Monthly Archives: July 2005

KARE-11 TV: Lake Calhoun may get new look

» At the Tin Fish restaurant on Lake Calhoun, the food is made to order, the dress code is non-existent and the lines are usually long. But all that extra business had added more congestion to an already cramped space, shared by the sailing school next door. «

» So the Minneapolis Park Board, which gets a portion of the Tin Fish’s sales, wants to give the restaurant some breathing room by moving the sailing school to the opposite side of the lake. But there’s a problem, life moves at a slower pace on that corner of the lake, and that’s exactly how those who live there, like it. «

Read entire story and see video here.

Park Board Meeting Highlights July 20

President Jon Olson was absent, all other commissioners were present, and vice president John Erwin conducted the regular meeting.

As usual, Crown Hydro was also present, at the start of this evening represented by Rob Brown. We should give Crown Hydro the “Park Board Meeting Attendance” Gold Star — Rob Brown and Bill Hawks have probably attended more Park Board meetings this year than anyone else. One has to wonder why.

5:02pm — Recreation Committee called to order by chair Erwin. There were 3 items on the agenda, all reports. They were: (1) Football Kickoff Classic, presented by staff member Mimi Kalb, manager of community services; (2) Update on UofM and MN Lynx promotion, also by Mimi Kalb; and (3) Older Adult Programming brainstorming session, by John Erwin and John Dickinson, district supervisor.

(1) Comr. Walt Dziedzic asks if this report was about the “Peace Games.” He does not appear to have read the agenda or have heard the report Ms. Kalb just gave. Gurban frowns into the audience to ask someone to turn off their cell phone which has rung.

(2) Comr. Bob Fine and again Dziedzic don’t seem to have heard the report, as they both ask to have the information Ms. Kalb just gave repeated.

(3) Fine asks about getting the word out to seniors to get them to use a broader selection of recreation centers instead of just congregating at a few.
Comr. Vivian Mason has several suggestions: 1. get seniors involved in the
Kids Vote project as an intergenerational program, 2. seniors want more recreational/athletic activities, 3. seniors like educational programs such as those about politics, healthy cooking, etc., and 4. seniors have talents which could be tapped for more intergenerational activities. Hauser says seniors complain about the environment at rec. centers, primarily the acoustics but also lack of air conditioning. Dziedzic says obesity is a growing problem and suggests walking, swimming and golf, and anything to just get seniors out of the house. Erwin says transportation is a problem and suggests working with churches. He also suggests a central web site listing all senior activities provided by all agencies, in which the Park Board would also participate, noting that seniors are the fastest growing segment of Internet users.

5:38pm — Recreation Committee Adjourned

Administration & Finance Committee called to order by chair Hauser. Only agenda item is a report by General Manager Don Siggelkow regarding mid-year budget status.

The budget is pretty much on track. Revenues are off about $353,000 but expenses are likewise reduced by about $419,000, mostly because wet spring weather reduced the amount of golf played.

Dziedzic once again complains that the City pays the Park Board no interest on money on deposit — a law or policy he himself got passed, judging from his past remarks — and asks about Siggelkow’s remark about the City loaning money to the Park Board at no interest. Between the May and October property tax revenue infusions, the Park Board actually runs out of “cash” and they are covered by no-interest loans from the City. That is to say, the cash flow is smoothed out by no-interest credit from the City, which is then paid off when the property tax revenue comes in. This is substantial. At the end of May, the loan is usually $2 – 3 million and it costs the City real dollars, according to Siggelkow.

Erwin asks where storm damage is paid from. Answer: Forestry budget, which has no reserve, but there is a 5% reserve elsewhere.

Mason shows and describes a Tree Commission handbill inserted into all of the City’s utility bills as an example for the planned Park Board mailing. She requests a Committee of the Whole meeting so that the entire board can have a dialog about the creation of the budget for next year, instead of it being decided in committee by motion and vote with limited discussion.

Hauser suggests creating a higher tree tax to get more revenue from the tax payers.

5:58 — Admin & Finance Adjourned

Regular Meeting called to order by Erwin.

