Mayor Rybak says Park Board Amendment Should Fail
Voters should reject petty politics and get park board to focus on real problems
August 10, 2009 (MINNEAPOLIS) – Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak today called on Minneapolis voters to soundly reject an attempt by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) to gain unlimited taxing power. Representatives of a campaign to change the City Charter to give the MPRB taxing authority today presented signatures to put this question on the ballot in November.
Mayor Rybak, who opposed a failed ballot initiative that would have eliminated the MPRB, is also opposing this amendment, which would give an independent body unlimited power to raise property taxes without fixing the core challenges facing our parks.
"Instead of trying to put half-baked ideas on the ballot, people need to focus on fielding youth sporting teams, building soccer fields, cleaning the lakes, and fixing other critical park issues," Rybak said. "We have serious challenges facing our parks that I’m ready to help address, but people need to stop playing petty politics and spreading false fears about non-existent threats and instead focus on real problems."
"This charter amendment is not about who loves parks or about an independent park board," Rybak said. "The move to eliminate the park board failed overwhelmingly on June 3, in part because Council President Johnson and I helped kill it. We don’t need more distractions; we need to stay focused on fixing our parks and recreation centers."
"As a lifelong resident who loves parks, I believe that our parks are an essential part of what makes Minneapolis great," Rybak added. "But it is a mistake to think that because people love parks that they want huge tax increases without accountability. I am confident that voters will see through the misinformation used to collect these signatures and reject this amendment soundly."
Published Aug. 10, 2009