Mayor Advocates for Equity Commission

A year ago, with the country undergoing major social change, I proposed that Maplewood create an Equity Commission. In my experience of 18 years as an elected official, I have seen the benefits that our boards and commissions have brought to our community. We have an abundance of intelligent and engaged citizens who can help coordinate issues of diversity, social justice, transparency and inclusion between Council, City staff and the other boards and commissions.

Most of our commissions act in an advisory capacity, leveraging citizen expertise and enthusiasm to make recommendations that traverse and connect the different governmental entities listed above. An example of this is the Sustainability Commission I initiated. The following is a link to their page on the City website and their accomplishments:

https://www.cityofmaplewood.com/364/Sustainability

I feel that we have lost a year of potential progress while the Council studies equity issues through workshops and hired consultants. It would be helpful if commission members were included on that journey. There is nothing wrong with Council studying equity, but waiting until the academic process is complete and then deciding on creating a commission means that equity work in the city has and will be delayed for yet another year when we could have been engaging our citizens and taking tangible steps toward creating a more inclusive, just, diverse and equitable community.

81 thoughts on “Mayor Advocates for Equity Commission

  1. There are many interesting comments here. Maplewood has been changing over the past 20+ years for better or for worse. I think Maplewood has developed, and is still developing, into a more progressive town than in the recent past. Ms. Knapper is what is needed now for Maplewood at this point in Maplewood’s life. Thank you for your past service, Mr. Greenberg.

  2. Sad to see Barry getting treated so harshly here and elsewhere after so many years of service to Maplewood. I don’t agree with everything he has said or done but I do think that he has been making a good faith effort to do what he thinks is in the best interest of our community.

    • Yeah, that’s all fine. But now it’s time for somebody new. And Barry is not doing himself any favors here. Especially with the article he just published disparaging the local fire department.

  3. Time for some new blood. This political hack has been in office too long and is making the Maplewood gov’t look as disfunctional as St. Louis County…

    • Welcome back, Uncle Jed. You hit the nail on the head. Time for new blood, despite the incumbent’s years of experience, or complacency, however you choose to call it.

  4. Well I wasn’t very sure about this mayoral election but this comment section has solidified that I’m voting for Nikylan

  5. This is the most 2020-2021 40SouthNews comment section ever. So much unchecked racism and excuses. Glad to see people in Maplewood fighting the good fight. We moved away around the time of the ACLU lawsuit and the rampant racism that resulted, and it pains me to see Barry Greenberg still at the helm after his complete and utter failure during that time and others.

    We’ll be watching the results from Colorado!

    Go get em, Nikylan!

    -The Potter Family

  6. Ok, comments are turned back on for this post. Again, please avoid personal attacks. Let’s not do LBGTQ phobic comments either. Thanks

    • So do personal attacks include specifically naming other community members and calling them nasty trolls? Or no? Asking for literally everyone. Yikes.

      • “Troll” is a well established term for people who instigate arguments by making inflammatory statements on the Internet. It is not necessarily pejorative. From the verb, “to troll,” as in “The fisherman was trolling for a bite from any fish in the river.”

  7. So many, many comments from the incumbent but not a single word directed at his supporter who opined about the nuisance order and “taking out the trash.”

    • Probably because that person is a troll, and you know what they say about feeding trolls. Anyone who remembers anything about Maplewood could easily argue that Barry is the most progressive mayor in the last several decades.

  8. Gee whiz, folks. Such sniping is unbecoming for a town where the two candidates probably agree on the big stuff. FWIW, I spotted Barry knocking on doors and canvassing in person last weekend. He’s done more for this town than just about anyone, and he is the kind of guy who will talk to you for as long as you want about our city. We are lucky to have experienced and generally collegial council members, but there are seven people on it, each with one vote and their own ideas and agenda. Swapping out the mayor for a newcomer will not magically make the council run more smoothly. The other candidate hasn’t even finished her first term on the school board. Will she be running for another office in 2022 if she wins this one?

      • There are precisely zero professional politicians on the city council; it’s composed of citizens with other full-time jobs who are doing their best to serve the community for virtually no money. Experience and institutional memory do matter. There is a big difference.

