Monthly Archives: October 2011

First Avenue Eyeing Parade Park for Music Festival

The following article by Nick Halter was published in the October 17, 2011 issue of the Southwest Journal:


First Avenue nightclub is planning a large music festival on the Parade Park grounds next summer.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board gave First Avenue preliminary approval at its Oct. 5 meeting, but the nightclub and the Park Board still need to work out a contract.

First Avenue submitted to the Park Board a framework for what the festival would look like. Organizers say they would plan to get one major touring act and two major local acts to perform, as well as numerous smaller local artists who would get the opportunity to play in front of big crowds.

The festival would likely last two days with acts playing from the afternoon until 9:30 p.m., First Avenue General Manager Nathan Kranz told the Park Board. First Avenue would also bring in local restaurants to be food and beer vendors.

“We look forward to showing off Parade Park as a true gem in the best location in Minneapolis,” organizers wrote in their proposal.

The Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association has already penned a letter of support for the concert.

Park Board Commissioner Anita Tabb, who represents the area around Parade Park, said the festival is an exciting proposal, but she expects that once more neighbors find out about it, they’ll want to give more input to make sure the concert operates smoothly.

Park Board staff plans to have a contract drafted in time for the board to vote on it at its Nov. 16 meeting.

Assistant Superintendent Don Siggelkow said this would be the first time a music festival was hosted on Park Board property.

“We think it will be a great event that will produce significant income for the Park Board,” he said.

First Avenue identified seven potential weekends for the concert, with possibilities in June, July, August and September.

November M P R B Board Meetings

The following press release was issued on October 28, 2011 by the MPRB:


The Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board’s (MPRB) regular November meetings will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, and 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22, in the Board Room at MPRB headquarters, 2117 West River Road. Please note that the Board Meeting originally scheduled for Nov. 2 has been rescheduled for Nov. 9. A joint Committee of the Whole meeting with Three Rivers Park District is scheduled for Nov. 16 at 5 p.m. in the Main Floor Meeting Room at MPRB headquarters.

Agendas and related information are typically posted on two business days prior to each meeting.

MPRB regular board meetings are broadcast live from 5-9 p.m. on the City of Minneapolis Government Meeting Channel 79 on Comcast cable and online at The regular meetings are rebroadcast on Channel 79 on Saturdays at 11 a.m., Sundays at 9 a.m. and on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at 5 p.m.

Webcasts of MPRB regular board meetings are posted on the MPRB website two to five business days after the meeting and are available for viewing, along with Webcasts for the recent two months, at

First Brownie Lake C A C Meeting on October 25, 2011


The first Community Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting for the Brownie Lake Area Plan will occur Tuesday, October 25 at Kenwood Community Center, 2101 Franklin Avenue West from 6:30-8:30 pm. The agenda for this first meeting will include the introduction of the CAC, its charge, composition and responsibilities; a presentation Brownie’s place within regional systems; and background about Brownie Lake itself.

The public will be invited to comment during the last 30 minutes of the meeting and in writing on comment cards available at the sign-up table. Individuals may also comment on-line at

A site walk will occur at 9:30 am on Saturday, October 29.

Other CAC meeting dates are scheduled at Kenwood Community Center, 2101 Franklin Avenue West from 6:30-8:30 pm as follows:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Open Houses are tentatively planned for January 17th and February 14th.

Theodore Wirth Regional Park Community Design Event

The following announcement has recently been released by MPRB:

Theodore Wirth Regional Park Community Design Event:
November 2, 3, 5 and 8

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) announces a community design event for Theodore Wirth Regional Park. The multi-day event will bring together the Theodore Wirth Park Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC), community and a professional design team to create potential concepts for the park as a whole. The resulting concepts will be used by the CAC to develop recommendations for a park master plan and funding priorities.

Please Join Us

You are invited to the following events at Theodore Wirth Regional Park (1339 Theodore Wirth Parkway):

Wednesday, November 2, 6-9 pm, Community Meeting (Wirth Chalet, 2nd Floor): This will be an opportunity for the CAC, design team and community to share and discuss key information about the park.

Thursday, November 3, 4-5:30 pm, Open Studio (Wirth Chalet, 2nd Floor): The design team will be working in the chalet throughout the day to develop concepts. Stop by the chalet to see concept ideas in progress and visit with the designers.

