There have been some really pretty interesting campaigns in the park board race and often it is democracy at its finest no matter how much some of the powers that be try to screw it up.
District 3 has a pretty good race going on that has flown well below anybody’s radar. Scott Vreeland is the incumbent who seems to be running an incumbency campaign depending the automatic endorsements that come with that. He’s running against Mike Wendorf who has managed to raise some serious cash and is spending it this week with 3 mailings. Add to that that Scott has made fierce enemies in Cedar riverside, Phillips and plank road neighbors, and combine that with a district that has the lowest turnout in the city and this could be a ballgame that nobody’s watching. I look for an upset in that district.
District 6: Bourn, Jecha, and Forney: Here’s where the IRV kicks in and god only knows when there will be a winner declared but I suspect we will be watching Farve in the Super Bowl before we find out the winner. Bourn of course is the Park Watch candidate and he’s been running a tough race against a couple candidates who seem to have no problem standing toe to toe. In fact it looks like Jecha likes it. I’d expect no less from a hockey coach. Check out his blog, because Jecha has dropped the gloves. Meg Forney is just a solid candidate who knows her stuff and just barely lost last time. The problem is all in the ranking. Jecha is running for youth sports, Forney brings most experience and Bourn loves everything about the parks and wants to change that by replacing the current board and staff.
Bernie Kunza is running for Commissioner of District One. He’s coached a lot of kids and all the parents of these kids seem to be coming out for him. He could be a sleeper.
Now for some of the worst.
The worst thing I’ve seen is the use of having dead people endorsing candidates 2 months after they passed by way of personal assistants. Of course all the candidates are the Park Watch folks. I won’t give any names but you know who you are and you should be ashamed.
Next is the Star and Tribune coverage of the MPRB or coverage of anything not related to pro sports or the “lifestyle section”.
When the paper changed ownership and subscriptions fell (another 5% this year) the new owners figured that the problem with the news paper was that there was too much news in it.
So unless a Park board commissioner gets caught in the Tribune parking lot performing unnatural acts with circus animals, the park issues are not going to get space. Now that’s bad, but what is even worse is that they endorse candidates. You average mother with kids is much better informed than the local paper is.