        • Your own logic applies. If this logic only applies locally, where (in your mind) does it stop applying? And why? Additionally: what level of experience and institutional memory did Barry have upon taking office? How many years of service to one’s community and in what capacity would YOU view as acceptable for this non-paid elected position?

          Because it seems to me that you are simultaneously saying it matters and it doesn’t matter.

          • I’m not exactly sure what you’re arguing or asking. We’re discussing a local matter, so local rubrics apply. A “professional politician” is one who makes their entire living by serving in public office. No one in Maplewood can claim that. However, it is generally helpful if a mayoral candidate has finished at least one term in another elected office before running for mayor. I think we’ve seen what happens when inexperienced candidates suddenly have control of things. If you don’t know what Barry did before becoming mayor, then I question whether you actually live in Maplewood.

  9. Maplewood Municipal elections have usually been about as interesting as watching paint dry.
    Now this one really is interesting. I will probably stay up late to see the returns.

  10. A couple things: apparently the mayor and city council aren’t ‘getting along’. Doesn’t each council member, including the mayor, each get only one vote? Also, aren’t the meetings conducted by Roberts Rules of Order? Shouldn’t that diminish personal feelings? One more thing: If Ms Knapper wins the election and everyone is ‘singing Kumbaya’ I hope that having all city department heads agree to a city manager hire is part of the process.

  11. For some context, this was discussed at the last City Council meeting.

    A request for proposal (RFP) has been sent out to firms to help the City with this effort.

    The RFP is purposefully flexible and multi-stepped. Council members expressed confidence that citizens will be a part of the journey as the Council examines equity in Maplewood with guidance from a firm.

    Waiting on forming an Equity Commission doesn’t mean citizens will be cut out of the process. In fact, I think ideas brought forward by a firm could help ensure greater citizen involvement.

    • Thanks for adding this context, Owen. I would add that the fact that Dr. Pardini and Ms. Crosley were absent at the last meeting is another key point to make here. They have been driving this discussion for awhile now. Forcing through a vote on anything felt wrong to do in their absence, and at least one Council member voiced that concern.

      • There was no vote. The equity discussion was placed on the old business agenda item as a recurring item which means that we needed to discuss equity issues. I wanted to revisit my proposal for and Equity Commission. I appreciate Mr. Skoler’s thoughtful comment even though we might not agree on the sequence of the process. These are the type of conversations we should be having. Not only was he in attendance at the previous meeting, he summarized the pertinent point in an objective manner. I think he would be an excellent addition to an Equity Commission, whether it happens before or after the Council’s exercise.

      • Barry: I suppose I may have mischaracterized the discussion when I used the words ‘forcing a vote.’ I should have said was: ‘pushing the issue’ and maybe also ‘…after it had been discussed on many occasions already.’

        We know that our Boards and Commissions are predominantly white, and the process of selecting an adequately representative commission to examine and tackle equity issues effectively should include folks who don’t look like Owen (no offense, my friend!) In order to make that happen, I would suggest following through on the RFP — which for some reason you seem to at one point *oppose* during this discussion?? — PRIOR to establishing the commission.

        Readers: Click here for the full discussion starting at 22:22 https://youtu.be/_8L68-x8F_8

        Looking forward to hearing your response to my questions below re: City Manager hire.

        Thank you.

        • Gina, I was a RH councilman for 12 years and committee member for for additional years, we never had more than one non-white on the council of 9. You could say most of our council and committees were all are mostly white but that was not a choice the local government made intentionally. You have to voluteer to be appointed or run. If no one volunteers but whites, that is why those positions are filled by whites. Any insinuation otherwise diminishes the time and effort put forth by those that do. If more people of color stepped forward and offered their time I suspect there would be more representation present. If bothers me that my, and others, volunteer work is perceived in a racial aspect.

