HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FEBRUARY 6, 2008, PARK BOARD MEETING

DELASALLE. The Board voted to approve the amended Reciprocal Use Agreement (RUA) with DeLaSalle High School. In spite of intense efforts by citizen groups to educate commissioners on the perils of doing so, the Board went ahead and included in the agreement a poison pill clause which obligates future Park Boards to build DeLaSalle a new stadium if the Park Board would decide not to renew the lease that the current Board has negotiated with DeLaSalle.

Commissioner Annie Young asked where the money for a replacement stadium for DeLaSalle would come from should the agreement not be renewed by a future Park Board. No one knew the answer to her question.

To witness some of our Park Board commissioners defending a clause that would protect DeLaSalle at the expense of Minneapolis taxpayers was a sad day for responsible government. If there were a canary in the boardroom during the discussion and subsequent vote, it would not have made it out of the room alive.

THE MAYOR’S VISIT. Mayor R.T. Rybak presented and discussed the city’s “Blueprint for Action,” a plan to prevent youth violence. The Board voted to support the plan.

THE CITIZENS’ PARTICIPATION ORDINANCE. This item was tabled.

TOYOTA CONTRACT. The Board voted to enter into a 3-year sponsorship agreement with Toyota which will give the Park Board $300,000 and the use of 10 Toyota vehicles over the next 3 years in exchange for sponsorship rights to the Bike Tour and Earth Day and “free access” to the AIDS Walk, Uptown Art Fair, the Loppet and a number of other events.

SUPERINTENDENT’S WORK PLAN. This also was approved.

Arlene Fried
Co-founder of Park Watch