Transformation will take time
As a co-founder of Park Watch, I read with interest the February 20 article about employee criticisms of the the Park Board. Yes, we have also been aware of MPRB employee dissatisfaction; but, as quoted inSuperintendent Miller’s memo to employees, "many of the deficiencies and issues noted are not new but have been present for years."
In the years prior to Superintendent Miller’s arrival, there were many stories about long time employees who mysteriously disappeared from their positions at the Park Board. There is the one story about an employee who simply went in on a weekend, emptied his/her desk and resigned.
The current administration inherited a dysfunctional organization that was known for its tactics of intimidation and retaliation. As for Commissioner Bob Fine’s comment that Superintendent Miller’s memo "unfairly places the blame on former Superintendent Jon Gurban," I refer readers to a City Pages article entitled "Angry Management" that was extremely critical of the former superintendent. The March 3, 2010 article can be found on the Park Watch website www.mplsparkwatch.org. This is the first paragraph of the article:
"When the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board voted last month not to rehire its top employee, park superintendent Jon Gurban, it marked the beginning of the end for one of the city’s most controversial public officials. For six years, Gurban has kept the park board in near-constant tumult, drawing fire from critics for an inexplicable inability to work with the public and a hair-trigger temper that has made him the first target of anyone hoping to see change in the park board."
Radical change does not happen overnight; we have observed recent staff hirings that indicate Superintendent Miller is serious about her role in transforming the Park Board.
We believe that her contracting with a consulting firm to conduct an organizational analysis of the MPRB demonstrates her intention to foster positive changes within the Park Board and the community it serves by implementing a proactive strategy to address and resolve long-standing problems.
Co-founder of Park Watch
Hypocrisy in Linden Hills
I have a small comment to make about the Linden Corner controversy.
I originally sided with the anti-development group, since I agree that the project is so obviously out of scale with the neighborhood. It was interesting to see the movement gain momentum, and “It takes a village” signs appear on lawns across the neighborhood. Then a funny thing happened. I started seeing those signs posted in front of a number of prominent, recently-built McMansions — you know, the houses that are ridiculously out of scale with the neighborhood. At first I thought it might have been a prank, but now I think that these people are honest hypocrites. They can build or purchase a newly-built monstrosity that makes their neighbor’s houses look dinky, blocks out the light, and ruins the aesthetic fabric of their block, but God forbid someone should want to do exactly that at 43rd and Upton.
I still object to Linden Corner, though I think that redeveloping that corner is a marvelous idea and a slightly smaller or reconfigured development would work well there, just like many of the new houses in the neighborhood that show a little more restraint in their square footage. But in terms of the organized campaign against Linden Corner, I am not at all comfortable with my bedfellows, and I will have to raise my objections alone.
Stay on the right path
This winter has given me more opportunities than usual to ride my bike around Lake Harriet and each time I go, I get home frustrated. Pedestrians, joggers, and dog walkers have taken over the bike path and do not yield to bikers. Since the paths are separated for the safety and enjoyment of everyone, those people need to remember to use their own path to use and let the bike riders use the path that is designated for bikes.
Annoyed by Ticketmaster fees
As a season ticket holder for the Twins, I’ve always been able to decide what I wanted to do with each ticket. I attend many games, but I also enjoy giving tickets to my friends and family as gifts, or selling individual tickets to offset the cost of the season package.
I like owning my season tickets, and I don’t want to pay Ticketmaster another fee just because I decide to give some away. I applaud the Legislature for addressing this issue.
Stevens Square-Loring Heights