Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Do appointees of Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority represent the public?

From the beginning of the introduction of the stadium bill to the upcoming 1st meeting of the new Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (Authority) a lot of the major decisions about it have been under the cloak of secrecy.  That was very evident at the Legislature by the media reports of quotes from legislators saying to avoid a quorum to where conference meetings are open to the public they intentionally made sure quorum was not met.

This same kind of attitude of secrecy seems to have taken root with the naming of the five appointees to the Authority by Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak and Governor Mark Dayton.  Out from the start the leaders Dayton and Rybak should have taken action and moxie for this not to be the case.

The appointments that the public have granted the Governor and Mayor to make are very momentous because of the hundreds of millions of public dollars involved and major decisions to be made in regards to the Stadium.  The public expects Dayton and Rybak to be dutiful and responsible about it.  It should have been the goal of the Governor and Mayor to provide to the public all possible information how they see the appointment process so that the public would know the leaders would be making an informed determination and make the appointments to the Authority with open eyes.  This was not the case.

The Governor and the Mayor did not go through their open appointment processes which both Minneapolis and the State of Minnesota have.  I believe the Governor should have gone through the state process to appoint his selections.  Same with the Mayor.  I have already heard the arguments about the time limit of thirty days to do the appointments. Or it was not so stated in the stadium law  From my point of view not a legitimate excuse.  This is where leadership and determination comes in.

The leaders who had the responsibility to select these exceptional and foremost appointments could have publicly stated their standards, goals, and what is guiding them in doing these appointments.  Did Governor Dayton and Mayor Rybak do this?  I do not think so.  Was their an open and transparent process where people from the public could apply? No.

What it came down to is pure and simple, a decision made by the Governor and Mayor in secrecy without the public knowing about others who may have applied formally or informally, and whether or not these five people were the best people to represent the public interests at the Authority table.

I was appalled at the legislative process in which the bill went through and how very little or no attention was placed on accountability and transparency for the public.  This is the same with the appointment process

The government on the local and state level which I have participated in as a citizen for over forty years generally makes important civic appointments, on worth, excellence, and caliber through a process that is legitimate, impartial, open, and transparent.  Was that the case with the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority appointments?

No..

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