Monthly Archives: January 2009

Be wary of scammers seeking donations for parks

The Star Tribune is reporting that people in the Twin Cities are being approached for donations on behalf of Minneapolis parks.

“Our organization does not solicit funds in this manner, and anything of this nature is considered fraud,” said Park Police Sgt. Fred McCormick.

Read the full article on the Star Tribune website.

MPRB PLANS FOR LAKE HARRIET

At the January 21, 2009, Park Board meeting, the Administration and Finance Committee approved and then sent to Bob Fine’s Planning Committee two agenda items that–if implemented–would dramatically alter the character and ambiance of Lake Harriet’s popular north shore.

The two agenda items advocate that the current concession building be converted into a seafood restaurant with “enhanced” seating; and a new building would be constructed east of the band shell. This new building would be for Wheel Fun who would be selling popcorn and ice cream and also renting over-sized, multi-person cycles. It’s not clear what other function or functions Wheel Fun might be responsible for. There were no concept plans presented to the commissioners. So it’s not clear what each structure–the old and the new–would look like on the exterior and the interior.

Both proposals will be before the Planning Committee at the February 4 meeting. General Manager Donald Siggelkow is very supportive of these two proposals and is anxious to see them implemented. There were other vendors responding to the Request for Proposals, but there never was any mention of who they were or why they were not considered.

For several of us in attendance at the meeting, there were many critical questions that remain unanswered. Changes as radical and significant as these deserve thorough public scrutiny. There should be a Citizens’ Advisory Committee created to review these changes BEFORE they advance any further.

The most important commissioner to contact regarding the need for public input via a mandated Citizens’ Advisory Committee is Commissioner Bob Fine who is the district commissioner for Lake Harriet as well as the chair of the Planning Committee. Other Planning Committee members are Annie Young, Mary Merrill Anderson, Tracy Nordstrom and Walt Dziedzic.

The Request for Proposals and the two vendor contracts are available on the Park Board’s website http://www.minneapolisparks.org

Arlene Fried
Co-founder of Park Watch

MPRB Board Meeting

Details for
Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Commissioners Meeting

Commissioners Walt Dziedzic, Bob Fine, Carol Kummer, Mary Merrill Anderson, Tracy Nordstrom, Tom Nordyke, Jon Olson, Scott Vreeland and Annie Young

Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board meetings are broadcast live from 5-9 p.m. on the Minneapolis Comcast cable network Channel 14 and online on the City of Minneapolis Government Meeting Channel.

Date: 4/15/2009
Time: 5:00-8:00 p.m.
Type: Regular
Location: MPRB Administrative Offices, Board Room Suite 255
Address: 2117 West River Road

Park Board Agenda

MPRB Board Meeting

Details for
Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Commissioners Meeting

Commissioners Walt Dziedzic, Bob Fine, Carol Kummer, Mary Merrill Anderson, Tracy Nordstrom, Tom Nordyke, Jon Olson, Scott Vreeland and Annie Young

Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board meetings are broadcast live from 5-9 p.m. on the Minneapolis Comcast cable network Channel 14 and online on the City of Minneapolis Government Meeting Channel.

Date: 4/1/2009
Time: 5:00-8:00 p.m.
Type: Regular
Location: MPRB Administrative Offices, Board Room Suite 255
Address: 2117 West River Road

Park Board Agenda

MPRB Board Meeting

Details for
Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Commissioners Meeting

Commissioners Walt Dziedzic, Bob Fine, Carol Kummer, Mary Merrill Anderson, Tracy Nordstrom, Tom Nordyke, Jon Olson, Scott Vreeland and Annie Young

Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board meetings are broadcast live from 5-9 p.m. on the Minneapolis Comcast cable network Channel 14 and online on the City of Minneapolis Government Meeting Channel.

Date: 3/18/2009
Time: 5:00-8:00 p.m.
Type: Regular
Location: MPRB Administrative Offices, Board Room Suite 255
Address: 2117 West River Road

Park Board Agenda

MPRB Board Meeting

Details for
Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Commissioners Meeting

Commissioners Walt Dziedzic, Bob Fine, Carol Kummer, Mary Merrill Anderson, Tracy Nordstrom, Tom Nordyke, Jon Olson, Scott Vreeland and Annie Young

Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board meetings are broadcast live from 5-9 p.m. on the Minneapolis Comcast cable network Channel 14 and online on the City of Minneapolis Government Meeting Channel.

Date: 3/4/2009
Time: 6:30-8:00 p.m. NOTE TIME CHANGE
Type: Regular
Location: MPRB Administrative Offices, Board Room Suite 255
Address: 2117 West River Road

Park Board Agenda

MPRB Board Meeting

Details for
Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Commissioners Meeting

Commissioners Walt Dziedzic, Bob Fine, Carol Kummer, Mary Merrill Anderson, Tracy Nordstrom, Tom Nordyke, Jon Olson, Scott Vreeland and Annie Young

Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board meetings are broadcast live from 5-9 p.m. on the Minneapolis Comcast cable network Channel 14 and online on the City of Minneapolis Government Meeting Channel.

Date: 2/18/2009
Time: 5:00-8:00 p.m.
Type: Regular
Location: MPRB Administrative Offices, Board Room Suite 255
Address: 2117 West River Road

Park Board Agenda

MPRB Board Meeting

Details for
Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Commissioners Meeting

Commissioners Walt Dziedzic, Bob Fine, Carol Kummer, Mary Merrill Anderson, Tracy Nordstrom, Tom Nordyke, Jon Olson, Scott Vreeland and Annie Young

Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board meetings are broadcast live from 5-9 p.m. on the Minneapolis Comcast cable network Channel 14 and online on the City of Minneapolis Government Meeting Channel.

Date: 2/4/2009
Time: 5:00-8:00 p.m.
Type: Regular
Location: MPRB Administrative Offices, Board Room Suite 255
Address: 2117 West River Road

Park Board Agenda

SURPRISE!

MPRB STAFF RECOMMENDS ANOTHER STRUCTURE FOR LAKE HARRIET

When MPRB’s General Manager Donald Siggelkow issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for operating the Lake Harriet concession stand on August 15, 2008, the RFP clearly stated it was for a “Lake Harriet Concession Operator.” That is, it was for ONE concession operator. BUT, when the staff report on the result of the RFP for “concession operator” appeared in the materials for the January 21, 2009, Park Board meeting, there was the surprise mention of a SECOND concession operator.

Sea Salt, a seafood vendor, was the recommended vendor for the concession stand and the SECOND recommended concession operator was Wheel Fun. And for Wheel Fun–this second out-of-the-blue concession operator–General Manager Siggelkow is planning to CONSTRUCT and PAY FOR A NEW BUILDING! Part of this expanded plan for Lake Harriet is the addition of beer and wine to the beverage menu and the possibility of expanded hours.

THE JANUARY 21 VOTE ON THIS SIGNIFICANT AGENDA ITEM IS PREMATURE AND SHOULD BE DEFERRED UNTIL THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS PROJECT CAN BE ANSWERED:

1. How did the RFP for a single vendor result in TWO vendors AND the requirement to build a NEW BUILDING?

2. How many buildings can this small area accommodate?

3. Do we really NEED another beige building on Lake Harriet?

4. Where is the money to pay for this new beige building coming from?

5. Is this new structure a priority at a time of financial constraint?

6. Do we need beer and wine served in this family venue?

7. Do we need a THIRD seafood restaurant in our parks?

8. Why was no Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC) created for this project?

9. Why was the Lakes’ Coalition not informed of this project before it appeared on the agenda?

Arlene Fried
Co-founder of Park Watch