Some highlights:

REGULAR BOARD MEETING. It was announced that the new Minnehaha District Manager will be Obie Kipper. He will replace Eileen Kilpatrick who recently retired.

The Board voted to accept 23 bids totaling $350,000 for stump removal and $950,000 for tree removal through March 31, 2009.

Brian Rice, Park Board lobbyist, reported that the Park Board received the following amounts from the Legislative session:

*Minneapolis Regional Parks–$3,339,000.

*The Lower Glen–$2,900,000.

*Sheridan Park Veterans’ Memorial–$100,000.

*Dutch Elm Tree Fund–$5,00,000.

PLANNING COMMITTEE. There was a study/report item presented by the East Phillips Park Committee Design Team, led by Arthur Himmelman. The East Phillips Committee is targeting $7,596,000 for capital and operating expenses for the East Phillips Park Community and Cultural Center for the first year. One of the Commissioners’ concerns was where the on-going operating funds for the Building would come from.

ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE COMMITTEE. The Committee postponed action on selling the Pillsbury-Waite property (which is valued at $1,234,000) for a token amount of $10. The Commissioners had questions–and rightly so–about the transaction. There were no comprehensive staff reports supporting the conclusion that declaring the property as surplus and selling it was justified. In reality, this this transaction is not a sale; it is a gift. This transaction needs thorough scrutiny.

Arlene Fried, Co-founder of Park Watch