Transcript of May 2 Open Time

Full transcript of the previously posted video clip, titled Minneapolis Park Board president quashes free speech, where Arlene Friend attempts to speak during Open Time at the Park Board meeting:

ARLENE FRIED ATTEMPTS TO SPEAK DURING OPEN TIME
MINNEAPOLIS PARK AND RECREATION BOARD MEETING
MAY 2, 2007

PARK BOARD PRESIDENT JON OLSON: Next speaker would be Arlene on “Superintendent Evaluation Process.” And this is just going to be about the process and not about personnel issues.

OPEN TIME SPEAKER ARLENE FRIED: Government.

PARK BOARD PRESIDENT OLSON: I’m sorry?

OPEN TIME SPEAKER FRIED: It’s about governmental issues which tie in.

PARK BOARD PRESIDENT OLSON: Okay.

OPEN TIME SPEAKER FRIED: My name is Arlene Fried [gives address]. I am here tonight because of my concern for the park system. MPRB Superintendent Jon Gurban’s contract expires at the end of this year. It is expected that at the May 16 Park Board meeting the Park Board is going to rehire Gurban for another three years. I am therefore taking this opportunity to speak up, because there is no public hearing on this particular issue. It’s the only opportunity the public has. The following 10 examples of what I call the park board’s poor management practices during the past three years are 10 reasons why the park board needs to consider recruiting a new superintendent. These examples are: Failing to acknowledge and analyze unsuccessful entrepreneurial projects which have resulted in costly lawsuits and/or lost taxpayers dollars; 2) Failing to provide quarterly financial statements to the commissioners and the public; 3) Circumventing the Park Board’s legal framework by developing plans for costly projects without board direction or approval, for example, the megamillion dollar Parade event center; 4) Failing to comply with the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act by not honoring all requests for public information; 5) Withholding of information from the commissioners and the public, for example —

PARK BOARD PRESIDENT OLSON: Um, Ma’am —

OPEN TIME SPEAKER FRIED: These are governmental issues. It’s how you —

PARK BOARD PRESIDENT OLSON: — Okay, do you have documentation that we have failed to comply with the open Data Practices Act?

OPEN TIME SPEAKER FRIED: I’m aware of it.

PARK BOARD PRESIDENT OLSON: You know, I — this is not — I’m going to cut you off right there.

OPEN TIME SPEAKER FRIED: Excuse me –

PARK BOARD PRESIDENT OLSON: I’m going to cut you off.

OPEN TIME SPEAKER FRIED: Excuse me. You can do that –-

PARK BOARD PRESIDENT OLSON: Thank you very much and you have a good night. Thank you. And we’ll move on to our next speaker –-

OPEN TIME SPEAKER FRIED: Freedom of speech.

PARK BOARD PRESIDENT OLSON: That’s —

OPEN TIME SPEAKER FRIED: You’re denying me freedom of speech.

PARK BOARD PRESIDENT OLSON: I don’t believe so. I’m not going to allow you to get up there and make accusations like that, that we violated the law.

PARK BOARD COMMISSIONER SCOTT VREELAND: I would also note as a point of order that our rules prohibit personnel issues as being a topic for Open Time.

PARK BOARD PRESIDENT OLSON: Yeah. And that’s why I asked if it was about the process. And you’ve decided to go up there and make personal attacks and make accusations. Thank you very much. Our next speaker is Mr. Kramer. Mr. Kramer, you have three minutes. If you could please state your name and address for the record …

Video clip