Sans Fanfare, Gurban Exits The Park Board

The following article by May Tobar and Cristof Traudes appeared in the June 28, 2010 issue of the Southwest Journal:


June 16 marked Superintendent Jon Gurban’s last regular meeting with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. The controversial leader is set to end his tenure June 30.

In an unusual move, Gurban did not receive special recognition at the meeting. President John Erwin said it was the superintendent’s request to keep things low key, despite Erwin’s own objections.

“Some of us had our differences,” Erwin said during a brief statement. “… But we cannot question his dedication to this system.”

Gurban, originally hired on an interim basis in 2004, put in his resignation in March. Highlights of his work include the creation of a comprehensive plan, tight budgeting and the passage of plans to fill in the decades-old gap in the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway System. However, Gurban also was dogged for much of his six years by complaints about his interaction with the general public, and whether he would be retained was a common campaign topic leading up to last fall’s election.

Former Superintendent David Fisher will step in on an interim basis for the next four months. The search for the system’s next full-time superintendent is ongoing.