District 1 Updates from Commissioner Frethem

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Serving the communities of Arden Hills, Gem Lake, North Oaks, Shoreview, Vadnais Heights, White Bear Township, and parts of Mounds View, Spring Lake Park and Blaine.

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July 28, 2021

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Nicole Frethem
Commissioner, District 1
651-266-8362 or 651-425-9580 

Sheena Denny
Principal Aide

Nancy Larson
Administrative Assistant

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Commissioner Frethem sitting at her desk

board meeting

As of June 8, 2021, the board of commissioners returned to in-person meetings, however, board meetings and workshops can still be streamed online on the Ramsey County webpage.

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Sign up for the County's coronavirus email newsletter.

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Ramsey County has launched the new Job Connect online job board to connect residents and employers during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. This employment platform is the latest tool integrated within the county’s economic development website, RamseyCountyMeansBusiness.com, which provides business development resources and incentives.

Advisory Boards & Committees

Serving on a Ramsey County advisory board is a great way to get involved with your local government and make a positive impact on your community. The board of commissioners appoint residents to serve in these important roles that help shape policy, review programs and plans, and represent families and residents in Ramsey County.


Current openings:

Capital Improvement Program Citizens Advisory Committee

  • Seven vacancies: districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.
  • Application deadline: August 6
  • Apply here.

Community Health Services Advisory Committee

  • Especially looking for individuals who can bring environmental health and non-healthcare perspectives to the committee. 
  • Four vacancies: all at-large.
  • Open until filled.
  • Apply here.

Disabled Veterans Rest Camp Board

Members must be veterans. Members direct operations of the camp, which is located on Big Marine Lake. The board is made up of representatives appointed by the Ramsey and Washington County Boards, the Disabled American Veterans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.

  • One vacancy.
  • Term: August 2, 2021 to August 1, 2023.
  • Open until filled.
  • Apply here.

Personnel Review Board 

The Personnel Review Board hears disciplinary appeals by veterans relating to discharge or suspension; reviews disciplinary appeals after an administrative law judge has heard them; hears non-disciplinary appeals; and may review the Human Resources Department services procedures and practices as directed by the County Board.

  • Three vacancies.
  • Term: August 2, 2021 to August 1, 2025.
  • Open until filed.
  • Apply here.

To sign up for board opening notices, visit the Ramsey County webpage.

Resources for Families with Low Incomes

Children together

Community Action Head Start is hosting an open house on Wednesday, August 4, 2021 from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the Bruce Vento Conference Room, 450 Syndicate St. N, St. Paul, MN 55104. Come hear about program options and funding sources. 

Park Ordinance Project

park picture

Ramsey County Parks ordinance revision process aims to:

  • Respond to long-standing community feedback about park access.
  • Minimize or eliminate regulations that may be enforced in a discriminatory way, and increase racial inequity.
  • Modernize the ordinance and address contemporary park issues.

Changes should result in an ordinance that is equitable, consistent and streamlined; promotes greater enjoyment of the parks; increases user safety; and protects park facilities, property and natural resources for everyone to enjoy.

Join us on Wednesday, August 11, noon-12:45 and Tuesday, August 17, 7:00 pm-7:45 p.m. to provide input on three main areas: Park hours, tobacco use in parks, and ordinance violation fines and penalties. You'll also have a chance to provide feedback on draft language.

Learn more about the Park Ordinance Project.

Free Household Hazardous Waste Collection

Free household hazardous waste collection is available at 1352 Ben Franklin Road in Arden Hills on Fridays and Saturdays throughout July.

The site is open Fridays from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Learn more about household hazardous waste collection in Arden Hills.

It's been awhile...

Over the last several weeks, we've seen many changes in how we operate as we have started to shift back to in person gatherings. As we've reflected on that, we appreciate your patience in the gap in our newsletter communication. We plan to return to our more frequent newsletters and also provide more opportunities to gather together as a community.

Below, you'll read about an opportunity to engage together through a circle process. Although this series of dialogue circles will be around connecting with those who are interested in the Rice Creek Commons (also known as TCAAP or arsenal site) development, I hope to use this format for future community engagement, especially this fall as we hope to have some healing conversations before going into the winter.

You'll also note an update on where we are at in the COVID-19 pandemic. While Ramsey County is over the goal of having 70% of eligible people vaccinated, we're still seeing some troubling trends in cases that could derail the progress we've made. I remain hopeful, yet cautious, that we are moving into a better stage and will get to focus on healing and rebuilding a stronger community over the next few years.

On the left column, please take a look at opportunities for community members to involve and engage in county projects, as well as resource opportunities.

Commissioner Frethem Statement about Rice Creek Commons and Announcement of Upcoming Dialogue Circles

Rendering of Rice Creek Commons development

On June 17, 2021, Judge Wahl dismissed all claims in the lawsuit between Ramsey County and Arden Hills over our Joint Powers Agreement. Over the last two years, I have been asked my position on this lawsuit and it was challenging to answer because the litigation started before I sought this position, hindering open dialogue.

I believe that what is built on this site must achieve “the common goals of creating jobs; establishing a walkable live-work-play community; and developing an attractive, amenity-rich, mixed-use environment that appeals to current and new residents, businesses, and the greater community.”

Focusing on developing a mutual understanding on how to move forward together and develop a congruent understanding of the project vision, is the most valuable path we can take. 

It is time for an open, forward looking dialogue about the future of our community and this project. Through such a dialogue, I believe, we can rebuild strong relationships together.

I invite and encourage the entire community to join me in discussion. I will be convening several dialogue circles, in person and online, over the next few weeks to provide an opportunity for all of those who are interested in the future of this project to listen and be heard in this process. 

Dialogue circle dates and locations:

Delta Variant and Covid-19 Vaccine


At the board meeting yesterday, Commissioners received an update from the Public Health and COVID incident response team on the Delta Variant of COVID-19. Although the rate of transmission in Ramsey County remains below the warning threshold and is considered an area of moderate risk by the CDC, our numbers are headed in the wrong direction. Our case rate as of July 25 was 42.88 cases per 100k people which is up 85.83 % from one week ago.

Our medical director noted that over 97% of Minnesotans hospitalized with COVID are unvaccinated. The most important measure you can take to protect yourself and your community is to get a vaccine, if you are age 12 or older.

Vaccines are FREE for everyone and widely available. For more information, visit the covid-19 dashboard on the Ramsey County webpage. 

Current vaccination rates (as of July 23, 2021) in District 1 are:

  • 55112 - 73%
  • 55126 - 82%
  • 55127 - 77%
  • 55110 - 71%

If you are not sure how to find a vaccine or make an appointment, we can help. Contact our office at district1@co.ramsey.mn.us