End of Summer Update

Crystal Cove Pool is closing this week, and school supplies are out in stores!  This summer has gone by quickly, and it's been a busy time in Crystal.  Here are the issues that we have been working on:

  • 2016 Budget Season

As a newly elected council member, this is my first experience with this task, and it is proving to be a unique challenge.  We will be voting on the preliminary tax levy on September 1st.  The final levy will be voted on in November.  The original proposal from city staff was to increase the levy by 6%.  We were not comfortable with this number, and requested a revision.  The current agreement is to set the preliminary levy at no more than 3%, which is the final cap for how high 2016 taxes can go.  Once the preliminary levy is set, that number can only go down, which is something I'm sure our residents would like to see.  The key objective for me is to be mindful and respectful of the resources our residents provide, and realistically acknowledge the financial needs of the city.  The city is faced with rising wage and health insurance costs, but Crystal residents have similar challenges.  The difference is that the city can tax people, but residents can't tap into some source to make up for their new budget demands.  The solution for the city's financial needs and wants is not to tax without limit.  What else can we do?  This is the challenging reality, and we don't approach this task lightly.  To get the detailed budget conversation, listen to our work sessions here.  Please don't hesitate to contact me if you'd like to weigh in on this issue!

  •    Traffic Symposium

TrafficSymposiumThe most reoccurring issue in Crystal is traffic and transportation.  Drivers speeding through residential streets, missing stop signs, questions about proposed future light rail, pedestrian crossings, over-night parking, etc.  Council members from each ward and section are contacted regularly with these concerns.  The past approach has been to try to resolve each problem individually, but we sensed a need for a better method.  The Traffic Symposium was designed to address Crystal's transportation needs holistically- to gain a better understanding of what we must do to improve safety and quality of life in our neighborhoods.  I hope you can attend and give your input!  Without your participation we cannot easily accomplish this task.  For more on traffic, particularly our conversation about over-night parking, read council member Dahl's update here.

  • Repeal of Point of Sale Inspections

Point of Sale inspections have been viewed as an unnecessary and redundant burden for everyone going through the home sale process in Crystal.  Only a handful of cities in Minnesota require such a procedure.  Take a look at this list.  Currently, sellers must already comply with state mandated disclosure statements, private home inspections are widely used and are much more thorough, and lenders even conduct their own inspections prior to issuing a mortgage.  Residents experienced with Point of Sale know that the inspection check list is arbitrary and limited, and the city is not liable for any problems it may miss.  This gives buyers a false sense of security- if the city conducted an inspection the house must be safe, correct?  That is not the case, and it's a disservice to our community.  Instead of meddling with the private sale process, the city can proactively educate residents on how they can better maintain their homes, encourage buyers and sellers to engage certified inspectors, and enforce visible code violations in problem properties.  I am happy to say that the Point of Sale ordinance has been repealed.  The repeal will go into effect on September 26th.  If you are selling your home and closing before 9/26/15, then you must still comply with the inspection.  If your closing date is after 9/26/15, you are in the clear.

  • 2015 Citizen Feedback Survey

Here's your chance to give feedback on living in Crystal through an online survey!  This is part of the State Performance Measurement Program.  Click here to fill out this short and anonymous questionnaire.

  • Upcoming Community Events

Battle of the Badge Blood Drive, Wednesday, August 26th.  Walk ins Welcome!

BattleoftheBadges

 

 

 

West Metro Fire Station 3

4251 Xylon Ave. N

New Hope, MN 55428

Wednesday, August 26th 2015          9:00 AM-12:00 PM

West Metro Fire Station 2

4141 Douglas Drive

Crystal, MN 55422

Wednesday, August 26th 2015          2:30 PM- 6:00 PM

More information can be found here.

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Glow Golf

Glow Golf

That's all for now!  To watch recent council meetings, click here.  To listen to work sessions, click here.  You can also read updates from council members Jeff Kolb and Elizabeth Dahl!