The following press release was issued by Stephanie Woodruff, Dan Cohen and Paul Ostrow on January 18, 2014 regarding Woodruff, et al v. City of Minneapolis and MPRB:
DOWNTOWN EAST PLAINTIFFS DISMISS COURT ACTION, CALL ON MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL FOR PUBLIC DISCLOSURE AND DEBATE
Stephanie Woodruff, Dan Cohen and Paul Ostrow dismissed their legal challenge to the Downtown East Development project earlier today. “We do not have the resources to continue the litigation,” Paul Ostrow said. Ostrow, who presented Plaintiffs arguments to the Court, added that the Plaintiffs were gratified that the Court agreed with the Plaintiffs’ that the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board must establish, own or maintain the proposed park. The Plaintiffs called on the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to follow its citizen participation, strategic planning and budget processes prior to making any financial or programmatic commitments to the proposed park.
The Plaintiffs forwarded a letter earlier today to Mayor Hodges and Council Members regarding the project. The letter, which is attached to the press release, asks the Council’s Ways and Means Committee to receive a report regarding the project on January 21st and for the City Council to review changes in the development agreement and vote on those proposed changes and bond issuance at its coming meeting on January 23rd.
“There is still time for the Council to do the right thing,” said Plaintiff Stephanie Woodruff. Woodruff, who is the Vice Chair of the City’s Audit Committee has been critical of the lack of transparency in the development proposal. “We are not against development. However, we are against additional city subsidies for the Vikings project and we want greater transparency in the City’s financial affairs.”
The Plaintiffs rejected any claim that the new Council is powerless to address the development. “No contracts have yet been signed and the City is under no legal obligation to move forward on project terms and conditions which appear in any event to have been amended since the Council’s vote,” Ostrow said.