          • Sounds like you have given a lot of your time and energy to the Richmond Heights community and that is admirable. If you read closer you’ll understand that the suggestion of having a more diverse committee was specifically in reference in the equity commission, which seems appropriate. You bring up a good point though, and that made me think of something our current mayor also referenced. That is, if you are aware of the demographics of your community (around 30% and 20% minority in Maplewood and Richmond Heights respectively) and you look around and you are near 100% white representation then maybe we can all do more. It’s also important to note at this point that this has no negative assumption upon those that have served in the past. We are looking into the future and how we can make it better. I’ll admit I’m not authority on equity but I have listened, read and learned some and one point that seems relevant is the difference of equality and equity. For example if you own a company and you are hiring employees and want to view your hiring practices with an equity lens you might adjust your practice. Of course, I’m not saying you would want to hire someone less qualified but rather look at how and where you are attracting applicants. By doing this you are still looking for great applicants but also addressing the widely accepted position that minorities have not been afforded the same advantages as their counterparts in the workplace. I think if we can have a growth mindset of what we can do better and less defensive about what we have done in the past it may feel less like a personal attack. I’m sure in the time that you served you challenged the status quo to make a better community and this is a similar idea, trying to be more inclusive. Just my thoughts and again thank you for your service to the community.

        • The issue of establishing a commission to study equity issues was an idea that I brought up and felt was a valuable tool. It hadn’t been discussed “many times. I waited a long time to revisit it and see if anyone else found value in it. During the Council meeting last night, during the budget discussion, I wanted to make sure that the work delineated in the RFP was included in the budget. That was the will of the majority of the Council and I wanted to make sure it happened. I just felt that my previous experience with boards and commissions was that they all have done a good job and brought issues to the attention of Council that needed to be addressed. The Council is made up of seven, hopefully independent voices and all of us are trying to do the right thing. We might differ on how that should be accomplished.

          The RFP was not written just to assist the Council in selecting a diverse commission. I wish all of our boards and commissions were represented by diversity of all kinds, but the process that we just implemented, that was put together by the entire council, yielded few candidates that fit the desired background. Council members had an opportunity to recruit minority candidates and I felt that we were the best ones to do that since any consultant would not have a familiarity of our residents that our Council members do. The recruitment pool is obviously limited to Maplewood residents, with SBD and D&R/HPC and including a prescribed number of non-residents. I am looking forward to see how a consultant will fill positions with qualified, diverse candidates, but I still feel we have lost too much time when an Equity Commission could have been up and running by now and contributing to the conversation.

  12. I would like to revisit a comment a supporter made. When the ACLU sued Maplewood for it’s nuisance ordinance related to 911 calls. You knew that it made survivors of domestic abuse vulnerable to continuing abuse. Yet, you still supported the ordinance and “stuck it to the ACLU”. I believe the supporter referred to abuse survivors as whiny and not always to be believed. Why did you support this harmful and possibly deadly policy?

    • The problem with social media is that if someone says something, other people take it as gospel. It took me a day to go through my correspondence and the following is what was released after the ACLU and EHOC cases were finished. This is what I composed and sent to citizens in order to keep them informed of what was happening:

      Dear Resident,
      Recently, much discussion has taken place in some parts of Maplewood regarding the City’s nuisance ordinance. The purpose of this ordinance is to keep the peace and improve the quality of life for residents by abating nuisances that exist throughout our city. The majority of nuisance enforcement deals with buildings and grounds issues such as tall grass, dead (dangerous) trees, peeling paint, broken windows, trash and debris, etc. If an individual refuses to address such issues, the City will hold a nuisance hearing. If a nuisance is found to exist, the city may abate the nuisance and file a lien to recover abatement costs. These hearings are held only after traditional code enforcement means have failed.

      The nuisance ordinance also exists to eliminate nuisances that affect one’s quality of life from disturbances such as fighting, shootings, domestic disturbances, drug distribution, assaults, public drunkenness, etc. For these examples, a nuisance evidentiary hearing can be held where the individual or individuals who are allegedly causing the nuisance have the right legal counsel and/or the right to present sworn testimony for a court reporter as to why the incidences have occurred. A determination as to whether a nuisance exists is then made based on the sworn testimony, police reports or any other evidence presented at the hearing. If it is determined that a nuisance exists, the nuisance hearing officer can prescribe corrective action. Please remember your right to call the police department or fire department does not and never has been grounds for a nuisance hearing. If you have been told you could be deemed a nuisance for simply calling the police or fire departments, please be aware that this is not the case.