Comr. Annie Young wants to amend the agenda to add three items: 1. Discuss creating a Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) for Nicollet Island. 2. Alter the CAC for Eloise Butler to include a couple more groups interested. 3. Discuss the taking and recording of meeting minutes (the Park Board does not keep official meeting minutes presently).

Hauser wants to quibble about needing a motion to suspend the rules in order to amend the agenda. She asks if it is urgent, and suggests that Young’s items could be put off.

Vote on suspending the Rules PASSES with no one opposed. Vote on amending the Agenda PASSES with no one opposed.


Public Open Time — speakers limited to 3 minutes

* Liz Wielinski:

“This week the MPRB added a new feature to their website, the section of accompanying documents to the agendas. The agenda for this meeting included the proposed terms for the DeLaSalle Reciprocal Agreement. I would hope that now that this feature is available we will also see documents like the monthly Superintendent’s Report. While this is a tiny step towards providing information to the public, I hope it is just the first of many. I look forward to the day when I can see the list of future projects to see when my local parks will be updated or a budget that gives a more detailed list of where funds are allocated and how they are spent. I know that soon the year End Fiscal Report for 2004 will be available and it would be great if it could be accessed or downloaded from the website.

Since the legislature has finally adjourned the number crunchers will soon be telling you what you will have for a budget in 2006. I hope you will avail yourselves of the technology available and post on the website as soon as possible any areas that may see cuts or diminished funding so that we the people can contact you our representatives and let you know the priorities the community feels are the most valuable.

On the downside, I was surprised to see the DeLaSalle situation listed separately on the website under meetings for this evening from 5-8 pm. This was very confusing. Many people have gone out of their way to make sure they could participate this evening and the last thing needed was for this Board to give the public another reason to question your stewardship especially with so many other choices of candidates for your seats this fall.”

* Scott Vreeland comments on how the Park Board’s own ordinances and policies require that they create a Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) for major projects, and how there are currently 3 such projects that require CACs. Those projects are the DeLaSalle project on Nicollet Island, the St. Anthony Parkway reconstruction and the Eloise Butler ski trail / bike trail project. He provides the commissioners with a flow chart showing the process described in their own rules. He points out they are not following their own ordinances.

* Edna Brazaitis praises Abby Schrader for her recent work.

* Michael Fields describes how the Microsoft event of July 3 through 10 run by lease-holder Mintahoe put the whole south end of Nicollet Island off limits, and how scab (non-union) labor was used despite Park Board policy requiring “prevailing wage” employment (essentially union labor). He also comments on the trains carrying hazardous materials crossing the island and closing Grove Street during this event, putting the many Microsoft (or other event) attendees at risk. He asks about Park Board policy on both questions, union labor and hazardous trains crossing park property.


Presentations: 1. Presentation and video clip regarding lifeguard Amy Carr rescuing a boy at Lake Nokomis. 2. Volunteer Program presentation of certificates of appreciation to Target Corp. and Deloitte by Abby Schrader. 3. Teen Teamworks Program presentation of certificates of appreciation to Graco Foundation and Toro Giving program by Linda Tkaczik. 4. Mimi Kalb thanks the Minnesota Vikings for the donation. 5. KT Simon-Dastych plays a video made by Jill Anderson in Australia who spent a year working here, commenting on and celebrating the Brackett Park Tot-lot project.


Photo session for certificates of appreciation to Target and Deloittte.


Erwin recesses the Regular Board meeting.

Fine calls the Planning Committee to order.

Fine allows General Manager Don Siggelkow to speak first.

Siggelkow goes through all of the terms (reading them aloud and commenting) in the 5 page proposed Reciprocal Agreement with DeLaSalle. He says the next steps are approval by the Planning Committee at the August 3 meeting, and approval by the Full Board at that August 17 meeting.

Siggelkow claims the public process requiring a Citizens Advisory Committee and/or a Public Hearing does not apply to this agreement, but rather to the construction design, etc. after the agreement has been approved[!]. He says the reason the Public Hearing that Walt Dziedzic made a motion for, and which was approved, for this evening’s meeting was changed to a Public Forum was because they [direct quote] “did not want to confuse the citizens.” [What kind of double-speak is this? George Orwell would be proud.]

