City hosting Zoom meeting with city staff

Like so many other events in 2020, Rosemount’s Night to Unite is going virtual.

In a normal year, members of the Rosemount police department and city staff would spend the first Tuesday of August traveling to various neighborhood block parties throughout the city.

The staff recognized that residents deeply appreciate the city’s small-town feel and neighborhood block parties.

They didn’t want to give residents any more bad news by canceling.

“All the staff members who participated in the past said it was a really positive event,” said Lee Stoffel, communications coordinator. “It’s a great opportunity for those person-to-person connections. I think people have a little cancellation fatigue.”

Normally Night to Unite takes place on the first Tuesday of August, but Minnesota Crime Prevention Association suggested that communities move it to October hoping the pandemic subside.

That didn’t happen.

To make sure COVID-19 doesn’t keep spreading and leading to more cancellations, the city will conduct a virtual open house from 7-8 p.m. Oct. 6.

Residents will be able to connect with city officials and hear from Police Chief Mikael Dahlstrom.

“An important part is to offer positive interaction with policing,” Stoffel said. “This is a great opportunity to connect with them in a positive way in case you have a need to meet them in a time of stress. We’re hoping to have some fun games in there so you know them a little more personally, too.”

A Zoom link will be posted at ci.rosemount.mn.us/502/Night-to-Unite.

“It’s hard to have all these events get canceled, so we were thinking of ways to get creative,” Stoffel said. “We’ve pulled together some fun things. We do still want to give people the opportunity to ask questions but it’s not supposed to be serious the whole time. It’s a time for people to connect with City Council members, staff, and police.”

One of the ideas is to play “Stump the Mayor” and ask trivia questions.

The city is also asking citizens to submit some of their questions ahead of time.

Residents can contact the city via social media or by emailing lee.stoffel@ci.rosemount.mn.us.

“The questions can be about anything they’d like to hear about,” Stoffel said. “We will have City Council members, Chief Dahlstrom, police officers, and additional staff members from various departments. Everyone who submits a question will have their name entered into prize drawings we will do throughout the hour-long event.”

The city is recommending that if residents still want to host a neighborhood gathering, limit the size to 25 people, stay outside and wear masks.

They don’t recommend sharing food or hosting a potluck.

The intention behind Night to Unite is to “promote police-community partnership, neighborhood camaraderie and enhance the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement,” according to the MCPA.

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