Behind the wheel at the Park Board

Nowadays, we transition our teens into driving with restrictions on age, time of day and number of passengers, among other things. My mother was just given a driver’s license when she turned 18 in 1933 — no instructions, no provisional rules — and she hit the road

I was fortunate to get behind the wheel of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board when there were seven experienced driver-commissioners to smooth the initial ride for me and my other new colleague. Oh, I’m sure the two of us made some wrong turns and spinouts that our experienced colleagues tolerated with either a smile or a “huh?”

With two-thirds of the Park Board as new drivers this year, many of you have asked me: How’s the drive so far?

Well, no crashes, but maybe a whiplash or two with breaching of policy, protocol and procedure, with urgencies upon urgencies, with willful disregard of staff and legal opinion and with a hasty pen on the blank check of our budget. But I am hopeful that each new commissioner will transition as I did, with no crashes.

I have confidence that each colleague will drive from the campaign trail to the highroad of governance. Thanks to some very experienced and wise park staff, additional training has been provided, a strategic direction has been distilled from our collaborative input and a time schedule affirmed for a superintendent search and hire — the no. 1 function of the Board of Commissioners.

I ask for the community’s patience, as you were gracious enough to give to me four years ago. But I also ask that you pay attention and hold us accountable to our driver privilege.


Meg Forney

Commissioner, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (at-large)