Parks are a positive economic tool we can use to build our city to the standards our leaders say they want.
If St. Paul is “The most livable city in America” why are they proposing a parkland dedication ordinance that gives power to the developers and removes it from the citizens? Are parks not a major factor in “livability”?
Contact your City Council member and the Mayor. Ask them to support our recommendation of 12% for a strong parkland dedication ordinance on August 19. (At the August 12 City Council meeting, it was amended, as we suggested, to include all public transit, not just the Green Line. While we appreciate this amendment, it is a drop in the bucket compared to what is needed to make this ordinance effective. The amendment meant a delay of the vote, to August 19.)
In Mayor Coleman’s budget address earlier this week, he mentioned that he and his staff have been meeting citizens out in the community to ask what they are concerned about. According to the MinnPost article, Meter man: Coleman’s budget address includes plan to overhaul street parking in downtown St. Paul, his 30-minute speech was delivered in front of a screen with a word cloud containing the terms most often used by residents. The more often a term was used, the larger it appeared in the cloud.
“Parks” was the biggest. Also appearing large were “people,” “diversity,” “community,” “family,” “neighborhoods,” “activities,” and “bike.” Much smaller were “”events,” “friendly” and “nice.”
There you have it, folks. People are telling the Mayor they care about parks, so why is the City Council set to approve a weak parkland dedication ordinance that will not fund our park system as well as it could? In fact, it would underfund our parks substantially compared to neighboring communities and how they are funding their parks. Over time, this inequity will compound and we will fall farther and farther behind.
We can, and must, do better!