There are about 50 people signed up to speak, so Fine suggests that each person will be given 90 seconds to speak.

Dziedzic says he is happy with the distinction between the Forum and Hearing.

Young points out that Dziedzic himself made the motion for a Hearing, and suggests some procedures.

Erwin wants to hear from every person, and says 2 minutes per person may be enough.

Hauser wants to go in order of the sign up list, because it will be faster.

Berry Graves wants to hear what the public has to say, and says 90 seconds is too short.

Mason points out the recent article in the Star Tribune in which it appears that Superintendent Jon Gurban inappropriately takes sides and voices approval for the DeLaSalle project. She states the Board has not decided, and until such time, the Superintendent should remain neutral in public.

Motion for 90 seconds per person. Passes with Young opposed.

6:50pm — Public Forum on proposed Reciprocal Agreement with DeLaSalle, which would allow DeLaSalle to build a football stadium on Park Board-owned land adjacent to the school on Nicollet Island, and have priority use of that land year around.

[I will no doubt get many names wrong in the following; my apologies.]

1. John England of Linden Hills is for giving DeLaSalle (DLS) what they want and mentions that there was an on-line petition supporting DLS which was signed by 1016 people.

2. John Derus of 4046 Xerxes Ave N and a Trustee of DLS, is for the proposal, and says it would allow DLS to play at home instead of going to Blaine [is there really no field closer than Blaine?].

3. Barry Lieske, Principal of DLS, is for the proposal.

4. Mike O’Keefe, Vice President of Planning and Marketing for DLS, is for the proposal. During the time that speakers opposed to the proposal were speaking, Mr. O’Keefe made disdainful noises and remarks — sometimes loud enough that it made it hard for me to hear what the public speaker was saying.

5. Cheryl Benson from the St. Paul Sierra Club Land Use and Transportation Committee, expresses her organization’s official opposition to the proposal. Asks why the Board would sign an agreement before going through the planning process.

6. D’nardo Colucci of Maple Place thanks commissioner Mason. He is opposed to proposal. He asks about pollution problems with the proposed hard-surface parking lot immediately adjacent to the River. He asks what happens in 70 years when the agreement terminates — will DLS tear out the stadium and replant 70 year old trees?

7. Shawne Fitzgerald of south Minneapolis, and a DeLaSalle mom, is opposed to the proposal. She references John F. Kennedy’s speech on separation of church and state: “I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute–where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote–where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference–…

…–where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials–”

8. John Chaffee of Nicollet Street, is opposed and describes some of the legal questions involved.

9. Tracy Brazaitis, residing in Germany, a biologist, is concerned about environmental damage, and describes a book in which it was shown that the opportunity for a natural experience, such as the Island currently provides, for urban kids is more important to them, than it is for non-urban kids. She is opposed to the plan.

10. Kasmira Brazaitis, residing in Germany, has known the Island her whole life and is opposed to the proposal. She quotes President Van Buren, once something is gone, there is no way to retrieve it.

11. Edna Brazaitis of Nicollet Island is opposed, mentions the financial straits at the Park Board and shows a map where part of the state purchased land is now part of DLS’s parking lot.

12. Leon Burden[?] of 3226 Pierce NE is in favor.

13. Ben Cryocamp[?] of 20th Ave S, appears in costume and gives his opinion as theater. “Tonight, I am History. … You are creating your own legacy. … Rome wasn’t built in a day, but the destruction was a lot quicker. … Take your time on this decision.” It appears he leans towards opposition to the plan, but it’s hard to be sure.

14. Tim Kehoe of Grove St., teaches economics at the UofM and consults at the Federal Reserve Bank, describes how the private investment in the homes on the island has provided significant public good, and that investment was based upon a covenant and understanding between the private investors and the Park Board.

15. Jean O’Brien, a historian at UofM, continues Mr. Kehoe’s remarks by saying that the proposal breaks the trust with those private investors who have significantly improved the Island for the public. They are both opposed.

