I don't mind if someone disagrees with my opinion, even vehemently and vocally. That is the beauty of democracy. I do mind if they don't have the sense or the guts to sign their name to their words. Kris Berggren, Lyndale
Rice is worth the money
In reply to the Brian Rice story ("Giving and Receiving," July 8-22), I will start by saying that no city agency has ever gotten a better return on investment. (Disclaimer: Brian always contributes to my campaigns.) Just on the issues I've worked on with him, we have probably returned over $100 million in state funding for city park programs.
One of the ones I'm proudest of was the roughly $50 million that changed the loan for the Combined Sewer Overflow program to a grant and funded the West River Road parkway. This was such an intricate piece of legislative crafting that I'm sure no one except me (and Brian) could explain its path and history.
Another major accomplishment was the appropriation of Operations and Maintenance money for the city parks. More recently, even under Republican control of the House, we saved $5 million from a loan Minneapolis Community Development Agency was trying to collect and passed enabling legislation for the Fuji Ya to become an income-producing site for Minneapolis parks.
Despite all the innuendo, one chooses ones friends in the legislative process on the basis of competence and intelligence rather than cash flow to campaigns. I would welcome a competitive bidding process as the Park Board chooses a lobbyist, as they did last time. Brian and his company (as they should, based on record alone) easily won. Phyllis Kahn, State Representative, Minneapolis District 59B