      In Maplewood’s well-publicized domestic and peace disturbance ACLU case, it was never reported that both individuals were deemed assailants based on physical evidence contained in the police reports and testimony at the hearing. The plaintiff in this case was also quoted as claiming that she wasn’t told that she could have legal representation. However, the plaintiff was sent a certified letter, that she signed for, that clearly stated she was welcome to be represented by legal counsel. The ACLU case is one of two legal cases that were brought against the City. The ACLU case was settled after it was determined the city did not use the ordinance in a discriminatory manner and the City agreed to modify the nuisance ordinance. The second lawsuit by Equal Housing Opportunity Council (EHOC) was dismissed in its entirety by the court.
      During the legal process, Maplewood staff and elected officials were appropriately advised against discussing the case or risking loss of insurance coverage. During that time, EHOC and ACLU used the opportunity to exploit the City’s silence by holding public meetings and disseminating information that was in some cases misleading or untruthful. The best thing that came out of the process is that the nuisance ordinance has been updated. The City of Maplewood is also restricted by the ACLU from making changes for at least 5 years, without their approval. They essentially want to make sure that the City does not turn around and rescind the ordinance, because they are satisfied that the language protects civil rights.
      Please remember, nuisance problems are called to our attention by citizens calling in nuisance concerns to the public works department and/or police department. If your quality of life is being disturbed on a regular basis, the nuisance ordinance can be used to address these issues.

      Now please tell me in what manner I supported a “harmful and possibly deadly policy”. If anything, I pointed out that false accusations were used by the ACLU to make their case. That doesn’t justify the accusation you made. The ACLU did not contact the City prior to filing the suit and they based their claims on information that was publicized by EHOC for political purposes. Their suit was thrown found to be without merit, but it made for good publicity. The adversarial approach taken by the ACLU cost their donors needless money and the City of Maplewood time and taxpayers dollars. The net result was that the ACLU requested minor changes that we were happy to implement and would have implemented if they had just approached us with their concerns in the first place.

  13. Barry: Constituents who voice their opinions about your performance as mayor and their support for your opponent is not a “coordinated attack.”

    It’s called democracy.

    • That applies to both sides, Beth. And Ms. Knapper also needs to be open to questions about her qualifications and abilities as well without attacking those who ask legitimate questions.

      Would be nice if more practiced what they preach here.

      • Nikylan is open to questions. She has held multiple zoom meet and greets in addition to being available via Facebook messenger, email, or phone.

        As far as attacking?
        Nah.
        Nikylan hasn’t attacked anyone.

        In addition, she has the guts to use her full name when commenting on social media.

        Keep ranting into the void, Don.

  14. It looks like the reply was not posted, so this is my second attempt:

    I am currently a sole proprietor, so the first question is not applicable. When I ran ADG for 39 years, I hired candidates on their qualifications and ability to do the job, regardless of race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, or other irrelevant criteria. As a medium sized architectural firm, we did not have a hiring panel as a large corporation might have. The metrics in the workplace supported any employee that did a good job, again regardless of skin color.
    I have used my “privilege” in the following manner: I earned the President’s Volunteer Service Award from the Obama administration for my work and support of Sherwood Forest camp for over a dozen years. They provide camping, social and educational services to children whose families can’t afford to send them. You can see their mission at: https://www.sherwoodforeststl.org/about/vision/. I have been actively involved in the Maplewood Kiwanis Club. Please review the website at: https://www.kiwanis.org/about/mission and consider joining. Our club sponsors the Key Club at MRH High School and has donated tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships to students who could not afford a higher education. I also work with Engineers Without Borders, with the latest project being a school in rural Guatemala.
    In addition, I adopted an African American child shortly after birth and gave hive opportunities that his substance abusing birth parents couldn’t have provided. Today he is an Emergency Medical Technician, saving lives and making a positive contribution to society.

