5:00 P.M. REGULAR BOARD MEETING. The Board requested that the Board of Estimate & Taxation amend the adopted financial policy statements with respect to the City’s Independent Boards allowing for the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board to levy property taxes at the level of up to 4% of its Total General Fund Operating Budget for the fiscal years 2009 through 2013.
The Board voted to approve a Joint Powers Agreement with the City of St. Paul for providing purchasing and contracting services to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.
And the Board passed a resolution to recognize 2008 as the 125 Year Anniversary of the park system and to celebrate the valuable role that parks play in promoting the health and well being of the city and its residents.
Removed from the agenda was the Board’s request that the City Council and Board of Estimate & Taxation reassign Library Board net debt bonding for fiscal years 2009 through 2012 to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board capital improvement program was removed from the agenda.
At the end of the regular meeting, the Commissioners brought up the subject of the new Park Board history book that is soon to make its debut. Four of the Commissioners expressed concerns about the book. Apparently, there are some concerns about the accuracy of the information in the book. Commissioner Walt Dziedzic wanted to know if there would be corrections. Dawn Sommers, who is responsible for the Park Board’s Public Relations, said that the book was ready to be printed and there was not going to be further review.
However, we have since learned that the printing as scheduled will not occur and that the manuscript is under review.
The issue was unsettling. One wonders, who actually commissioned this book? And why did the commissioners seem to know so little about it? And what happened to the manuscript documenting the MPRB’s history that was written by longtime former Assistant Superintendent Al Wittman? It is common knowledge that he’s had a Park Board history ready to be published and waiting to be funded. Why isn’t it Al’s book that is being published?
6:15 P.M. PLANNING COMMITTEE. There was a presentation on the Central Corridor Light Rail Traffic study.
6:45 P.M. LEGISLATION AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL COMMITTEE. there was a 30 minute legislative update, with nothing concrete to report.
Arlene Fried, Co-founder of Park Watch