Comments on Parade Study Session at the MPRB Committee of the Whole

From the Downtown Journal

A ton of dreams
By Michael Metzger
September 19th, 2007

If you want some fun, read the report on the big doings at the Parade Stadium by Judd Rietkerk, Director of Planning and Project Management for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.

Here’s the very opening of the report, under the heading “Facts and Fiction”:
“As staff listens to the air waves, blogs, My Face, issues list, e-mails and rumor mills, there are some recurring themes related to the Parade project that need to be addressed.”

Don’t you love the way the in-tune Rietkerk mixes up My Space and Facebook, creating “My Face”?

He then outlines the first of these themes troubling folks around town: “There is a secret plan to implement The Parade project without the Board’s approval and neighborhood review.

Calmly, Rietkerk proceeds to reassure those worried about the existence of a clandestine plan:

“There is no secret plan! There is no secret plan!”

Apparently, there’s no secret plan regarding the Parade Stadium. There is, however, a public plan to ram major changes at the stadium down the public’s gullet without any input from the taxpayers footing the enormous bills. There’s a difference here, and Reitkerk is correct to point it out.

His report continues by addressing another issue worrisome to members of the public: “There should have been a CAC process.”

A “CAC” is a Citizens Advisory Committee; residents giving politicians their input.

“The Board has many examples of park renovations that did not include a CAC process.
Prime examples are the Twins’ field rehabilitation projects that have renovated fields all over
the system. Pearl, Stewart, Van Cleve, Shingle Creek, Harrison and King Field are examples
of field renovations that did not have a CAC process. The Timberwolves’ basket ball courts
at East Phillips, North Commons, Riverside Park are more examples. The $400,000
Kenwood Tennis Court reconstruction did not have a CAC.”

Excellent point again from Rietkerk. Here’s some news, folks: The public isn’t going to be informed of every little thing the Park Board does. Superintendent Jon Gurban already told Lowry Hill how his changes to the stadium are going to affect their neighborhood. Did he stutter when explaining how his dream is going to unfold? No. He also didn’t stutter when he made it clear that you can expect more of the same on future projects when he said, “I got a ton of dreams.”

Drop ’em on us whenever you’re ready, sir.


You can read more of the Rietkerk report here. So far, no parades are planned to honor the release of the missive.