MPRB and Their Money Woes

During the MPRB meeting this evening [March 15, 2006] the Commissioners had a grand old time bringing up the past and haranguing over their financial woes. It seems they are having trouble doing repairs and keeping fields and buildings in good repair. They do not have enough money for capital projects. Seems back in the day they were all set to ask for a referendum, but stepped aside for the Library Board and the schools. In return they were to get more operating dollars and for the remainder of the SSB administration they did. Did they use these dollars toward fixing up the buildings…. seems it went towards operations like having longer hours at the rec centers. Then came the party shift at the state and federal levels, and the recession and suddenly there is less money for operations. Now they are crying unfair. Commissioner Merrill Anderson was just appalled about the state of affairs.

I wish I could give them a shoulder to cry on, but after watching things like the Neiman Complex going from $6 million to $14 million on then Superintendent Merrill Anderson’s watch, to $900,000 being wasted at the 201 Building on that skatepark deal, seeing them considering buying Edison Arena for $800,000 and now tonight approving $40,000 for a bridge in a plan that most of the neighbors do not want and which goes from one side of a creek to another to end in 100 feet at a softball field outfield fence I am not very sympathetic to their plight. I like many in Minneapolis was not surprised when the Maguire Foundation decided it would bypass the MPRB and plan to build its own riverside park near the new Guthrie. Commissioner Dziedzic actually mentioned in the meeting that if William Maguire had checked out the MPRB he could have used their foundation to get this done. He probably did and that’s why he’s doing it himself.

Liz Wielinski
Columbia Park
Who isn’t claiming she was misquoted in that tabloid the Star Tribune