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Wayzata is a premier suburb located 11 miles west of downtown Minneapolis. With a population of 4,500 people, Wayzata is a tight-knit community which is known for its vibrant downtown and picturesque setting on Lake Minnetonka. A popular destination for visitors, Wayzata’s downtown is home to a number of specialty shops, boutiques, professional services, and restaurants.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Community Input Sought For Proposed TCF Building Condo Development


Image courtesy Google

The TCF Headquarters building located at 200 Lake Street East between Barry Avenue and Ferndale Road has been acquired by a new owner, according to the City of Wayzata.

According to city officials, the new owner is interested in redeveloping the parking lots on either side of the building.

The owner intends to convert the existing office building into condos.

The city states that there is not currently a development application.

The building was constructed in 1990.

A neighborhood listening session is scheduled for Thursday August 13 at 7 p.m.

You can find out more about the meeting here:

https://www.wayzata.org/655/TCF-Headquarters-at-200-Lake-St-E.

Primary Election Held Tuesday

The Minnesota primary will take place Tuesday, August 11,  and Wayzata voters will have a variety of choices to make.

Some of those choices include: U.S. Senate, U.S. Third Congressional District, and Hennepin County Commissioner.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Below is a link to a sample primary ballot for Wayzata residents.

https://myballotmn.sos.state.mn.us/ShowImage.aspx?i=0594DBB0-CE1A-4DB8-B1E3-3064AA749168

Filing for the Wayzata mayor and two council seats ends Tuesday, August 11.

So far, Wayzata city council member Johanna McCarthy is the lone candidate for mayor. Current mayor, Ken Willcox, announced in July that he would not seek a fourth term.

Meanwhile, Wayzata Planning Commissioners Cathy Iverson and Jeffrey Parkhill announced they are running for city council. Current city council members Dan Koch and Alex Plechash are up for re-election.

The mayoral and city council seats are four-year terms.

Read more about the candidates Wayzata residents will chose in the 2020 election here:

https://www.wayzata.com/p/2020-election.html?m=1

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Below is a list of city council election results since 2000.

Source: Minnesota Secretary of State/City of Wayzata

(* = winner)

2000

Mayor

*Barry Petit 1,194 (votes)
Sue Bangert 1,129

City Council (two seats)

*Robert (Bob) Ambrose 1,372
*Robyn Cook 1,190
Lynn Gruber 1,020

2002

City Council (two seats)

*Andrew Humphrey 1,028
*Sue Bangert 1022
Barry Birkholz 763
Gayle Wilson 677

2004

Mayor

*Andrew Humphrey 1,989 (unopposed)

City Council (two seats)

*Ken Willcox 1,244
*John Berns 1,211
Jim Gooley 933

2006

City Council (two seats)

*Sue Bangert 1,126
*Jack Amdal 758
Tom Tanner 695
Doug Hudson 539

2008

Mayor

*Ken Willcox 1,803 (unopposed)

City Council (two seats)

*Andrew Mullin 1,210
*Mary Bader 1,196
Tom Tanner 948

2010

City Council (two seats)

*Tom Tanner 898
*Jack Amdal 861
Jim Wilson 749

2012

Mayor

*Ken Willcox 1,842 (unopposed)

City Council (two seats)

*Andrew Mullin (re elected) 1261
*Bridget Anderson 1079
Alex Plechash 1076


2014

City Council (two seats)

*Steven Tyacke 865
*Johanna McCarthy 799
Alex Plechash 789
Jack Amdal 730


2016

Mayor

*Ken Willcox 2,226 (unopposed)

City Council (two seats)

*Dan Koch 1,718 (unopposed)
*Alex Plechash 1,715 (unopposed)

2018

City Council (two seats)

*Johanna McCarthy ,1337
*Jeff Buchanan 1,028
Cathy Iverson 956
Barry Petit 821


Democratic Candidate Challenging Incumbent Republican For Minnesota Senate District 33 Seat

A Democratic candidate is challenging an incumbent Republican for the Minnesota Senate District 33 seat.

The City of Wayzata falls in Senate District 33.



Sen. David Osmek

Wayzata.com reached out to incumbent David Osmek and did not receive a response to our questions.

 Osmek was first elected to the legislature in 2012.




