Skyway News: Citizen-advisors named for DeLaSalle project

« The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has released the list of appointees to the DeLaSalle Athletic Field Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) and a timetable for its meetings.

DeLaSalle is proposing a joint use athletic facility on Nicollet Island, that the Park Board could use during non-school times. It would span park and school property and require closing half of Grove Street.

The 21-member CAC has:

– Thirteen members appointed by elected officials;

– Five neighborhood representatives;

– Two youth sports members; and

– One business owner.

President Jon Olson appointed Bert McKasy, a Lindquist & Vennum attorney and lobbyist, to chair the committee. McKasy is vice-chair of the Metropolitan Airports Commission and is a former Republican state representative, State Commerce Commissioner and U.S. Senate candidate.

The other CAC members are as follows, (with the official who appointed them in parentheses):

– Theodore Wirth, grandson of former parks superintendent Theodore Wirth (Commissioner Rochelle Berry Graves);

– Thomas Hoch, president, Hennepin Theater Trust, (Commissioner Walt Dziedzic);

– Edna Brazaitis, Nicollet Island resident (Commissioner John Erwin);

– Judy Blaeseg, a Linden Hills resident and DeLaSalle parent who has been a parent/helper on softball teams that Commissioner Bob Fine coached. (Fine);

– Minneapolis State Rep. Neva Walker (Commissioner Marie Hauser);

– Jim Nestingen, architect and landscape architect, former Hiawatha Corridor Community Advisory Committee member (Commissioner Carol Kummer).

– Chris Johnson, member of the Park Board reform group Park Watch (Commissioner Vivian Mason);

– Jeff Lee, former Park Board staff who managed environmental programs (Commissioner Annie Young);

– Rip Rapson, senior fellow at the McKnight Foundation and former deputy mayor under Don Fraser (Mayor R.T. Rybak);

– John Pacheco, Downtown resident, director of the Xcel Energy Foundation and former Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission member (Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin);

– Susan Howitz Hanna, Windom Park resident, member of the city’s Civil Rights Commission and former DeLaSalle parent (Council President Paul Ostrow);

– Roger Cummings, (Councilmember Natalie Johnson Lee)

– Barry Clegg, attorney and Nicollet Island resident (Nicollet Island East Bank Neighborhood Association). Ryan Curry is the alternate.

– John Chaffee and Prudence Johnson (Island residents). Judy Richardson and Deanna Cummings are their alternates.

– Ken Shaffer (St. Anthony East Neighborhood Association). Alternate: Mary Jane Partyka.

– J.D. Pride (St. Anthony West Neighborhood Association). Todd Roeder is the alternate.

– Former Park Board member Scott Neiman, and Thomas Johnson, a former Park Board staff member who worked on youth sports (Park Board staff appointments to represent youth sports/athletics)

– Jim Surdyk (business appointee).

The Park Board has set a schedule to reach a decision on the project before the current board leaves office. All nine commissioners are up for election.

The first CAC meeting is primary election night, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 6:30 p.m., at Park Board headquarters, 2117 West River Road North. The group is also scheduled to meet Sept. 22 and Sept. 29, said Emily Ero-Phillips, a park planner. It will take public comments Oct. 4 and then vote on recommendations.

The Board’s Planning Committee will hear the recommendations Oct. 19, she said. If there is an appeal, a public hearing would be held Nov. 2. The committee will “review and comment on the schematic design alternatives for DeLaSalle’s proposed recreation facilities on Nicollet Island,” Park Board documents said. »

Original article by Scott Russell on the Skyway News website.