A PARK WATCH COMMENTARY

Submitted by Arlene Fried
Co-founder of Park Watch

On Sunday, September 16, 2007, the Minneapolis Park Board will be closing its parkways and roadways to all motorized traffic for its Minneapolis Bike Tour. The Bike Tour is a Park Board sponsored event, but proceeds from the Bike Tour will not go to the Park Board. Instead, proceeds will go to the Foundation for Minneapolis Parks, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization. And, in reviewing the brochure distributed by the Park Board and the Foundation which is promoting Superintendent Gurban’s pet project–the Parade Revival–Park Watch discovered the following statement:

“The Foundation for Minneapolis Parks has embraced the vision of the new Parade facility and is facilitating the fund-raising effort.”

So it would appear that the Park Board is sponsoring an event to raise funds for a charitable organization that is supporting the $50,000,000 Parade sports complex for which Superintendent Gurban has already spent at least $140,000 in taxpayers’ monies for initial planning costs.

So how can this be? How can a government body use its tax dollars to raise money for a charitable organization? No wonder we continue to be perplexed by Superintendent Gurban’s non-conforming management style.