fbpx

Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

Commissioner No-Shows Force Minneapolis Park Board to Cancel Meetings

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board regularly makes news for all the wrong reasons.

Awhile back the board’s chaotic public meetings routinely made headlines for being disrupted and even shut down by activists, some of whom were ejected by police and even issued citations.  Don’t forget the backlash after newly elected activists-turned-commissioners voted to give themselves a 250 percent pay raise for a position traditionally viewed as a public service. Just last month the board paid out a $170,000 discrimination settlement to four Somali teens who were detained by park police.

Now the Park Board has come full circle with the panel’s public meetings being called off yet again. Not because of activists taking over the proceedings but because too few of the activists now on the board have shown up to meet the legal requirement for holding a meeting in the first place.

The Star Tribune picks up the play-by-play of the most recent cancellation.

Wednesday evening’s scheduled meeting of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board lasted 15 minutes before Vice President LaTrisha Vetaw announced it was canceled.

It was the second time this year that a meeting of the leaders of the city’s parks system did not happen because they lacked a quorum. A Jan. 29 special meeting was canceled after only four of the nine commissioners showed up.

Some worry it will happen again.

“It has to stop,” Vetaw said Thursday. “People voted for us to do the work, to make the hard decisions, and attendance is important.”

Meantime, Minneapolis slipped from first to third place last year in the rankings of city park systems. The Park Board controls an annual budget of $126 million. Some suggest “petty politics” may be behind skipping the meetings, effectively preventing the board from conducting park business.

The canceled meetings have pushed back board approvals for contracts, invasive aquatic species work and a new lease for Superintendent Al Bangoura’s residence in south Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who has to ratify the Park Board’s work, said Thursday he has noticed many “instances of delay” this year that have prevented him from signing off on parks matters.

“You can’t get basic business done when wrenches are thrown into gears and a quorum is denied,” he said. “It is clearly happening and it needs to stop.”

The Park Board’s next scheduled meeting is March 4. But it’s anybody’s guess how many commissioners will actually show up.

Comments

Subscribe

Categories

Upcoming Events

  • Morning in Minnesota: St. Cloud

    Location: St. Cloud

    Sign up HERE! Courtyard by Marriott St. Cloud 404 West Saint Germain Street St. Cloud, MN, 56301 Please join Center of the American Experiment on Tuesday, July 21 for breakfast with Center policy fellow and education expert Catrin Wigfall as she explains K-12 education in the state and its persistent disparities despite decades of increased spending. Following her presentation, Catrin will lead a Q&A session. 7:30 AM Check In and Breakfast 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude   Catrin Wigfall is a Policy Fellow at Center of the American Experiment. She is also the director of EducatedTeachersMN and EmployeeFreedomMN. Catrin’s…

    Register Now
  • Kristi Noem: The Courage to Reject a Shutdown

    Location: Online

    Sign up HERE! Join us Wednesday, July 8th for an interview with South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem over Zoom. In response to COVID-19, Noem defied the norm of a statewide shutdown and let South Dakotans choose for themselves what safety precautions to take. Tune in to this live online event to hear how Governor Noem preserved her state’s economy while still keeping citizens safe. Wednesday, July 8th at Noon CT Sign up HERE!  

    Register Now
  • Morning in Minnesota: Marshall

    Location: Marshall Golf Club

      Sign up for this event HERE! Please join Center of the American Experiment on Thursday, July 16 at Marshall Golf Club for a breakfast with Center economist, John Phelan, as he discusses Minnesota’s economic future. Following his presentation, John will lead a Q&A session. 7:30 AM Check In and Breakfast 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude John Phelan is a graduate of Birkbeck College, University of London, where he earned a BSc in Economics, and of the London School of Economics where he earned an MSc. He worked in finance for ten years before becoming a professional economist. He…

    Register Now