Posted by Lynne Beck on Aug 22, 2023
Rotary Club of Saint Paul
August 22, 2023                    
President Heidi Fisher called the hybrid meeting to order at 12:16 pm. Lynne Beck was scribe. The greeters were Jason DeKeuster and Dayle Quigley. The A/V Tech Team was Matt Magers and Noble Orji.
Heidi Fisher led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Joy McElroy read from the book The Second Mountain by David Brooks for an Inspirational Minute. She read selections about “Community: Code of the Neighborhoods and This Expert” and led members in the 4-Way Test.
Michael-jon Pease introduced two guests: Kathy Madore from Edina Realty and Anne Rodenberg, the Director of Individual Giving at the Wilder Foundation.
Jay Pfaender introduced the speaker James P. Francis, Mayor of South St. Paul and an employee of Benefits Advisor for Assured Partners. A graduate of Brown College in broadcasting, Jimmy was the 2010 Prime Minister of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival and a 16-year member of the South St. Paul Rotary Club. His program topic was “Send ‘Em All to South St. Paul” about the $31.5 M upgrade to Concord Street. He began by giving some background on South St. Paul.
  • In the 1800’s, the region was the home of the Dakota Sioux tribes.
  • During the late 1800’s, the stock yards located there (Swift and Armour).
  • By 2008 the stock yards became an industrial park.
  • It is considered an economically depressed area so is eligible of federal funding.
  • It is a thriving community now that is developing up not out.
Some facts about South St. Paul
  • 3 governors came from there.
  • It is a Special School District.
  • Many Olympians came from there.
  • Augustus “Gus” Francis, a relative of the speaker, was mayor in 1906.
  • His grandmother was elected the treasurer before there was a finance director.
  • Jimmy is the first mayor in 136 years without a stock yards connection.
Concord Street was the center of economic activity the late 1800’s and 1900’s. South St. Paul has been working on the Concord Street Project from 2016-2023. It is a partnership between MnDOT and Dakota County. The total cost of project is $31.5M, funded by a number of sources. It includes new sidewalks, pipes, lighting, road resurfacing, bike shoulders, etc. “The road no longer looks like an alley to a slaughterhouse.” There will be more housing for middle and high income families since there is already plenty of affordable housing.
Michael-jon Pease asked for Happy Dollars. Shelly Ruck announced that she will be sending a survey to everyone to ask their opinion of the Como Lakeside Pavilion location. She will end the same survey after the meetings at CHS stadium and the InterContinental Hotel. Linda Mulhern told about our Japanese Youth Exchange student Sophia Cutrone who arrived from Nagasaki. She asked club members to include her in activities during the year. Doug Hartford mentioned that Winter Spark will be on December 7 at Metro State. Brianna Haglin announced that there will be a RYLA meeting tonight. They can use some more volunteers for the marketing and curriculum committees. Peter Grayson is the chair of RYLA this year. Michael-jon Pease said that St. Paul Park Conservancy is working with the City Council on a $6M Pedro Park project and is partnering with the Minnesota Historical Society on a coloring books featuring parks.
Heidi Fisher led the club in a Trivia Question: When was the phrase “Service Above Self” adopted.
Ken Crabb announced that Science Museum Project will be September 2, 10-2. You can sign up for the entire time or 2-hour shifts.
Signature Luncheon
Kevin Engdahl, Colunbia EMERGE
August 29, 2023, 12 PM
CHS Securian Club
Social at CHS Field
Rotary Night at the Saints game
August 31, 7:07 PM
Contact Sherry Howe
Signature Lunch:
Jeff Olson, MN Hockey Greats
September 5, 2023, 12 PM
InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront
The meeting closed at 1:20 pm.  
Lynne Beck