The following Commentary by Peter Bell was published in the Star Tribune on September 25, 2015. Bell was the appointed chair for the Park Board’s Citizens Advisory Committee charged with making recommendations for a Lake Calhoun/Harriet master plan. He is the former chair of the Metropolitan Council. In this Commentary he speaks of the reasons for his resignation as chair of the CAC.
Must Diversity Issues Always Drown Out Broader Public Concerns?
Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune
Must diversity issues always drown out broader public concerns?
Occasionally an issue surfaces that allows the public to get deeper insight into how our civic institutions work. One such issue is the proposed renaming of Lake Calhoun.
I recently resigned as chair for an advisory board charged with making recommendations for a Lake Calhoun/Harriet master plan, focusing on developing a capital budget to use a $3.5 million grant from the Metropolitan Council. The reason for my resignation was that it had become clear to me that the committee wanted to commit far more time, attention and resources to issues that were not a priority with the broad general public.
While it was clear from the beginning that the Met Council and the Park Board wanted us to include ideas from diverse communities, I never envisioned this becoming a central organizing principle for our work.
To continue reading, click on the link to the Star Tribune http://m.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/329316561.html