Saturday, November 5, 9-11:30 am, Community Open House (Par 3 Golf Clubhouse): Attend an open house to review and comment on the design concepts.

You are invited to the following event at MPRB Headquarters (2117 West River Road):

Tuesday, November 8, 6:30-8:30 pm, Citizen Advisory Committee Meeting (Board Room): The CAC will be developing overall recommendations for the park’s master plan and funding priorities. All are welcome to attend and an opportunity for public comment will be provided at 8:10 pm.

For More Information about the Theodore Wirth Regional Park Planning Process, visit the project webpage:

or call Jennifer Ringold, Manager of Public Engagement and
Citywide Planning, at 612-230-6464.

New M P R B Administrative Structure Announced


At the October 19 Park Board meeting, Superintendent Miller announced a new administrative structure. Reporting to Superintendent Miller will be four assistant superintendents: Planning–Bruce Chamberlain, Administration–Karen Robinson, Operations–Mike Schmidt and Recreation, which is currently vacant.

Corky Weisman, former Assistant Superintendent for Recreation, has accepted the newly created position of Community Outreach Director, and recruitment for the vacated Recreation position is underway. With the departure of Don Siggelkow on October 7, the Assistant Superintendent for Development position will not be filled.

Arlene Fried

Co-founder of Park Watch

Long-Time Park Board Official Steps Down

The following article by Nick Halter was published in the October 3, 2011 issue of the Southwest Journal.


Don Siggelkow plans to leave the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board after 13 years serving as a top-level administrator.

Siggelkow’s last day will be Oct. 7, at which time he will begin, pending final Park Board approval, a one-year, $80,000 contract with the Park Board to help out with in progress real estate transactions, grants and projects.

It’s a professional services agreement that did not go out to bid and was approved Sept. 21 by a Park Board committee unanimously and without discussion.

Siggelkow’s contract will pay him $80 an hour, with a maximum of $80,000 a year. Superintendent Jayne Miller will have the option to renew that contract for a second year.

“My view was this was an opportunity for us to continue to utilize his skills that are very unique and really needed in the organization, help me transition with him leaving the organization for up to a two-year period at this point, and have some cost savings,” Miller said.

Siggelkow’s annual salary was $125,000 plus benefits. Miller said Siggelkow’s position, assistant superintendent of development, will remain vacant for the near future, but did not say if she would fill it once Siggelkow’s contract ends.

“I believe that we can operate and manage with four superintendents instead of five,” Miller said. “In essence, I am saving half of his salary and fringe benefits by doing this. So, in my view it’s a win-win for the organization, and a win for Don. He wants to go out in the private sector.”

As to why the $80,000 contract didn’t go out to bid, Miller said it’s commonplace for professional service agreements to be awarded without a bidding process. She used Mary deLaittre as an example. deLaittre was recently given a no-bid contract to be the Minneapolis Riverfront Development Initiative project manager because she also managed the design process prior to her contract.

“It didn’t make any sense to bring anyone new in, because Mary had been working on the project and knew all the nuances and would be able to carry it through,” Miller said.” It’s the same kind of thing.”

Superintendent Miller Presents Proposed 2012 Budget for Minneapolis Parks

The following MPRB Press Release was issued on October 19, 2011:


The Superintendent’s Recommended 2012 Budget for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) focuses on neighborhood parks, financial sustainability and enhancing service delivery to the community.

“The Park Board is living within its means with a zero percent property tax levy increase and a proposed operating budget slightly below the 2011 Approved Budget,” explained Superintendent Jayne Miller. “In 2012 the Park Board will focus on reducing operating costs and creating new revenue by maximizing technology, identifying work process improvements, increasing workforce flexibility and investing in neighborhood parks.”

The Superintendent’s Recommended 2012 Budget totals $58,687,896 for the general operating fund, a 0.6 percent reduction from the 2011 approved budget.

According to Miller, the 2012 Recommended Budget reflects the Park Board’s commitment to service delivery and does not include service reductions or staff layoffs.

“We are committed to improving our work processes and maximizing technology to enhance service delivery,” Miller explained. “In 2012 we are expanding our communication and community outreach to improve transparency, information sharing and service delivery. We are assessing youth and adult program services, user satisfaction and fee structures to reduce barriers and improve services. We are also assessing needs and opportunities for volunteerism to increase recruitment and retention of volunteers.”

