The following item was previously posted on the Issues List.
HECKLERS REMOVED FROM PARK BOARD MEETING
At the September 7 meeting, after months of disruptive behaviors by a number of individuals who have been heckling the Park Board commissioners during Open Time, the Park Board took action. Park Board police removed 10 of the hecklers at the meeting, four of whom were given citations.
The action was long overdue. At previous meetings, the heckling was so blatant commissioners could not conduct business and had to call recesses. As a member of the public, I found it extremely painful to be subjected to such out-of-control behaviors.
In all of the 12 years I have been attending Park Board meetings, I have never experienced such outrageous behavior by anyone attending a Park Board meeting.
At the next Park Board meeting, the commissioners will be voting on a resolution to “include New Language Regarding Decorum at Meetings.”
It is interesting to note that those who are in attendance at Open Time to insult the commissioners and the superintendent and to disrupt the meetings arrive just before Open Time and leave soon after Open Time. They do not come to the meetings to follow any of the issues on the agenda.
The following article by Steve Brandt was published in the September 8, 2016 issue of the Star Tribune.
10 People Ejected from Minneapolis Park Board Meeting
In a scene captured on video, a protester was confronted by police Wednesday night at a Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board meeting.
Ten people were ejected by Minneapolis and park police from a Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board meeting Wednesday night. Four people were removed early in the meeting for shouting as board President Anita Tabb tried to read rules governing public comment, and six others were removed later.
The ejections marked a tougher stance by Tabb after weeks of chants and comments by people critical of the park system’s performance in hiring, promoting and disciplining minority employees and applicants. They followed several warnings she read that were mostly drowned out by crowd comments.
The removals came even before a board committee got to a proposal that would set standards of conduct for board meetings in the future and specify a protocol for removing those who do not comply.
The removals came at a meeting jammed with more than 100 people. They included critics of the board’s treatment of minorities, supporters of a proposed Adventure Welcome Center for cross-country skiing and mountain biking at Wirth Park, and members of Local 363. The union group represents park keepers and opposes outsourcing their ski grooming and snow-making work to a workforce hired by the Loppet Foundation, which is donating the center building.
Park Police director Jason Ohotto said four of the 10 removed were issued citations, three for disorderly conduct and one for obstruction.
To continue reading, click on the link to the Star Tribune
The following article by Steve Brandt was published in the September 6, 2016 issue of the Star Tribune.
Minneapolis Park Board Faces Escalating Pressure from Activists on Racial Issues
Commissioners are weighing decorum rules to counter activists who have interrupted meetings
To continue reading click on the link to the Star Tribune
The following is a letter to the editor of the Minneapolis Spokesman-Recorder from Keith Kalney, an employee of the MPRB. The publication date is July 26, 2016.
Edwards Wrong: Park Board Employee not Fired
Once again I feel it necessary to respond to misinformation and allegations included in Ron Edwards’ Spokesman-Recorder commentary, “Michael Baker is out at Theodore Wirth: Demotion as of October 1, 2016” (July 7, 2016). Quite simply, Mike Baker is not “out” at Theodore Wirth. He has been — and remains — a valued employee, and we look forward to working with Mike for years to come.
To continue reading, click on the link to the Spokesman-Recorder
The following article by Eric Best dated July 21, 2016 was published in the Southwest Journal.
Park commissioners chose new leadership Wednesday following the resignations of its top elected officials.
Commissioners elected Anita Tabb president of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Wednesday. Commissioner John Erwin, a former board president, was selected to be vice president.
Commissioners Liz Wielinski and Scott Vreeland submitted letters last Friday resigning from the nine-member board’s president and vice president positions, respectively, though the two maintain their board seats.
Commissioners voted 7-1 in each instance. Interruptions from audience members who called for public input on the leadership selections temporarily derailed the meeting, causing a short recess.
The elections follow several intense months for the board. Earlier this year, the board, under Wielinski’s leadership, secured a long-term funding plan — known as the 20 Year Neighborhood Parks Plan— for maintaining neighborhood parks, praised by commissioners and their peers on the City Council as a historic agreement between the traditionally distant governing bodies. Commissioners recently approved racial and economic equity criteria to guide the hundreds of millions of dollars worth of investments into the system. They’ve also maintained the honor of the country’s top park system.
To continue reading, click on the link to the Southwest Journal.
The following article by CIDNA (Cedar, Isles, Dean Neighborhood Association) resident MIchael Wilson was written for the July 2016 issue of the Hill and Lake Press.
Tabb Takes Park Board Reins Following Wielinski Resignation
Anita Tabb, Fourth District Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board commissioner and Lowry Hill resident, was elected on Wednesday, July 20, to serve for the remainder of 2016 as board president following the resignation of Liz Wielinski from the post. Wielinski was in the middle of her third one-year term as board president.
Wielinski and board vice-president Scott Vreeland both both submitted letters on July 15 indicating their intention to resign their positions. Vreeland indicated in his letter that he did not wish to move into the board president position at this time.
Tabb’s name was the only one placed in nomination for the board’s top leadership position during a stormy start to the board’s regular third-Wednesday meeting. John Erwin, who served four terms as president from 2010 to 2013, was nominated to become vice-president for the balance of 2016. Brad Bourn nominated himself. Erwin was elected on a 7-1 vote, with Bourn voting for himself. Tabb was likewise elected on a 7-1 vote, with Bourn in opposition. Commissioner Annie Young was absent.
The following article by Steve Brandt was published in the July 20, 2016 on-line edition of the Star Tribune.
Tabb, Erwin Elected to Park Board Leadership
Election follows chaotic start to meeting over public input on selection.
Anita Tabb will preside over the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board for the rest of 2016, backstopped by former board president John Erwin as vice president.
Tabb and Erwin were selected on Wednesday by colleagues on the board to fill a leadership void created last Friday when Liz Wielinski said she was resigning as board president, and vice president Scott Vreeland said he’d follow suit.
To continue reading click on the link to the Star Tribune