    • “Not only did I adopt, but I adopted a black kid, look at me and my rainbow family, because I can assure you we don’t see color, and let me tell you, I raised him 100% like I would a white kid, and that gives me the right to tell the world about the intimate details of his bio family, because I’m so much better than them!!¨

      • Can you explain how you would raise a child 100% like you would a white kid because that sounds like a racist statement to me? I didn’t say I was better than anyone, those are your words. The story is that we were told that there was child that needed a home. We adopted him and gave him a loving home, support and educational resources through Job Corps. He is very appreciative of the opportunities he received. He had a chance to connect with some of his birth family and chose not to. He has experienced racism because of his skin color. You can fill in the blanks with any details that will reinforce your perceptions, but my son and I have loving relationship and he is a caring husband and father. I don’t feel like I did anything wrong.

        • “shortly after birth”, a baby needs his mom. Research how damaging separation trauma is. Research fawning which is a trauma response of adoptees who are so scared of being given back they do ANYTHING to please their adoptive family and are hurting inside. Because they “got so many opportunities” how can they be ungrateful? Research the trauma and damage of transracial adoption. A baby belongs with their family. What if the “resources” you spent on that child had been spent on family preservation? On housing, rehab and support for his parents, and scholarships for him? He may not live your fancy life but he would be much better off psychologically. Ask any adoptee who isn’t scared to death to hurt their adoptive parents’ fragile ego.

          • So Pauline knows well the circumstances through which this particular child was separated from his birth parents and put up for adoption, and therefore negatively judges the adoptive parents… interesting.

      • Anyone who doesn’t contribute to the welfare of the city. The positions of mayor and council member are not salaried jobs, all of us who held those positions had to work a regular job to support our families. The stipend we got for those positions was just that, a stipend, not a liveable wage. Committee members got nothing. We’ve gave up part of our free time to work for the benefit of the city. We never pleased everyone but we did what we thought was best and what many of our neighbors expected of us, on our own time, not on a payroll. We (including spouces) are often stopped in grocery stores, restaurans and the like, recieved phone calls, emails and physical visits from neighbors with legitimate complaints about something and acted on it to the best of our abilites however one wants their street designated one way, another doesn’t. If you’re unhappy with this or that don’t sit on the sidelines and snipe at others, get off your butt and get involved, like we did. Keep in mind they are difficult positions to be in, it’s a good feeling to actively work for the betterment of the city but don’t expect any thanks.

  15. Not sure why we got to have council sining kumbayah and being told what the right words are to say. I liked that you told the ACLU people to shove it when they sued us about the nusiance ordinance. If you want to do crimes here you need to leave and I don’t care about he said/she said wah I’m a domestic violence victim. Usually not a voter becuase everyone around here is all PC but I support Barry becuase he knows that sometimes you got to take out the trash and I said what I said.

    • That is a very inappropriate comment. You discredit yourself. For your own sake, some self reflection is in order.

    • Your justification for endorsing Barry is, at the same time, providing people the reason to vote for Nikylan. Your celebration of his willingness to”take out the trash” is disturbing. Nikylan’s got the firefighter endorsement. I guess Barry has the unapologetic racist endorsement. Mr. Greenberg, what is your reaction to the fact that racists support you? Does it matter to you that that you Are counted on to “take out the trash”? It would be refreshing to have a response from you that is reflective instead of continuing to justify and explain how you’ve been wrongly perceived. It’s fair to ask an incumbent what he’s learned and what he would have done differently. I’m not asking what you want to do in the future. I am asking for a reflection on what you could have been handled differently so that racists aren’t so enamored with you. Experience and wisdom aren’t the same thing.

  16. Where is the Senior Citizen Commission we were promised? What about us? Barry said four years ago he would create that commission and we still don’t have it. He has just moved on to something else that he thinks is going to get him votes. Your word should be your bond, Mr. Mayor. Stop pandering for votes and do what you said you’d do four years ago.