The proposed budget is available at (select left link “About MPRB” then “Park Board Budget”) or by calling 612-230-6400. The public may comment on the proposed budget during the following times:

Nov. 9, Public Comment Session – Administration and Finance Committee meeting, MPRB Headquarters, 2117 West River Road, Minneapolis. The Committee meeting will follow the Board’s regular meeting at 5 PM.

Nov. 22, Public Comment Session – Regular Board meeting, MPRB Headquarters, 2117 West River Road, Minneapolis, at 5 PM.

Dec. 14, Public Hearing – City of Minneapolis public hearing on City levy and 2012 Budget, City Hall, Council Chambers Room 317, 350 South 5th Street, Minneapolis, at 6 PM.

“The budget is built on sound financial management and strategic long-range planning,” said Miller. “The Recommended 2012 Budget strategically positions the organization, from a service and financial perspective, to prepare for projected funding gaps in 2013 through 2016.”

According to the Park Board’s five year projections included in the 2012 Budget, Local Government Aid is estimated to be reduced from $7.6 million in 2012 to $5.6 million in 2013 through 2016. The Park Board believes this is a conservative estimate based on a projected $2 billion state budget deficit for the next biennium.

The Superintendent’s recommended budget outlines initiatives aimed at meeting the Board’s strategic goals and budget frameworks, including:

• Focus resources on maintaining the park system, addressing issues of aging infrastructure and repairing parkway paving and lighting.

• Make our city greener, cleaner and energy efficient through recreation center energy improvements and green events.

• Focus on City and school partnerships and identifying strategies to improve delivery and coordination of recreation center programs and services.

• Increase revenue with enhanced grant writing, improved operating efficiencies and expanded revenue growth with nontraditional sources.

• Assure that basic services and programs remain accessible, and enhance community based programming.

• Shape city character through implementation strategies for upper riverfront development to spur economic development.

Dates for Public Comment on M P R B 2012 Budget


Nov. 9, Public Comment Session – Administration and Finance Committee meeting, MPRB Headquarters, 2117 West River Road, Minneapolis. The Committee meeting will follow the Board’s regular meeting at 5 PM.

Nov. 22, Public Comment Session – Regular Board meeting, MPRB Headquarters, 2117 West River Road, Minneapolis, at 5 PM.

Dec. 14, Public Hearing – City of Minneapolis public hearing on City levy and 2012 Budget, City Hall, Council Chambers Room 317, 350 South 5th Street, Minneapolis, at 6 PM.

Park Head Submits Tighter 2012 Budget

The following article by Nicole Norfleet was published in the October 21, 2011 issue of the Star Tribune. Please note at the end of the article the upcoming dates for public comment. Also a link to the budget.


After a year at the helm, Minneapolis parks superintendent Jayne Miller has recommended a slight reduction of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s operating budget for next year.

The budget would spend more on neighborhood park rehabilitation but would not call for more money from property taxes.

“The park board is living within its means,” Miller said, as she presented her proposed 2012 budget on Wednesday night.

Saving money is as important as ever for the board, which faces reduced local government aid in the coming years.

The recommended 2012 operating budget is about $58.7 million, 0.6 percent below what was approved for 2011.

The superintendent proposes spending more on capital improvements to neighborhood parks and parkways through $4.9 million in pay-as-you-go funds, for projects such as parkway paving and lighting and riverfront development.

Another important proposed change is that no layoffs are planned. From 2003 to this year, about 22 percent of the board’s full-time employees were let go.

Board President John Erwin said Thursday that he was excited to see that the budget calls for continuing the park board’s efforts to make the city greener. The forestry budget proposes planting 500 more trees next year, bringing the total to 6,000.

“I’m not sure the last time we’ve had 6,000 trees planted in the city,” Erwin said.

Another step in the right direction, according to Erwin, is the implementation of master plans he requested for several areas, such as Parade Athletic Fields and the area from Nicollet Island to Father Hennepin Bluffs Park.

“I think these are bigger future things that are really going to impact people,” Erwin said.

Also discussed as part of the budget was closing the golf course in the historic Fort Snelling complex.

The golf course had a net loss of $86,464 last year. But the park board pays an annual base rent and 16 percent of gross income from the course to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The public may comment on the proposed budget at board meetings on Nov. 9 and 22 and at a Dec. 14 public hearing on the city levy and budget. The budget is available at