ them for a year beyond the grant period.
The grant “requires the police department to focus on building police-community relationships, i.e. trust,” according to city documents.
In the application, Police Chief Manila “Bud” Shaver wrote that the city needs the grant because it is diverse in ethnicity and age. Officers respond to more incidents than any other Dakota County city, and the city has recently experienced a violence level, including three homicides, that is “extremely unusual for a community of our size.” The department wants to create a Multi-Cultural Advisory Committee to connect with Somali, Latino and black residents but doesn’t have the money, Shaver wrote.
Crystal’s police department also received the grant this year.
Superintendent receives high evaluation
Jordan’s school board issued a glowing review of superintendent Matt Helgerson.
Helgerson scored 4.57 out of 5 in an annual evaluation this week that included leadership, communication, supervision of staff, public relations and finance, according to a news release. Helgerson has worked as superintendent since 2013.
He was recognized for his innovative educational standards, strengthening of facilities and maintenance policies and procedures and for serving as a role model in the community. The evaluation also noted Helgerson’s financial acumen and relationships with businesses, including Best Buy.
SHAKOPEE, PRIOR LAKE
Tribe awards $250,000 in grants
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community gave $125,000 in funding to both Shakopee Public and Prior Lake-Savage Area School Districts.
The tribe announced the grants this week and will allocate $25,000 to Indian education at each district. The districts will then share their plans for the remainder of the funds, according to a news release from the tribe.
“We appreciate local schools’ role in preparing our youth for the future, and we know that they will put these donations to good use,” Chairman Charlie Vig said in a release.
West St. Paul
St. Michael’s Catholic Church to close
St. Michael’s Catholic Church in West St. Paul will celebrate its last mass on Nov. 27 due to a loss of parishioners and, in turn, a lack of funding.
The church and its grade school have reduced services in recent years to save money.
Last year, the archdiocese clustered three nearby churches — St. Matthew’s and Our Lady of Guadalupe in St. Paul and St. Michael’s — together so that they could share resources. That move resulted in fewer masses at St. Michael’s, which affected attendance, according to church staff.
In 2012, St. Matthew’s combined with the parishes of Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. John Vianney, and St. Michael’s to create a new pre-K to eighth grade school called Community of Saints Regional School.
This year is coincidentally the church’s 150th anniversary.
County hosts online auction
Scott County is auctioning off its surplus equipment online until Dec. 7.
The trove of items for sale include vehicles, furniture, tires and electronics. In-person auctions will also take place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Marschall Road Transit Station in Shakopee and noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Scott County Public Works facility in Jordan.
Shoppers can visit bid-2-buy.com and search for Scott County.