Closing the Gap: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Overrides Mayor’s Veto of 20 Year Neighborhood Park Plan
Park Board pursuing multiple solutions to close neighborhood parks funding gap
At its April 6 meeting, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) of Commissioners voted 8-0 to override Mayor Betsy Hodges’s veto of the 20 Year Neighborhood Park Plan.
At its previous meeting on March 16, the MPRB voted unanimously for a resolution approving the 20 Year Neighborhood Park Plan between the MPRB and the City. The resolution directed the Superintendent and MPRB Legal Counsel to prepare an ordinance to implement the 20 Year Neighborhood Park Plan. Mayor Hodges vetoed the plan, instead offering a new 10 year proposal to fix neighborhood parks and city streets. The 20 Year Neighborhood Park Plan was discussed by Minneapolis City Council at its March 16 Committee of the Whole meeting.
The MPRB outlined why Mayor Hodges’s proposal falls short in addressing the needs of the park system in a March 28 letter and will continue to work with the City on the 20 Year Neighborhood Park Plan. Until negotiations with the City are resolved, the MPRB will concurrently work with the Minneapolis Charter Commission to put a charter amendment on the ballot this fall that would also provide 20 years of funding for neighborhood parks. A City Attorney confirmed the legality of a charter amendment authorizing a levy dedicated to neighborhood parks at an April 6 Charter Commission meeting.
An independent, citizen-led group called Save Our Minneapolis Parks is also preparing for a petition drive to put either a charter amendment or referendum on the ballot this fall to provide increased funding for neighborhood parks.
Public hearings are required before the 20 Year Neighborhood Park Plan ordinance is enacted or charter amendment is placed on the ballot. The MPRB and Charter Commission have not scheduled any public hearings yet. City Council will consider the 20 Year Neighborhood Park Plan next week:
- Ways and Means Committee – Monday, April 11 at 1:30 pm
- City Council Committee of the Whole Public Hearing – Wednesday, April 13 at 10 am
- Full City Council – Friday, April 15 at 9:30 am
Please visit www.minneapolisparks.org/closingthegap for more information on the funding shortfall facing Minneapolis neighborhood parks and enter your email address into the box under “Subscribe to Email Updates” to stay informed on this issue.