16. Steve Rosenberg of W. Island Ave. is opposed, and asks the Board to consider the intensive residential development on both banks of the river and downtown in the value of keeping this increasingly rare open space for use by the public.

17. Bob Roscoe of E. River Parkway, president of the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, and representing the St. Anthony Falls Historic Distric for MHS, says this proposal amounts to too much change and endangers the district’s historic designation. He is opposed.

18. Janet Deming of E. Island Ave, lives in the oldest house on the Island, and it is much older than DLS. She is opposed. She mentions some statistics about the river front and island neighborhoods[?], they are 98.6% adults and 1.4% children.

19. Barry Clegg of E. Island Ave describes a petition opposing the proposal signed by 1243 people, and notes that there are only [about] 200 residents on the Island. He is opposed.

20. Judith Martin of Grove Street and a member of the Planning Commission labels the proposal a stereotypical suburban athletic complex being placed in the single most Historic District in the city. She says it creates a “superblock” which cities all around the nation, including Minneapolis, are trying to get away from. She is opposed.

21. Jan Heighling[?] is opposed, and refers to a Revitalization of the River Front Open Space Report. She also mentions that commissioner Fine said to her the decision was [quote] “very political.”

22. Arlene Fried reads a combined letter with Liz Wielinski. They are opposed.

23. Liz Wielinksi reads a combined letter with Arlene Friend. They are opposed. The letter states:

“The controversy over DeLaSalle’s efforts to claim MPRB parkland has been brewing for several months. It is important to point out that it is an issue with implications far geater than just Nicollet Island.

Important matters like the DeLaSalle issue need thoughtful and thorough consideration by the Park Board, the affected neighborhood and the public before being placed on a Park Board agenda for approval. Yet — to the amazement of many who have been following this issue — approval for DeLaSalle’s land acquisition proposal was put on the Park Board’s June 1 Planning Committee meeting’s agenda for approval without public knowledge or notice and without sufficient information from the nieghborhood and the public.

Fortunately, Commissioners John Erwin and Annie Young recognized this major administrative error and pointed out that it would be premature and inappropriate to vote on the DeLaSalle agreement without first reviewing additional information. They were successful in postponing the vote until tonight’s Public Hearing.

And now I want to call attention to a second administrative error. After the Planning Committee voted on June 1 to hold a Public Hearing on July 20, after the press release went out, after the Skyway News and Park Watch published notice of the Public Hearing and after I marked my calendar for the date and time of this Public Hearing, Park Board staff under Superintendent Gurban posted on the Park Board’s website that the Planning Committee was holding a Public Forum and this Public Forum was scheduled for 6:30 instead of the previously announced 5:30 p.m.

Such an action is an arbitrary and cavalier violation of Park Board rules by Park Board administrative staff. Our Commissioners voted to hold a Public Hearing — not a Public Forum — and, subsequently, it is the administrative staff’s responsibility to execute a Public Hearing as directed. This attempt to discount the democratic process is an embarrassment and an insult to all of us who care about our parks and Park Board.

Further more, it is our expection that a complete and accurate written record be kept of the public testimony here tonight. I quote from Park Board regulations: “The Planning Committee shall keep minutes of its Public Hearings and shall also keep records of its official actions.” Tonight’s meeting is a Public Hearing and we expect members of this committee to hold the Park Board’s administrative staff accountable for executing this Public Hearing here tonight.”

24. Scott Vreeland of south Minneapolis says that he spoke with commissioner Dziedzic and was assured this would be a Public Hearing. He is opposed.

25. Thomas Rose of Nicollet Street and a professor at the UofM calls the proposed stadium to be the most atrocious looking project he’s seen, and says that once the open space is gone, it’s gone. He is opposed.

26. Judy Richardson of Nicollet Street remarks on the speech superintendent Jon Gurban gave to the Met Council about the necessity of “gentle recreation” and how football is un-gentle. She is opposed.

27. Rep. Phyllis Kahn says there are so many things that can be criticized with this project. She refers the Board to a “Green Guide” from [some] Journal. [correction] She says a soccer
expert from NE and SE said that this area has no shortage [of soccer fields].

