Response to 2/12 Spokesman Article


The following is a letter to Charles Hallman, the reporter for the Spokesman-Recorder who wrote the February 12, 2012 article about employee criticisms of the Park Board:


As a co-founder of Park Watch, I read your recent article with interest. Yes, we have been aware of MPRB employee dissatisfaction; but, as quoted in the article, “many of the deficiencies and issues noted are not new but have been present for years.”

In the years prior to Superintendent Miller’s arrival, there were many stories about long time employees who mysteriously disappeared from their positions at the Park Board. There is the one story about an employee who simply went in on a weekend, emptied his/her desk and resigned.

The current administration inherited a dysfunctional organization that was known for its tactics of intimidation and retaliation. An article entitled “Angry Management” that was extremely critical of the former superintendent was published in a 2010 issue of City Pages. (This March 3, 2010 article can be found at

Radical change does not happen overnight; we have observed recent staff hirings that indicate Superintendent Miller is serious about her role in transforming the Park Board.

We believe that her contracting with a consulting firm to conduct an organizational analysis of the MPRB demonstrates her intention to foster positive changes within the Park Board and the community it serves by implementing a proactive strategy to address and resolve long-standing problems.

Arlene Fried

Co-founder of Park Watch