Gretchen Piper

His opponent, Democrat Gretchen Piper, answered the following questioned posed by Wayzata.com:

Why run?

The health of our democracy depends on our involvement. I’m running to put our shared values into action, not the values of a political party. I’m committed to listening to you and being part of constructive, common sense solutions that benefit our communities - all of us.

How has your background/experience prepared you for this position?

My life has been about taking action for what I believe in, for what makes our communities stronger and healthier. Through college, business school and in my professional career and leadership actions, I have always worked with companies that align with my personal mission to improve our communities every day - representation and transparency in government, healthcare access for everyone, high quality public education, environmental conservation, clean water, human rights, caring for our elders and providing opportunities for all.

Tell me about your family.

I come from a family that places a high value, and an expectation, on service. I’ve spent most of my life in the district, growing up in Hamel and now living in Wayzata with my husband and our two teenagers. My parents and two of my brothers and their families live in the district, and my grandparents also lived in the district. I am so grateful for our community, our public schools and how we come together to support one another. 

What do you see as the priorities in the 33rd District?

Right now, our top priority must be the health and safety of our neighbors during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how we return to work and school while protecting our most vulnerable neighbors and getting our businesses back on track. For example, investment in technology and internet access for everyone is critical, and an important step toward ensuring our recovery. Now is the time we must come together and work together, putting our shared values into action, not letting partisanship get in the way of good policy. We are smart, hard working and innovative neighbors and I trust that together we will find new ways to work, go to school and have a thriving business community. 

What differentiates yourself from your opponent?

I believe in progress above politics. I believe that when we take time to listen to our neighbors, we find the common goals and common ground we need for a vibrant economy, good schools, safe communities and a healthy environment. Regardless of party affiliation, we must work together to get our businesses and economy moving forward again. Partisan politics is hurting our communities. If there were ever a time for us and our creative neighbors to come together, this is it. I know we can do better. We can’t change where we have been, but we can start now, where we are, and create a better path forward. Join me in moving forward. 

How has the development of COVID-19 and the economic downtown impacted the role of a state senator in your mind?

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored vulnerabilities in our communities, and in our infrastructure. Now is the time to work together, to pass critical legislation that ensures the safety of our community, investments in infrastructure projects like water and sewer treatment, best in class internet access, shovel-ready construction projects, and aid that is desperately needed to keep our communities safe and our economy thriving.  

How has George Floyd’s death, protests and riots impacted the role of a state senator in your mind?

Our legislators must be proactive, not reactive. For too long, many have let partisan politics get in the way and failed to address issues of race and policing, delaying difficult conversations and actions. The legislature created a task force of strong, informed community voices who proposed specific changes. Now, we must listen to those recommendations and prioritize action over political grandstanding. 

Anything else you would like to add?

Your voice matters. Each of us has a role to play in our democracy and in making our community better for everyone. I believe our representatives are elected to listen to us and to represent us, not special interests, not a political party. I am not taking any PAC, lobbyist or special interest money and I’m running to represent us, the people of senate district 33. I invite you to visit gretchenpiper.com and join me for a listening session or personal conversation about how we can work together for a better future.

 

Saturday, August 08, 2020

Lake Street Plaza Bathroom Becomes Town Talker

 At the beginning of July, a bathroom facility began to take shape on what was previously the CōV Restaurant parking lot along Lake Street in downtown Wayzata.

It is a portion of a $9 million construction project.

A month later, it has become the town talker.

Wayzata.com photo - July 29, 2020

"I know there's a lot of talk in the community about that," said Dahl during the Aug. 4 city council meeting referring to the construction of the plaza bathroom.

                                                     Wayzata.com photo - July 16, 2020

“I have received a few comments recently about the design of the project, particularly relating to the restroom which is currently under construction,” stated Dahl.

“Public restrooms were demanded by the business community and property owners as a part of our lengthy engagement process,” added Dahl. “Restrooms are usually ‘necessary evil’ when it comes to public space design. While they are needed there is never an ideal location for them.”

Plaza bathroom discussion during the Wayzata City Council Meeting 8/4/20

"One of the conversation pieces around the location of the restroom was also with regard to the relocation of the trail head and bike parking in the public ramp and close proximity to all those things," said city council member Johanna McCarthy during the Aug. 4 city council meeting. "So, as I remember the conversation, that was certainly also a discussion point in terms of where we would locate the restroom facilities."