28. Eric Galatz of law firm Leonard, Street and Deinard, a paid attorney representing DLS, claims that in 1983 “we” decided on private operation of the Nicollet Island Inn and the Nicollet Island Pavillion [I’d bet he is completely wrong on the date for the Pavillion. Unlike the opponents who are individual citizens speaking for themselves, DLS has its paid staff as well as a hired gun speaking for them.] Mr. Galatz also made disdainful noises, snorts and remarks while citizens in opposition to the proposal were speaking, making it hard to hear them.

29. Brother Michael Collins of DLS, its president. Claims the opposition is spreading disinformation. He is of course in favor of the proposal.

30. Tim Keane of 5336 3rd Ave S., chairman of the board of Trustees of DLS, states that DLS is educating the kids of Minneapolis. He’s in favor.

31. Deb[?] Trotter[?] of Brooklyn Park reads a letter from CM Don Samuels regarding recent African-American graduates of DLS. She is in favor.

32. Nikki Carlson of Linden Hills reads a letter from Mary Crowley of Belmont Ave S regarding a homeless shelter [which appears to simply be a “fear of the unknown” strawman]. Carlson is in favor.

33. Kevin Halbach of 5322 Girard and a parent of 4 DLS graduates says he is impressed by all that DLS is offering in the proposed agreement [a neutral reading show illustrate that 99% of the “offering” is being done by the Park Board, not DLS]. He is in favor.

34. Anne[?] Ferguson of 5137 Thomas Ave reads a letter from Lydia Lee who is sorry to hear that one group is opposing another. Ferguson is in favor.

35. Ben Beltine[?] of 5135 Belmont and the Mpls. United Soccer Club says there is a severe need for more soccer fields [and is allowed to run way over is 90 seconds]. [And yet another member of a different soccer club that plays in the park system says there is no shortage of fields, so who’s right?]

36. Mara [???] a recent DLS grad reads a letter from Joel[?] Maturi which is misleading and full of factual errors. She is in favor.

37. Bob Gavin of Marine on St. Croix, 1958 grad of DLS, says lots has changed, so what period is being preserved? He is in favor.

38. Judy Blaseg of Linden Hills, DLS parent, reads a letter from Peter Gunyou[?], calling it a perfect partnership [and goes way over her alloted 90 seconds].

39. John St. Marie of Marcy Holmes says something about it being a 30 year social justice issue. He is in favor.

40. Sid Berg of E. Island Ave reads a letter from LuAnn Wilcox [candidate for
Park Board District 1] describing the never crowded feeling and wildlife of
the current open area. Berg is opposed.

41. Ross Sutter of E. Island Ave describes his conversation with a firefighter who said the street closure won’t be a safety problem and also stated you “won’t be able to stop the project.” He is opposed.

42. Beth hart of Phillips and a DLS parent, claims the Minneapolis Public Schools fields and the Park Board fields are not adequate for DLS usage. She is in favor.

43. Patrick Griffen of 701 Ramsey St. says they should compromise and eliminate the bleachers, the astroturf and the parking. [seems like he could either be opposed or in favor, depending]

44. Patrick Scully of Nicollet Island says the question is a land use issue, which is the greater need for children, and what of conflicting control of the
land. Will Catholic Church policies decide what kind of public use of the
public land can take place? Can a pro-gay marriage or pro-choice group use the “shared facilities” just like any other Park Board or public property? He is opposed.

45. Zacharia Johnson, DLS graduate, talks about his checkered school history until he got to DLS and the poor park quality. He is in favor.

46. Lisa Crockett of North Minneapolis and a DLS mom makes a blistering attack on the Minneapolis Public School system for failing to be easy to work with and to do all that she thought they should do for her children. Says DLS is easy to work with. She is in favor.

[For those keeping count, that’s 24 or 25 opposed, 20 in favor of whom at least 4 were paid, and 1 or 2 ambivalent.]


Dziedzic asks about a Public Hearing and the process.

