Response to “Evolving plans for the ‘Commons’ park in Minneapolis..”.

The following letter-to-the-editor was published in the May 8, 2015 issue of the StarTribune.

Dear Editor:

In a recent commentary, the Star Tribune Editorial Board celebrates the development of the Commons (“Evolving plans for the ‘Commons’ park…”).  The editorial says “Expectations are high.”  But many sensible citizens following the development of the Commons believe that the expectations for the Commons are unrealistic.
The “creative governance” agreement applauded by the Editorial Board is nothing more than a very thinly veiled evasion of the City’s Charter by the City Council.  The evasion of the City’s Charter has allowed this project to bypass the MPRB’s planning process and the City Council’s budget process.

The duly elected Park Board rejected adding the Commons to the park system in the summer of 2014 because development of riverfront parks and maintaining neighborhood parks are much higher priorities.

In December 2013 Judge Mel Dickstein stated that “common sense and the advancement of effective government” make it clear that City founders never intended that “two separate bodies potentially working at cross purposes, could each develop the Minneapolis park system.”
Millions of unbudgeted dollars are now going to be expended on a “park” that is a priority because the Vikings will have a grand space that they can use for free. 
It is time for someone – anyone – to stand up and put a halt to this expensive fiscal folly.

Arlene Fried
Minneapolis Resident and
Co-founder of Park Watch