To get a better idea of the community concerns, Wayzata.com asked Facebook followers what they thought of the bathroom’s location.

The comments were mostly negative. A small sampling includes:

  • “Absolutely terrible. No one wants to look at a latrine when you are enjoying $15 cocktails and a $250 dinner. Admit it is in the wrong location and move it while you still can.”
  • “It looks ridiculous. Sit on the patio of COV, McCormicks & Gianni’s and enjoy a view of the toilet.”
  • “Horrendous, the planners and the city should be embarrassed they approved this into their plans. The goal of the Lake Effect Program was to beautify the landscape of our incredible city.”
  • “I would move it.”
  • “I feel bad for the businesses that now have a view of the bathrooms instead of the beautiful lake.”

During the planning stages, the city looked at three options for the restroom:

1.) West end of plaza

2.) Within the central plaza

3.) Just west of Cov Restaurant (current location)

Dahl admits that while it currently looks like a cinder block, the final product will be different.

Photo courtesy City of Wayzata

Photo courtesy City of Wayzata

“The structure will be skinned in a semi-reflective material with a series of white ‘fins’ wrapping the structure to provide further articulation and tying it into the design of the shade structure in the central plaza. The reflective material will reflect the trees, lake sky and adjacent activities, further softening it appearance and further help it blend into its surroundings,” said Dahl.

“Additionally, because it is the only vertical structure currently installed it stands out,” said Dahl.


Friday, August 07, 2020

State: CōV COVID Compliant

CōV Wayzata was one of 14 bars and restaurants warned last month for employees violating mask requirements, adherence to social distancing with tables less than six feet apart and establishments serving to more than 50 percent capacity.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) now says that CōV Wayzata and the other 13 establishments are now COVID compliant.

“We are grateful to those establishments who are working hard to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by following a few simple guidelines,” said DPS Assistant Commissioner Booker Hodges. “We can all do our part to help keep our businesses safe by wearing a mask, social distancing and adhering to establishment seating limits.”  

The other 13 bars and restaurants initially warned include:

  • Neisen’s Sports Bar, Savage 
  • K & J Catering , North St Paul
  • Route 47 Pub & Grub, Fridley
  • Long Siding Bar & Grill, Princeton
  • Danno’s, Anoka
  • Hoban Korean BBQ, Minneapolis
  • Pablo’s Mexican Restaurant, Shakopee
  • Arnie’s Friendly Folks Club, Shakopee
  • Princeton Speedway, Princeton
  • Rollie’s, Sauk Rapids
  • Breakfast Bar, Minneapolis
  • The Stadium, Annandale
  • Cowboy Jacks, Minneapolis

Law enforcement officers surveilled 919 restaurants and bars throughout the state looking for violations between July 4 and July 13.


Thursday, August 06, 2020

Wayzata Schools To Present Hybrid Learning Plan To School Board

In a letter to Wayzata Public Schools families and staff, Superintendent Chace Anderson announced that the school district will present a hybrid learning plan to school board members next week.


Below is the text the school district sent out in an email Thursday afternoon.

Dear WPS Families and Staff, 

I am pleased to share Wayzata Learns—A flexible plan for the 2020-21 school year. Safe learning is at the heart of our planning for the 2020-21 school year. One thing the virus is teaching us all is to be flexible. This plan reflects that flexibility, preparing us for the possibility of in-person learning and the necessity of distance learning as the year progresses.

Based on the current trends of COVID-19 in our community, we are proposing to practice safety by beginning the year with hybrid learning. Our Wayzata Distance Choice scenario is an option for families who are not comfortable with hybrid or in-person learning.

The Wayzata Learns plan is being presented to the Wayzata School Board at a Work Session today at 4 p.m. A link to the meeting can be found on our online District Calendar.

Please share your feedback by completing the survey that can be found in the Wayzata Learns plan no later than noon on Saturday, August 8. The Board is planning to take action on a recommendation at its August 10 regular meeting at 7 p.m.

Thank you again for your continued support, patience and understanding as we do our very best to plan for the 2020-21 school year.

Sincerely,

Chace B. Anderson

Superintendent


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Gov. Tim Walz announced last week that individual Minnesota public school districts will determine their own instruction plans for the upcoming school year as a part of the Safe Learning Plan.