Siggelkow gives the same song and dance before about not wanting to confuse the public.

Dziedzic remarks the Island is not in his district now, but will be next year post redistricting. He says this is the start of a big, long process with a long way to go.

Mason has a point of order: can staff provide figures for how much staff time and money has been spent on this project so far?

8:13pm — brief recess [7th inning stretch]

8:28pm — Planning Committee reconvenes

Judd Rietkerk, planning director, reports on the citizen participation process for the St. Anthony Parkway project. He outlines the planning process for any project, not just this one. Talks about the $100,000 baseline for projects and the 99-101 ordinance that Scott Vreeland referred to and read during Open Time, and the book of procedures they have for citizen involvement. There is a vague, loose method for establishing the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC), and typically they organize only the people who attend the first meeting as the CAC. He says the St. Anthony project ran into such unexpected conflict among citizens, that it is a mess. He suggests they need to start over. Rietkerk says only residents who have attended 2/3 of the public meetings can vote. The appeals process requires paying a fee and paying for mailing notice to all citizens previously notified, which for St. Anthony was about $785 for postage and labels. He says “We seem to be in a pickle.” He
recommends that the commissioners direct staff to start the public process over completely.

Commissioner Carol Kummer suggests notifying citizens for all 3 meetings versus notices to subsequent meetings only being sent to those who attended the first meeting.

Staff answer: We’re looking into it. There is so much junk mail a postcard is easily overlooked.

Berry Graves suggests getting it local community newspapers, as an article, not as a notice.

Fine interrupts Berry Graves to say “you’ve made your point.”

Erwin says postcards to neighbors don’t reach people in the region who use a regional park such as this one. Suggests larger, repeated newspaper ads.

Dziedzic says he went door to door. This is only place with a bike path in front yards for 5 blocks. Says we need to start over, and he does not want to vote on this on August 3.

Erwin suggests how to form a committee.

Dziedzic moves same, and it PASSES.

8:49 — Planning Committee Adjourns.

** Erwin reconvenes Regular meeting.

* Reports of Officers -Superintendent Activity Report. Contained the usual fluff and effusive positive spin with lots of exclamation points, but included these interesting items: #6. “Met with City staff to begin developing a strategy for addressing the Upper Harbor Terminal reuse and development.” #10. “Work has commenced regarding the site clean up (removal of pollutants) at Gluek Park. It is difficult to pinpoint a completion date, however we will be continuing discussions with the neighborhood regarding it’s [sic] future design.” [Note that the EPA, not the Park Board, is doing this work.] #15. “Staff has held some preliminary discussions regarding the closing of Four Winds School. The joint use agreement has been terminated by the School District effective mid September.” #16. “Attended numerous other meetings that included our Foundation [the one unwilling to meet the commissioners], The Heritage Board, AFSCME and others.” -GM Siggelkow — reports that revenue is up at
the Lupient Waterpark -District Managers — report on summer initiatives. Wettest May in 65 years has hurt golf revenues. Armatage Skate Park will be dedicated on July 23. Safe Streets initiative usage numbers. Lots of miscellaneous stuff.


-Police chief Johnson — 1 drowning, 1 lifesaving of man on railroad tracks.


* Consent Business Spending items 2.1 through 2.4 are PASSED unopposed with no significant discussion.

* Reports of Standing Committees

Planning Committee (Fine)

4.1 “That the board adopt staff recommendations for the land surrounding the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary…[etc]”.

Mason makes a friendly amendment suggesting that 2 other groups be included, the Audubon Society and the Bryn Mawr Neighborhood Association.

Fine accepts Mason’s amendment as friendly.

Dziedzic makes an amendment to put the trail in the original location for 2 years and then move it. Seconded by Hauser. Not accepted as a friendly amendment.

Young opposes this idea, not congruent with master plan.

Fine agrees. Says it should be left open to citizens though he agrees the path needs to be moved.

Hauser agrees.

Dziedzic’s amendment fails.

Original motion with Mason’s amendment passes.

4.2 is PASSED with no discussion.

