“Tom Nordyke has brought civility to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board through his leadership. I am behind him 100%”
Theodore J. Wirth
Park Board Issues
I’ve served on the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board from 2006-2010, and I was elected as President of the Park Board from 2009-2010. During my years on the Board and under my leadership as President we were able to bring the Board together after years of acrimony and difficult relationships with senior MPRB staff. We were able to heal the differences with the staff and to bring unity to the Board around common visions and goals for the Park System.
One of my greatest strengths as the MPRB President was my ability to bring Commissioners together around shared goals in spite of what are often very different visions and agendas of the various Commissioners.
If I am elected my main priorities will be:
LISTEN AND SERVE!!! While the MPRB has two excellent planning documents to guide us going forward (The Comprehensive Plan 2007–2020 & The 20-Year Neighborhood Park Plan) We must continue to work with our neighbors and neighborhood organizations to set top priorities and to ensure those plans remain relevant to our changing needs as a System.
EXPAND PROGRAMMIMNG AND RECREATIONAL OPORTUNITIES FOR KIDS!! In the 12 years I have been involved in the Park System in the City, as well as the Three Rivers Parks, I have heard one thing consistently from constituents and neighbors – “We want more programming and recreational opportunities for the kids!” We need to expand the Park Board’s quality programming and recreational opportunities for the kids of all ages and backgrounds. This is at the heart of the quality of life that our park system offers.
RACIAL EQUALITY IN OUR PARKS AND OUR CITY! A new report by “24/7 Wall Street” ranked Minnesota 2nd worst in the US for Racial Equality. That’s a real problem and the Park Board can be a real part of the solution. Over the past 12 years in particular the MPRB has made serious progress in addressing this issue within its own organization, which has culminated in the Racial Equity Action Plan adopted in 2017. As part of this effort we need to:
1. Implement and monitor the Racial Equity Plan making sure it remains relevant and creates progress toward the goal of racial equity.
2. Continue to address funding disparity in traditionally underserved neighborhood parks.
3. Work with the park board staff to resolve issues of cultural bias in our neighborhood parks’ recreation planning and programming and within the institution itself.
Unfortunately, this report is not new news to many of our fellow Minnesotans. It is time to redouble our efforts to move toward more equity for all Minnesotans.
My Priorities for the 4th District will be:
•Continue the RiverFirst Initiative and Downtown Service Area Master Plan
•Finish the renovations and upgrades to Loring Park including paths, tennis courts, lighting and Berger Fountain.
•Work on Bassett Creek restoration in the Bryn Mawr & Harrison Neighborhoods
•Monitor the SWLRT Project and mitigate any negative impacts on the Grand Rounds parks.
For my friends on the Riverfront - I voted AGAINST CROWN HYDRO TWICE while on the Park Board and would VOTE "NO" on Crown Hydro again!!!!
And finally, to provide experienced and sane leadership to the nation's number one Park system!