COVID-19 cases in each school district will impact how school districts determine the plan for fall.


Gov. Tim Walz at news conference July 30, 2020

The State of Minnesota recommends the following learning models according to the number of COVID-19 cases.

These are recommendations that are given to the individual school districts to help determine what is best for their students and staff.




There were basically three options on the table: 1.) Students return to class full time, 2.) Students return to class part time and do distance learning part time, 3.) Students do only distance learning.


According to a recent survey of families done by the Wayzata school district, more than half of parents interviewed were either very comfortable or comfortable with in-person instruction.

Meanwhile, more than half of school district staff stated they were very comfortable or comfortable in returning to their school/work location this fall according to a school district survey.



Wayzata High School Football And Volleyball Moved To Spring Amid COVID Concerns

The Wayzata state champion football and volleyball teams will have to wait until spring to defend their titles.

The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) announced football and volleyball are moving to next spring.

The board states spring football will have no scrimmages, a shorter season, and fewer games. The postseason plan still has not been determined.

The MSHSL’s board of directors decided to move forward with other fall activities including girls tennis, cross country, soccer and girls swimming and diving.

“Our Board of Directors recognizes the importance of the League’s activities in supporting the mental and physical well-being of our students and worked very hard to provide some level of participation in all activities,” said MSHSL Executive Director Erich Martens. “In addition, they recognize their responsibility in focusing on the health and safety of all who participate in or support these opportunities.”


2 City Planning Commissioners File For City Council Seats

Two Wayzata Planning Commissioners have filed for city council seats.

Both Cathy Iverson and Jeffrey Parkhill filed this week.




Iverson ran for city council two years ago. Ultimately, current council members Johanna McCarthy and Jeff Buchanan were elected.

Iverson and Parkhill will face off with current council members Dan Koch and Alex Plechash in the November election.


Meanwhile, council member Johanna McCarthy announced she is running for mayor. Current mayor Ken Willcox recently announced he is not running again.


 




Sunday, August 02, 2020

Portion Of Lake Street Closed Monday - Wednesday 6a - 5p


According to Stahl Construction, the 600 block of Lake Street in Wayzata will be closed from 6 a.m to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.

The closure will allow the completion of planter bed landscaping.

Democratic Candidate Challenging Incumbent Republican For Minnesota House District 33A Seat

A Democratic candidate is challenging an incumbent Republican for the Minnesota House District 33A seat.

The City of Wayzata falls in House District 33A.

Rep. Jerry Hertaus

Wayzata.com reached out to incumbent Jerry Hertaus and did not receive a response to our questions.

Hertaus was first elected to the legislature in 2012.



Caitlin Cahill

His opponent, Democrat Caitlin Cahill, answered the following questioned posed by Wayzata.com:

Why run?

As a lifelong Minnesotan and longtime resident of this district, I have first-hand insight into the values and challenges of our community. We live in some of the fastest-growing communities in the state, and we need practical, forward-thinking representation to match that growth. Business as usual will not suffice. I will make it a priority to listen to constituents and develop data-driven solutions to make our communities even better.

How has your background/experience prepared you for this position?

As a city council member and a former county library board member, I have over a decade of experience developing effective public policy, and I understand the interconnectedness of local government from municipal to county to the state. As a small business owner, I know the importance of open communication, which includes being available and listening to people’s concerns to identify pain points.

Tell me about your family.

My family has a tradition of public service. From my grandfathers who served in the military to my parents and siblings who have all worked in public institutions, including local schools, county government, and state services. My three siblings and I grew up in Plymouth and all graduated from the Wayzata Schools. Growing up, we enjoyed Minnesota’s wonderful outdoors, with many family road trips to state parks.

What do you see as the priorities in District 33A?

Many of our cities need support upgrading their water and sewer infrastructure to ensure safe drinking water, to protect our environment from pollution, and reduce costs to residents. We also have several roadways, such as Highway 12, in need of safety upgrades. As such, I would prioritize a robust jobs & local projects bill, which would also help counteract some of the effects of the pandemic on our construction industry. I have also heard from many small businesses and parents about the struggles of slow internet, as commerce and schools moved online due to the pandemic; I would also prioritize reliable high-speed internet across the state. Ensuring economic security and affordable healthcare for all will always be a priority for me as a legislator.