Admin & Finance Committee (Hauser) 7.1 (NRP funding) and 7.2 (contract increase) are PASSED with no discussion.

* Unfinished Business

— Meeting Minutes — Young

Since broadcast began on cable TV, they quit taking minutes [though the broadcast only covers 5pm to 8pm and the astute observer will note that it is well after 9pm as this is taking place]. Citizens can order the DVD recording of the meeting.

[during this time Dziedzic and Hauser wanter out and then eventually return]

Young MOVES to direct staff to figure out costs of short, medium and full minutes. Seconded.

Erwin says they don’t need a motion, just direction.

Siggelkow complains that it takes too much effort to take minutes.

Mason says there is no way to correct mistakes using the current method.

Hauser says legally we need to record only motions and votes.

Erwin brings up the 40 year old technology question: will the DVDs still be readable in 40 years.

Siggelkow [whose professional career has been mostly in the accounting/budgeting field] says they will be, no problem, others are doing it. [as someone whose professional career has been in the computer technology business, my opinion is quite the contrary]

Young says Board needs to CYA.

Staff is given Young’s requested direction, she withdraws her motion.


* New Business

9.1 “Kids Voting” a widely lauded K-12 Civic Education program, where kids ultimately go to the polls and vote a special kid ballot for the same people who appear on the real ballots. Resolution 2005-109 titled “Endorsing and Supporting participation in Kids Voting Minneapolis” to be approved by the Park Board and the Mayor. Sounds like really great program.

A representative of Kids Voting is present and points out an error in the resolution wording as well as a couple of typos, including misspelling RT Rybak’s name and the name of the organization. She asks that the language be corrected.

Gurban does not want the resolution changed and approved as she asks. He wants staff to “analyze” the changes.

Erwin cuts the representative [Ms. Hanstiger[?]] off and says the motion will be tabled. There is some back and forth, with Gurban nodding and shaking his head to say he still does not want it to go forward. Motion appears to be tabled. Then…

Hauser asks if representative of Kids Voting would want it passed “as is” with typos corrected? Yes.

Motion PASSES.

9.2 A resolution entering into an agency agreement with the Minn. Dept. of Transportation for federal participation in the construction of the Victory Memorial Parkway bike trail project. Rybak’s name is misspelled again.

Required roll call for 9.1 and 9.2: 8 ayes, no nayes, 1 absent (Olson).


* Petitions and Communications

Hauser leaves.

Berry Graves talks about the log rolling at the Rendezvous.

Kummer says more light at McCray Park is requested.

Young attended Creekview Skatepark Dedication [where was Olson? It’s in his district.]

Mason attended the Elliot Skatepark Dedication.

Dziedzic says his campaign opponent was at an Aquatennial event in the parks and passed out literature without being arrested.

Olson is said to be ill and at the hospital with a high temperature.

Erwin says Rybak told him LGA from state will be passed through to Park Board at the usual 11.79% rate. Mentions traffic concerns on the parkways.


Park Board Meeting

At this regularly scheduled third Wednesday of the month meeting, the full board is schedule to approve or disapprove the DeLaSalle Reciprocal Agreement.

Official agenda documents in Adobe Acrobat PDF format can be found at this link.

Some highlights:

Standards & Conduct Committee
* Review of Board Rules, including agendas and staff reports, indexing board meeting DVDs, board meeting length & broadcast timeframe (broadcast is from 5pm to 7pm, meetings usually go longer), roll call votes, marked agendas and board minutes.

Admin & Finance Committee
* Reorganization report – 25 minutes

Regular Meeting
* 6:30pm – Public Hearing – DeLaSalle Reciprocal Agreement
* Brian Rice reports on Intervention in FERC – Crown Hydro Litigation
* 4.1 – That the board authorize staff to enter into a Reciporocal Agreemtn with DeLaSalle High School.
* 4.2 – That the board direct staff to initiate a Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) for the proposed DeLaSalle High School athletic field project to to meet as soon after September 1 as possible.
* 7.3 – Request a maximum tax level for 2006 of $38,090,613.

