Campaign Launch

I wrote this online when I announced I was running for Park Board At Large:

Charlie at Hiawatha

I am announcing I am running for a Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board At-Large seat. The biggest issue in this campaign is the possible closing of Hiawatha Golf Course.

Hiawatha Golf Course does not deserve to be closed. It is a punishment which does not fit the “crime” of pumping.

I’ve gone to public meetings about the course since 2013. Only lately has the drum been beaten about actually closing the course. There have been meetings about what to do with the land if they close it, but none on how to save it.

I haven’t seen this level of laziness by the Park & Recreation Board. You would think if such a vital area of their system were to be in danger of closing, you’d hear more than a “Ho-Hum.”

They won’t try to fix it. They won’t make an effort to save it. They won’t try anything. You would think they would lift a finger and do something.

They’re giving up on the course. This is Minneapolis, we don’t give up!

Hiawatha Golf Course is inclusive: Lots of people from many walks of life enjoy it.

Hiawatha is resilient: It has flooded many times, and recovered many times. That’s the definition of resiliency. It’s a low-lying area, it’s going to flood. It’s supposed to flood. Better the golf course flood than our basements. The pumping is not causing any pollution or ground-water contamination.

Hiawatha is a sustainable as other park board land they mow. If you don’t think mowing is sustainable, we may as well give up our softball and soccer fields, and stop the harvesting of milfoil in the Chain of Lakes.

Lakes Hiawatha and Nokomis are man-made lakes. They were dredged and the golf course was created from the Hiawatha fill. It may be necessary, every 100 years or so, to dredge Hiawatha again, or the creek. Use the fill to bump up low-lying fairways. The lake is filling up. It’s not as deep as it was before. The delta is getting larger since it too was dredged in the 70s, (I watched it being dredged as a boy.)

It was an excellent choice to dredge and create lakes Hiawatha and Nokomis, and it would be acceptable to dredge Hiawatha again to keep our valuable Hiawatha Golf Course.

Hiawatha Golf Course is a neighborhood and Minneapolis treasure. It deserves to stay in its current 18-hole championship format. I’ve been a Ski Ambassador at Hiawatha the few past winters. I grew up across the street from Lake Hiawatha park, lake and golf course.

I work at Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, and I am also Executive Director of the Twin Cities Beach Blast: We brought the Milk Carton Boat Races and Sandcastle Contest back!

I look forward to continuing this discussion in the months ahead.