    • In conjunction with creating a senior commission I purchased several dozen tablets with the intent of working with AARP to provide instruction to interested seniors so that we didn’t have duplicate the services that they provided. The partnership never materialized due to commitment and coordination issues with AARP. After coming to the realization that we would have to do it ourselves, I contacted local citizens that could provide those services and then the pandemic hit. You are correct that it never came to fruition, and I will apologize for that. However to draw the conclusion that I am pandering for votes by proposing a commission that would be driven by engaged citizens and benefit the community is irresponsible. I made this proposal quite a while ago and I feel that it is valid then and I feel that it is valid now. And yes, I will get back to the senior commission when Covid concerns recede. You failed to mention dozens of initiatives I have followed up on because it is politically expedient to do so.

      • I was born and raise is Missouri and this is the Show Me state. Stop talking so much and Show Me the iPads for seniors! Did you only give them to your friends who live on Camelot? I saw the comment your neighbor made on another post. She said you give special treatment to your neighbors. Is that why I haven’t seen the iPad you promised me and other seniors?

  17. Tossing the word privilege around like its something to be ashamed of or requires an apology is an insult to any American who created their own success through hard work, discipline, following the rules, making good choices. If an individual focuses on themselves rather than worrying about what everybody else has chances increase that they might experience some privilege of their own.

    • Please excuse my spouse. We’re voting for that nice young lady who is spending her energy serving her community rather than publicly badmouthing colleagues. I’ll explain systemic racism and privilege to you later, dear. Holster that keyboard and go make the bed.

      • I guess you mean that I should get others to badmouth my colleagues for me. I exposed the cynicism of some of them standing by and doing nothing in response to the claim that I was the reason that we didn’t have a City Manager yet. Documenting the process allowed readers to draw their own conclusions and see that I had worked harder than any of the other Council members the hire the candidate(s) that would do the best job for the City, not the candidate(s) that comply with a particular profile or subscribe to a particular dogmatic philosophy. That is what I was elected to do and I don’t need hired hands to fight my battles.

        • And you’re doing a great job, sir. You keep fighting those ‘battles.’

          It’s a very good look for you 😘

        • The conclusion I drew from your opinions on the City Manager hiring and this Equity Commission piece is that the you and Council members are not working together anymore. As a resident, I am concerned with your statements that say things would not be this way if they had just followed you or done it your way. You do not seem to be working with them anymore and making every attempt to say “it’s not me, it’s them!!” and I’d like to hear how you intend if re-elected to end this standoff and begin to work as a team and stop the finger pointing. It appears that if you are re-elected nothing will get done because you refuse to listen to them. Our town deserves a united Mayor and Council working together and not blaming each other. Maybe it’s time to reflect on that.

          • I have to agree with Julie. I hear disfunction. And a lot of blaming on “them” instead of introspection on the role Mr. Mayor may have played in the disfunction and how he plans on repairing that.

        • This response is honestly confusing to me. I’m curious why you seem to feel your colleagues *should* be badmouthed? AND: Isn’t there objective documentation of the process in meeting minutes and on the city website/YouTube channel?? Or, are you alluding to closed sessions when you speak about “documenting the process?” I’m also curious why you seem to demonize your fellow council members publicly? I understand at least two of them have endorsed Ms Knapper, which to me says that your opponent would likely be a better fit with the group in this very important search process??? I’m looking forward to having a better understanding of your perspective on all of this. Thank you in advance.

          • Everyone thinking the same is not the goal here. You elect officials to represent you, but also to represent their own values. I wanted what was best for the City of Maplewood based on my experience and criteria, which I felt was an extension of what I worked on for the last thirty plus years. It was only when someone held me responsible for not having a city manager in place and other Council members were happy for me to take the blame, because it was politically expedient for them, that I explained the process in detail.

        • Barry, it’s disappointing that you are making such disparaging comments about Nikylan’s campaign.

          Running an organized campaign is not the same as making a “coordinated attack.” Nikylan is professional and prepared. She put in the work to organize the details of her campaign, to seek the endorsements of Maplewood residents with whom she has developed relationships and earned respect, and has welcomed the volunteer time and energy of residents who believe she is the right person for the job.

          You’re welcome to run your campaign as you see fit, but I wish you would stop insinuating that there is something nefarious about Nikylan running a prepared and organized campaign.

      • Nice that you’re taking the high road…keyboard warriors typically dont do the real work when it’s easier to scream at others.

