MPRB 5-16-2007 Notes from the Gallery

Regular Meeting

Superintendent Contract … President to offer J. Gurban a 2 1/2 year contract to begin 1/7/2007 to end 6/30/2010. The review committee will draft the contract ( all commissioners welcome to give input) negotiations will be handled by President Olson. Commissioner Vreeland would like a contract that contains good terms for all ( Superintendent and Board) but that the ultimate authority is the board. Commissioner Young still has concerns and would like some sort of work plan, accountability and goals ( ditto Commissioner Nordstrom). Commissioner Nordyke expects that a review system will be put into place after contract is signed that can be used for the future. Commissioner Fine gives a glowing testimonial to Superintendent Gurban. Commissioner Merrill Anderson would like language referring to an annual review and work plan included in the contract and adds that at any time 5 votes can change the status of the Superintendent’s contract. Commissioner Vreeland hopes that when the work plan is developed it will include provisions covering communication, accountability and a good working relationship with ALL the board members not just some. Commissioner Dziedzic would like to see the staff to work towards transparency and hopes they will not err on the side of caution. Commissioner Kummer mentions that in Three Rivers Park District the Superintendent works ” at the will of” the County Commissioners. All vote AYE

Public Hearing on Park Dedication Fee ( link to current draft of ordinance is here Park Board Agenda click under Regular Meeting Agenda this is a 40+ page .pdf file)

Michael Rainville PRO – funding lacking due to TIF, this will help
Dottie Spiedel PRO – much needed idea as more people move into the city
Tim Springer and Teresa Nelson ( Midtown Greenway Coalition) PRO – can fund links and parks along the Greenway
Shawne Fitzgerald CON- Creates property tax increases for neighboring properties and does not address operational costs of maintaining more parkland

Arlene Fried ( see other posts)
Tim Balkman of the Minneapolis Parks Legacy Society
Issues an Invitation to all to attend the Lakewood Cemetery Walking Tours sponsored and led by the Legacy Society on the “Park Makers” of Minneapolis ( 5/28)

Consent Business
Discussion of new roof for Kenwood Rec Center… needed now and others waiting, Commissioner Vreeland would like to know why bids were not taken for white roofing, which lasts 1/3 longer and helps prevent global warming? Discussion went to need for immediate replacement and lack of time to re-let bids. Commissioner Vreeland agreed with Commissioner Young that a sustainability coordinator is a good idea.

Wirth Trail Schematic passes with a caveat added by Commissioner Fine that the staff study the results of the new trail schematic after implementation and report back to the board at a later date.

To convene a CAC ( Citizens Advisory Committee) for the completion of the Grand Rounds Missing Link study is passed ( interested in serving contact your commissioners)

Board Approves an agreement for the YMCA to operate the North Commons Water Park
Commissioner Merrill Anderson is not for this. It appears to her that it looks like the MPRB is bailing out when things get tough in the inner city.
Commissioner Vreeland feels that this is a good mesh of public /private
Float Factor ( free swimming lesson thru the parks) will still take place

Planning Committee– passes item to close East Calhoun Parkway on last Sundays of summer months — details to be ironed out before full board vote

Washburn Fair Oaks Park Master Plan Update ( this park is in front of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts)
Discussion of Superintendent’s Residence ( the Wirth House ) postponed till next meeting

Admin and Finance Committee

Approval of lease agreement between MPRB and the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) for space at Luxton Park. The MPHA has been falling behind on their “rent” and Hennepin County is covering the cost thru 2007. The MPRB and MPHA will be working out 2008 and beyond.

Operations and Environment


NEXT MEETING Wednesday June 6th

tentative agenda items include… Wirth House, Calhoun Master Plan Update ( Will there be a sailing village and event venue with shops?)
Grand Rounds Missing Link ( appointments to the CAC- possibly) and Net Debt Bonding from the State ( Met Council Bonding)