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Monday, November 2, 2009

Best and Worst?

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.


  1. I was interviewed by the Star Tribune an interview that was 20 minutes long and went very well. They decided to endorse Liz instead and only refered to me as "a well-know coach". I have been much more than the "well-known Coach", I have been a community volunteer for the past 24 years and President of the Northeast Boosters Club for the past 21 years working with the youth of the eastside. Jennifer Young and I were instrumental in aquiring and additional million dollars from the city council for the rebuilding of the Bottineau Park Rec Center after the fire of 1999. I have sat on countless MPRB committees to improve the quality of life for the people of the eastside. Also not mentioned is that I am endorsed by the incumbent Walt Dziedzic, the Minneapolis Police Federation, MPEA, Teamsters District Council 32 and GCIU local 1B. The Star Tribune didn't endorse anyone that supports Jon Gurban and would fight for the park boards independence.

  2. I haven't followed these races, but linked here from Daily Planet. Good blog and interesting take on park races. I know Bernie as a coach when I was a kid. I wished I lived N.E. and could vote for him. But what really concerns me is WHAT IF ALL THESE PEOPLE WHO HATE THE PARKS get elected? Brad Bourn, Jason Stone, etc. look like stooges for the mayor to dismantle the parks. What do park employees think? I bet they're scared!

  3. Oh yeah, and in my district - big problem. Jon Olson is a low-key guy who really brings home the bacon for our district. State, federal, public-private partnerships, foundations, you name it. And this carpet-bagger Guest comes in who at best would take years to get up to speed here, but at worst, is just here to destroy and dismantle. This guy is a proven liar as shown in your previous story who will say anything even if untrue to make the parks look bad.
    I better go vote right now for Jon Olson.

  4. Bernie,
    I didn’t mean to short change you. I know you are much more than a coach. You said it well and I hope you continue to comment here even after you get elected.

    Bourn,Stone,Guest and Wielinski are the biggest threat to the Parks since the Dutch Elm beatle.