My first council meeting was Tuesday, Jan. 3 after being sworn in. West Metro Fire Auxiliary awarded two residents for the Crystal Sparkles holiday lighting contest Рcongratulations! Council members were appointed as liaisons to various commissions, and I will serve with the Environmental Quality Commission. Replacement equipment and vehicles were approved for purchasing (items approved last year for the 2017 budget). These were big ticket items, but it was very appreciated that they came in 24% under budget.  You can read the full recap at City of Crystal via Facebook.

During announcements, I gave an update on the Jaimes family, who lost their belongings and family pet in a fire the day after Christmas. Neighbors are asking how they can help, and a family friend set up a GoFundMe account. Insurance covered some items, but neither of their older cars lost in the fire. They are staying at a hotel, and hope to return to their rebuilt home in 6 months. The Jaimes are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support. Thank you!

The Economic Development Authority (EDA) meeting followed, and we set up a working sub-group with council and staff to brainstorm areas for improvements around Crystal. Areas in Section 1 include: 42nd Ave. area (along and east of Douglas Drive) and Douglas Drive (32nd – 36th Avenues). Staff will present the results of the brainstorming session at an EDA work session for discussion. Our goal is to complete the brainstorming in January and the EDA work session in February. Considerations include challenges and opportunities, zoning and public investment.

2017 brings in many opportunities for improvements for businesses, parks and more! You can watch recorded council and EDA meetings here.