Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

Letter to the Editor

Posted on 25 October 2017 by calvin

Look at larger picture when you vote for Park Commissioners

To the Editor,
Every four years there is an election for the entire nine-member Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. It is significant and humbling to be stewards of this great park system. We are pleased to see the interest in residents running for Park Board. It shows the commitment and passion Minneapolis has for parks, recreation, and our environment.

The last eight years have brought significant change to the parks. Things we are especially proud of are the 20-year neighborhood park capital plan, RiverFirst, bringing an equity-based system to making capital park improvements, dealing with Emerald Ash Borer, nearly tripling lifeguarding hours, and renovations of our regional parks. Together, these and other changes, have resulted in your Park System being named the best park system in the country for the last five years.

However, we have concerns that some candidates would irrevocably hurt our park system and the progress we have made. Six Commissioners are retiring (including us).

Most concerning to us is that a number of candidates want to use the Park System to advance their personal social agendas. We fundamentally disagree with this and encourage you to support candidates that will protect our parks and will make park system changes that reflect the collective wisdom of all Minneapolis residents. We also have had a history of strong women leaders as superintendents, commissioners, and lead staff, and need people of color on our next board and staff who reflect the diversity of our city.

We leave the Park Board in good shape. There are still significant challenges ahead that the new board will face, but we need people who will improve our great park system rather than dismantle it.

As elected Park Board incumbents that collectively have represented Minneapolis residents for 40 years, we ask that you vote for the following Park Board candidates: Abdi Gurhan Mohamad as your District 3 Park Board Commissioner, Steffanie Musich as your District 5 Commissioner and LaTrisha Vetaw, Meg Forney, and Mike Derus as your 3 At-Large Park Board Commissioners (select in order of preference).

These candidates will protect our parks, are uniquely qualified, will respect your opinions, and represent the rich diversity of our city. Please consider supporting them.

Scott Vreeland
John Erwin
Anita Tabb
Liz Wielinski
(Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Commissioners)

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