        Your response does nothing to create dialogue or move things forward…but by all means, please continue telling all of us how awful we are because we don’t meet your checklist.

        Holster your own keyboard.

  18. I appreciate a candidate who spends time meeting with citizens, a candidate who listens to citizens’ concerns, a candidate who endeavors to make connections between public and private entities for the benefit of our community and small businesses, and a candidate who thinks deeply about how to problem solve the issues facing our city. I’m not interested in an incumbent using 40 South News and social media to make excuses and blame council members for failure to meet the needs of our community. #NikylanForMayor

    • My record and accomplishments speak for themselves. Just by saying that I don’t engage with citizens and don’t care for the community doesn’t make it so. I worked strenuously and diligently to benefit the city for 27 years before I was elected mayor. I was a major contributor to the improvements that took place in Maplewood since 1988. Ask anyone who has lived in Maplewood more than 4 years and they can clearly see that we are where we are at today through the hard work and dedication of a group of people, including myself, that started the renaissance decades ago and have kept it going.

      • Your defensive comments about listening and caring speak volumes.

        I don’t need to “ask anyone who has lived in Maplewood more than 4 years.”
        I’ve lived here for 12.
        I find your performance as mayor disappointing.

        #NikylanForMayor

        • The other option is to not be defensive and let people, many times anonymously, publish lies, fabrications and distortions about me without accountability.

          If you think that I have accomplished as much as I have in over 30 years of public service by not listening and not caring, I don’t understand how I got elected by our citizens four separate times. It’s as if you don’t have confidence in the citizens of Maplewood to understand issues and draw their own conclusions. Most of the work that I have done, especially with our business community through my service on the Economic Development Committee of the Chamber of Commerce in the early ‘90s and for 7 years on boards and commissions demonstrates much more tangible concern than a candidate that prefaces every statement of intent of accomplishment with “if elected mayor,”.

          • For a guy who claims he would like to run a clean campaign, you sure do have a lot of negative things to say about your opponent.
            There is a reason why a former mayor of Maplewood and two current Maplewood council members are endorsing Nikylan Knapper for Mayor.

            • I don’t have anything negative to say about Ms. Knapper. I think that she is a good person that could use more experience before running for mayor. I, unfortunately have to respond to what appears to be coordinated attacks on myself, my record, my commitment, my accessibility, my integrity, etc. and when those comments are unfounded and negative it is hard to respond in a positive way. The endorsements have to do more with an agenda than my perceived negative responses.

            • She is endorsed by the union, not the fire department. It would be inappropriate for the department itself to endorse a candidate. Unions endorse candidates all the time but do not necessarily reflect the views of all the union members.

      • I see what you call as “renaissance” as gentrification of white people pushing out established black communities. I’ve lived here for 18 years and sadly that’s what I see.

        • Happy to say not true, Ann. Built-in challenges here, yes. Systemically purposeful and generalized intentional negative bias, no. Years ago, as the first president of the Maplewood Housing Corporation, we created more and more quality section eight housing when investors in Maplewood were not interested in investing in over-crowded, increasingly vacant old apartment buildings. While not all under that initiative, Maplewood now has 150+ units and remains having much more affordable housing over all ….than, I would suggest on average, any of our surrounding suburban communities do. Through the years as you and I have lived here, home prices have soared, relatively speaking…however, as elsewhere, city and county. Specific data is available through city hall…+data graphics about our demographics. Check it out! I speak to you as: —Currently on Maplewood Planning and Zoning. Parent of diverse family here for 40+ years. (Kids long grown now) Retired educator and home owner that yes, I would now be hard pressed to afford. Yes, what we’ve done well, has made our community popular. Glad you are engaged neighbor!

  19. I’d be interested to learn more about Barry’s equity efforts as a small business owner and privileged community member. Are there people of color on his architectural firm’s hiring panels?; Are there any metrics in place in his workforce to support people of color? How has he individually used his privilege to support the unhoused or food insecure in our community? The idea of starting an equity commission is admirable, but doing the work to bring it to fruition is more meaningful and impactful. I would like to see Barry work with the council to employ experts that will help establish the appropriate equity initiatives in our city.

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