Boundary study: District 6 and District 10
Mission of the District Council System
The District Council system was established in 1975 as a citywide citizen participation process. The mission of the system is to facilitate effective, informed, and representative community participation in local governance issues. The existing District Councils were recognized based on neighborhoods and not on population, focusing on common community interests.
Open Saint Paul is a new online forum for civic engagement. Read what others are saying about important Saint Paul topics, then post your own statement. City staff and officials will read the statements and incorporate them into their decision-making process. Click here for more information on Open Saint Paul.
About District 6 and District 10
South Como is a neighborhood located in District 6 west of Dale Street, and shares a border with Como Park in District 10. South Como is approximately 0.76 square miles, with a population of approximately 3,537 people. Como Park Senior High School and Calvary Cemetery are both located in South Como, as well as a number of businesses along Front Avenue and on the west side of Dale Street.
Why study a boundary change?
Neighbors throughout the South Como area of District 6 have expressed an interest in being included in District 10. These neighbors feel that their interests would be better represented by District Council 10, as their concerns are more geographically tied to the work of District 10 (particularly on the areas surrounding Como Park, Zoo, Conservatory and Lake, and regarding Como-area traffic patterns, engagement opportunities and business development). This is a desire that has been expressed by community members several times over the last 15-20 years. Therefore, the City of Saint Paul’s Department of Planning and Economic Development has studied potential boundary changes for these districts. Click here to read the study.
The District Councils and the City of Saint Paul are considering the following three options (see map):
1. Leaving the boundaries as they stand.
2. Moving all of South Como into District 10.
3. Moving only the portion of South Como north of the Saint Paul line of the BNSF railroad into District 10.
Considering the mission of the District Council system, which of these options do you think is most appropriate for the area? Why?
Your comments in this Peak Democracy Forum are part of the official public record. More information about what the public record means can be found here. Your comments in this forum are equal to sending us an email or letter or testifying in person.
If you do not want your name to be viewed in this forum, or if you are undecided on this topic you can:
- Send written comments to Michelle Beaulieu, 25 W. 4th Street, #1200, Saint Paul, MN 55102 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Speak in person at the public meeting January 9th, 2013, from 6-8pm at Black Bear Crossings on the Lake, Como Lakeside Pavilion, 1360 North Lexington Parkway.
Please note that phone calls and voicemails are not considered part of the official public record. Input must be in writing or presented in person along with your name and address. If you have questions that have not been answered through the information provided on the web site, please contact Michelle Beaulieu at 651-266-6620.
Planning staff will summarize the input from Open Saint Paul, the public meeting, and any letters received, and make a recommendation. The District Councils may consider the feedback from these forums, and offer recommendations to the City Council. Depending on the outcome of this public meeting, the Council may decide to hold their own public hearing and vote on the boundary question. The City Council has the ultimate decision on District Council boundary changes.
From Mary Wawro inside Ward 5:
Moving all of South Como into District 10.
My first choice is moving all of South Como into District 10; second choice would be South Como north of the BNSF railroad. I’ve lived in South Como since 1994 and rely on the District 10 emails and newsletter that I regularly receive for information about all the neighborhood events that affect me because the community issues for District 10 are my issues too. I’ve also attended District 10 meetings, but then found out to my surprise I couldn’t vote or serve on any committees, which has been disappointing. I feel like I’m without representation at the District Council level. I’m not alone too; many of my South Como neighbors also receive the District 10 newsletter and attend their meetings. Why don’t I become involved in District 6? District 6 is focused on Rice Street and areas to the east of South Como. I’ve been to a few District 6 meetings and have perused their newsletter when it comes, but there’s nothing really of interest to me in comparison to the District 10 newsletter. The South Como area is just too small, too far on the western edge of District 6, which covers a larger area with more people and different concerns than District 10, for the community issues affecting my South Como neighborhood to ever be a focus for District 6. South Como should be part of District 10.
From Benita Warns inside Ward 4:
Leaving the boundaries as they stand
The original boundaries were set so that issues and pressures pertaining to Como Regional Park would not all fall on one neighborhood. If we change the district council boundaries for one small group of people, just because they think that their property values are adversely affected by the district council boundaries (they are not), then we open it up for other groups to secede from their district councils. If we allow one group to change, we must allow other groups the same opportunity. The people who live in the affected area have plenty of opportunities to participate in district council governance. If they make every effort to participate and are rebuffed, then district council practices and policies should be examined by the City and continued funding should be contingent upon compliance. How about if we adopt a city-wide set of policies for district councils that clearly define inclusiveness, board member eligibility and code of conduct? Boundary questions can be addressed as part of that wider discussion.
From Art Oglesby inside Ward 5:
Moving all of South Como into District 10.
When I moved to “Como Park” in 1996, dozens of my neighbors organized a block club in response to a rash of home break-ins. No one seemed to be aware of District Councils but we effectively interfaced with Saint Paul’s police force.
It was when we heard rumors about a “huge” water park being planned across the street we discovered the Como Park District Council (again across the street) and asked for information and representation. That is when we found out that our whole neighborhood across the street from the proposed pool was not included in the Como Park District.
When I asked District 6 (their office is 30+ blocks from my house) if I could represent my neighborhood on the Como Pool Task Force I was turned down.
The system of district councils is to facilitate effective, informed, and representative community participation in local governance issues.
District 10’s website, committee meetings, weekly e-blasts, public hearings, and organized block club network is doing this for my neighborhood more so than District 6.
There are 38 comments on this question as of December 23, 2012. Read the rest here.