The following item was published in the October 25, 2013 issue of the Star Tribune:
THE STAR TRIBUNE’S EDITORIAL BOARD’S ENDORSEMENT FOR MPRB AT-LARGE COMMISSIONERS
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is one of the most influential but under-the-radar local government bodies in Minnesota.
Created by the Legislature and ratified by voters in Minneapolis 130 years ago, the board oversees a proposed 2014 general operating budget of about $66 million, runs its own police force, and manages about 6,744 acres of land and water in the city, including golf courses, gardens, bike and walking trails, playgrounds, and local and regional parks.
The park system logs about 18 million visits annually, meaning good management of park resources is vital not just to the city but to the entire Twin Cities metro area, with regional residents enjoying these amenities in large numbers.
The Park Board’s nine commissioners serve four-year terms, with six representing specific areas of Minneapolis and three “at-large” commissioners serving as citywide representatives.
The Star Tribune Editorial Board is endorsing in the at-large race.
Ten candidates are competing for the three at-large seats, including one vacated by longtime Park Board Commissioner Bob Fine, who is running for mayor. The at-large field includes two incumbents, in addition to a former Park Board commissioner who is seeking to serve again and several candidates who have run in previous races.
The candidates were well-informed and passionate about Park Board issues, making it challenging to winnow the field. But John Erwin, M. Annie Young and Jason Stone stood out as the strongest candidates and merit our endorsement.