The Ward 5 Report – December 2021

From Shaun C. Palmer, Ward 5 City Councilperson

Rochester Minnesota – Ward 5 Report December 2021 -PDF

In response to the 2020 census, the City of Rochester is evaluating redistricting. This process will continue into mid-2022 and will involve many steps prior to redrawing the maps. You can find more information including timelines, events, maps, and toolkits on the redistricting webpage at


My top priority as a councilperson is communication with you. On the front page of this letter, I provided all my contact information. I am on social media, try to answer my cell phone whenever possible, and encourage people to contact me whenever they have a concern. In addition, you can find me in the following places:
Belau Report
o I have been interviewed three times on the Belau Report which you can find on YouTube.
o I participate in a KROC radio interview the 3rd Monday of every month prior to the city council meeting.
125 Live
o I am at 125 Live on the 4th Friday of each month.
o I use Facebook to communicate city happenings, local events, promote local businesses, and get the word out about opportunities to participate in your city government.


Recently I announced my intent to run for another term in 2022. I would very much appreciate the opportunity to serve as your councilperson for another four years. I am working hard to do what is in the best interests of Ward 5. I would enjoy the opportunity to keep the momentum of positive change in 2022.

I hope 2022 allows for an environment where we can safely attend large events, shake hands, and come together for all the gatherings that make our community fun for our families. I am looking forward to Safe City Nights, National Night Out, Down by the Riverside Concerts, and forWARD Neighborhood Music in the parks


After many months of dealing with a global pandemic, our community is attempting to recover, while still dealing with high COVID case counts. Even with this extra stress of recovery, I still believe Rochester is a great city.

Financial compensation for council position: The City Council has voted on pay raises twice during this term. I strongly opposed this raise on both votes in April 2020, and November 2021. This is a matter of principle for me, as your councilperson, I serve my community, not my own financial interests. The decision to raise council salaries over the course of a term amid the financial struggles and challenges of the pandemic is short-sighted and self-enriching. It is my firm belief that the council is here to serve as good stewards of Rochester’s resources and meet the needs of its residents.

Past and Current Activities

I hope to keep you informed of the activities of the council that affect Ward 5. This list contains some of the main projects and activities that may interest you as a community member of our ward and our city.

North Broadway Project
North Broadway has been under construction for several months. This is the largest project Rochester has undertaken since the flood control project in the 1980s. This project was undertaken to address aging pavement, safety, and mobility for all users. Planning began in 2017, and the project is scheduled to conclude in July 2022- ending with finishing up the alleyways.

Elton Hills Bridge
The existing bridge on Elton Hills Drive has structural issues regarding the piers and abutments that need replacement. Analysis of the project found that replacement of the entire bridge was the most economical approach. We realize this construction heavily impacts the neighborhood, and we hope that construction will be completed by July 2022.

Viola/Cassidy/Century Hills Road Study
To address safety at this intersection, the City of Rochester is working closely with Olmsted County to build a better, safer option using a roundabout. The design work for this project will be completed and available for viewing in 2022, and the project will be finished in 2023.

Pool at Silver Lake and Soldier’s Field
I have a deep interest in keeping our outdoor pools open for our citizens. I won’t accept anything less than full time operation of the pools at Soldier’s Field and Silver Lake.


Silver Lake
Work is still being done on the master plans for Silver Lake. Better pedestrian access, more bridging and dam modifications are in the works. Please let me know if you have any thoughts on this important project.

Soldier’s Field
The city is in the process of doing significant work at Soldier’s Field. The improvements to the track have been an impressive success. We are trying to determine what improvements will come next. A restaurant is expected to open in the clubhouse this spring. More to come!

Indian Heights Park
Indian Heights Park is a historic piece of land in our ward that was originally used as residency for the Dakota Indian tribe and served as a burial ground for their deceased. This spiritual ground is an important part of Rochester’s history, and I am excited about the restoration plans for this area. A kiosk will be created to mark the history of the park. It will be completed by the fall of 2022.

East River Road Traffic Calming
To calm traffic and make the area safer for drivers, neighbors and pedestrians, concrete barriers were placed in the intersection of East River Road, 24th St. NE and Riverside Lane NE. This project was studied in-depth and public comment was requested and reviewed. I hope this change relieves at least some traffic concerns in our ward.