Park Board Meeting

At this regularly scheduled first Wednesday of the month meeting, the Planning Committee is scheduled to vote on the DeLaSalle Reciprocal Agreement.

Copies of the official agenda documents in Adobe Acrobat PDF format are available at this link.

Some items of note:
* 5:00pm — Administration & Finance Committee
7.3 That the board request the Board of Estimate and Taxation set a 2006 maximum tax levy of $38,064,605.
Reports on the Capital Improvement Program and the Mayor’s Proposed Budget

* Regular meeting
– Approval of Minutes from meetings from April through July of 2005. However, note that no minutes were actually taken in any of those meetings, so how one can approve non-existent minutes is rather interesting.

And of course:
** 6:30pm — Planning Committee **
** 4.1 That the board authorize staff to enter into a reciprocal agreement with DeLaSalle High School. **

Jeremy Wieland – What's Next: Parks as Economic Development

» Richard Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class lays out a great case for how to let a city grow so that it best attracts creative people. These folks, for the first time in history, are the primary drivers of economic growth, and if Minneapolis, and Minnesota, want to grow economically, then tax cuts won’t cut it, but bringing in and keeping creative people will do the trick. There are many areas on which to compete, but one area where Minneapolis is very strong, but our current Park Board representatives are working hard to weaken us, is our park system. «

Read entire article here.

Star Tribune: DeLaSalle issue comes up tonight

Rochelle Olson, July 20, 2005

»A proposed football field at DeLaSalle High School, one of the most contentious issues of the year, comes before the Minneapolis Park Board tonight.

A public forum is expected to be tightly packed as plans for the future of leafy Nicollet Island are discussed. A final vote is expected at either the Aug. 3 or Aug. 17 board meeting, but the Planning Committee could take action tonight.

Members of the public have lobbied hard on both sides of the issue.

DeLaSalle and its prominent alumni want a football field for the 106-year-old Catholic school so teams can play home games on their own turf rather than at fields across the city. Most of the 200 island residents are fighting it, including state Rep. Phyllis Kahn and lawyer Barry Clegg.«

Park Board to Get $924,000 More From State?

According to a July 19 story by Scott Russell in the Southwest Journal, the recent budget agreement by the legislature restores some LGA money in a one-time deal. Minneapolis gets $7.7 million more and the Park Board is to receive 12% of that, or $924,000.

Will the Park Board make public its budget changes resulting from this new money? How to they intend to spend it?

Fuji-Ya Site Now Being Developed by Heritage Development

Suprise! The Park Board recently sold the Fuji-Ya site to Jeff Arundel and Columbia Development to build a condo development with parking on the first level to be leased to the Park Board. The general shape of the building met with the Park Board’s approval.

Now it seems that somehow Arundel and Columbia are out of the picture. Did they turn a quick sale to someone else right after buying it from the Park Board?

From a July 15 story by Star Tribune business columnist Neal St. Anthony titled “On business: Low-profile developer ready to make waves”:

The residential building boom downtown on the Mississippi River is going to get even bigger if “The Wave” washes ashore.

A low-profile Little Canada developer next week will present to Minneapolis planners a $55 million condominium development project north of the 3rd Avenue bridge on the west bank of the river that also would incorporate the abandoned Fuji-Ya restaurant site.

Star Tribune Letters: Park Board had Money

In a letter to the editor regarding a Star Tribune article about problems at Lake of the Isles completing a large project, writer Arlene Fried points out that the Park Board had $3 million in cash they could have used to help finish the project. Instead, Commissioner Bob Fine, with the support of Commissioner Walt Dziedzic, pushed forward a budget which spent the money to pay off the mortgage on the administrative headquarters building.

»[A]t the Oct. 6, 2004, meeting of the Park Board’s Administration and Finance Committee, Commissioner Bob Fine advocated the use of those funds to prematurely pay off the existing $3 million mortgage on the expensive ($6 million-plus) Park Board headquarters.

Had that not happened, there would have been funds available now to continue work on the Lake of the Isles project.

So our Minneapolis Park System now has a mortgage-free administration building and an eyesore in the heart of the Lakes area.«

Full letter at this link.