Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

Election will change face of Minneapolis Park Board

Posted on 27 September 2017 by calvin

A wave of first-time candidates and new faces are looking to fill several empty seats left by incumbents on the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. President Anita Tabb (District 4), Vice President John Erwin (at-large), At-Large Commissioner Annie Young, District 1 Commissioner Liz Wielinski, District 2 Commissioner Jon Olson, and District 3 Commissioner Scott Vreeland are not running for re-election.

The park board manages 160 neighborhood parks and 19 regional parks and has an annual budget of over $111 million.


Park_District3_AK_HassanAK Hassan
Since coming to Minneapolis in 2008, Hassan has served as a youth coordinator at Franklin Library, Outreach Officer for the Senate District 62 DFL, DFL Somali Caucus Chair, and Ventura Village Neighborhood Association Chair.

Hassan said his campaign is “about equal access to our beautiful parks for everyone—especially for our children—regardless of where they live. … I want to bring more growing space and community gardens into or near our parks, with District 3 serving as a pilot program, and add 100 native tree species plantings in the district. I want to see more educational opportunities and strong community and school board involvement in our parks, all of which is possible through equitable funding, coalition building, and by listening to residents’ needs and concerns.”

Parks_District3_GurhanAbdi Gurhan Mohamed
Born in a densely populated town in Somalia, Gurhan moved to the West Bank neighborhood in Minneapolis 12 years ago. He earned his degree in business administration from Metro State University. Gurhan has worked with the Somali Community of Minnesota and as Somali Public Radio host. He is the owner of two private businesses in Minnesota and employs over 40 workers. He also works as a strategy consultant.

“I am running as a candidate for Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board District 3 because I’m passionate about equity, sustainability, recreation and helping families thrive in our amazing city,” said Gurhan.

Park_District3_CharlesExnerCharles Exner
Exner would bring a renter’s voice to the park board. He earned a bachelor of arts in environmental studies from Augsburg College in 2016. Exner served on the Environmental Stewardship Committee there, which installed a permanent bike fix-it station on campus—something he’d like to see at all Minneapolis parks.

While working as an environmental consultant, he learned the ways the private sector attempts to fit sustainability into their profit margins. His tenure as a board member with the environmental nonprofit MPIRG taught him the importance of coalition building and showed him some of the obstacles that community groups face when dealing with the government. He is endorsed by the Green Party of Minnesota.


Parks_District5_AndreaFahrenkrugAndrea Fahrenkrug
Fahrenkrug has lived in South Minneapolis for over 20 years. She is a long-time member of the Junior League of Minneapolis, the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis, and Crew 52.

She is a past president of the Minneapolis Jaycees and Women’s Metro Links golf league.
She lists her top issues as “managing the wonderfully diverse park system while bringing back good fiscal management; celebrating the diverse nature of our park’s offerings, and ensuring basic park maintenance for all parks, not just a few.”

Parks_District5_steffaniemusichSteffanie Musich – incumbent
Musich is a resident of the Wenonah neighborhood and former president of the Friends of Lake Nokomis, which she helped form in 2010. She has been a Master Gardener with the University of Minnesota Extension service in Hennepin County since 2010.

“I am running for re-election to the park board because I am fully committed to ensuring that the parks implement policies that enable the Minneapolis Park and Recreation board to continue to adapt to park users’ needs as those needs change and evolve,” Musich said. “These policies need to also allow for sustainable growth and thoughtful maintenance of existing properties and amenities.”

Parks_District5_williamshroyerBill Shroyer
Shroyer has been an employee of the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board for 17 years and is a certified arborist, park keeper, and aquatic facility operator. He is Union Steward and Recording Secretary of City Employees Local #363, Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA), and speaks English and Spanish.

If elected, he would: plan improvements and expansion that communities want and approve of; utilize full-time staff rather than outside contractors whenever possible; examine park board administrative costs; insist on real diversity not just sensitivity training; and put biomass and wood utilization as a guiding principle to “stop wasting thousands of trees removed each year.”


There are nine people are running for the three at-large seats that are available on the park board.
Charlie Casserly:
Mike Derus:
Meg Forney – incumbent:
Londel French:
Russ Henry:
Devin Hogan:
Jonathan Honerbrink:
Bob Sullentrop:
LaTrisha Vetaw:


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