City officials typically spend most of their time wrestling with weighty issues like affordable housing, public safety and road construction.
But sometimes they also have to think about urinals.
Requiring low-flow urinals in all Edina businesses was among the recent suggestions from city residents to the Edina City Council. Twice a month, council members get a packet of information that includes all correspondence from citizens since the last council meeting.
Among the items that concerned residents this month, in addition to low-flow urinals:
• A falling retaining wall in Morningside.
• Scheduling public meetings on religious holidays.
• Ugly street improvements on Xerxes Avenue.
• Coyote sightings.
• Noise from a new sound system at Kuhlman Stadium.
• A request for a new playground in the Parklawn neighborhood.
• Creation of an anti-nepotism policy for city government.
The correspondence also included a number of invitations to council members to attend various civic events, and several handwritten thank-you notes, including one from the student council at Edina High School for the Fire Department’s help with their homecoming bonfire.
Several residents also wrote urging the city to consider buying a piece of undeveloped land near Weber Park that’s currently used as an informal dog park. And one resident enclosed a $100 check as an unsolicited donation to the Fire Department.
Having covered city governments for many years, I know that dealing with these small, intensely local issues isn’t always the favorite part of the job for elected officials. Some residents can become perpetually annoying gadflies (although I’m not suggesting that any cited here fit that description).
On the other hand, who wouldn’t love getting a letter like the one from Edina resident Louise McKlveen, who wrote to Mayor James Hovland to thank him for attending her birthday party?
She just turned 100.