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Park Board

Posted: October 30th, 2013, 3:07 pm
by PhilmerPhil
Any recommendations on who to vote for for Parks & Recreation Commissioner at Large? I haven't done any meaningful research on the candidates and was hoping to get some insight from some of my UrbanMSP buddies.

Re: Park Board

Posted: October 30th, 2013, 4:08 pm
by MNdible
I'd definitely vote for John Erwin.

And not for Tom Nordyke, who's a major stooge.

Re: Park Board

Posted: October 30th, 2013, 8:09 pm
by twincitizen
Just go with the Strib's endorsement on this one, it seems to make sense. Naomi Kritzer agrees (the blogger/author who has written extensively and humorously about this race).

1. Jason Stone (I'm putting him first because the other two are shoo-ins, so he needs the boost)
2. John Erwin (incumbent - DFL endorsed)
3. Annie Young (incumbent - Green Party endorsed)

I don't know if Jason Stone just didn't seek the DFL nomination or what, but yeah it seems like Tom Nordyke somehow got it and would not be good.

EDIT: Looks like Nordyke was a past park board commissioner and actually not good.

Re: Park Board

Posted: November 8th, 2013, 2:53 pm
by twincitizen
They are counting Park Board At-Large ballots right now.

Right now Meg Forney looks to snag the 3rd seat after Erwin & Young. She damn near got as many votes as Annie Young. I do not have a positive impression of this woman. I could be wrong, but it appears to me that she basically bought this with advertising. Her stupid ads with her holding that stupid bullhorn were all over the Journal/SW Journal print edition and MinnPost lately. There is simply no other explanation for her getting more votes than the DFL-endorsed Nordyke and long-time incumbent Annie Young. I will note that the Park Board races did not have party/principle identification listed like Mayor and City Council did, so Annie Young's Green Party status is not a factor here.

Can anyone who's been living in Mpls a little longer provide some insight here? Regarding Jason Stone, it seemed like a lot of people liked him and had a positive impression. He had Rybak's support and the Strib endorsement. I'm not sure why he didn't try a little harder or seek the DFL endorsement.

Re: Park Board

Posted: November 8th, 2013, 3:14 pm
by MNdible
I was told that Bob Fine received the third DFL endorsement (or at least that it was held open for him?), but then he walked away from it when he decided to run for mayor. Not sure.

Bummer that Jason Stone couldn't do better.

Meg's been running for these things forever -- I also don't have a good impression of her, having met her on multiple occasions. But I wonder if, in a low profile race, people simply recognized her name since she's been running somewhat visible campaigns for so long?

As for Young, I've voted for her in the past, but she's not super impressive if you've ever watched her on the board. Her speeches tend to ramble about.

Re: Park Board

Posted: November 8th, 2013, 3:55 pm
by twincitizen
Lots of votes to re-allocate still, with three candidates with around 4000 votes each to be eliminated before it even gets to Stone vs. Forney vs. Nordyke for the "only" open seat. I assume Young and Erwin will continue to receive the bulk of reallocated votes.

Ranked choice is a really weird (bad?) way to elect 3 candidates...it would make more sense to get 3 separate 1st choice votes, for 3 seats. For example, if you voted Young or Erwin first choice, your 2nd and 3rd choices will never be counted, because Young/Erwin votes will never be reallocated. This is why I instructed Phil (and whoever else cared) to rank Jason Stone first.

Had people known this, or had anyone really looked into it ahead of time, I'd imagine Rybak and others would have made it more clear you should vote for Jason Stone with your first choice. Naomi Kritzer touched on this in her blog, but I wish the Strib had also noted that Jason Stone should have been ranked first.

EDIT: It appears I was wrong about vote re-allocation and am now completely confused. It now says "Erwin elected, surplus allocated". What the frack does that mean? They just reallocated fractions of "surplus" votes, since Erwin hit the required 25%-1 threshold to win. I have no idea what's going on.

Re: Park Board

Posted: November 8th, 2013, 4:03 pm
by Nick
Business question: Can someone sell me on the value of having an independent Park Board, other than that it sounds nice?

Re: Park Board

Posted: November 8th, 2013, 4:08 pm
by twincitizen
I sort of agree that it's silly, but I accept that there was a big publicly-waged battle over this in '09 and the voters settled it, quite decisively, for this decade anyways. Let's maybe not hold another vote on that until at least 2021. But by all means, lets get rid of the separate Park PD. There could even be a autonomous parks division in the MPD, if folks are that worried about it. It should save a bunch of money in administration, chief salary, equipment procurement, etc.

*someone feel free to correct me if voters did not actually vote on the independent park board issue. I heard there was a big fight over that, along with reducing the size of the council and eliminating the BET, not that long ago. Not actually sure if any of those proposals were actually voted on.

Re: Park Board

Posted: November 8th, 2013, 4:49 pm
by woofner
The Park Board wasn't voted on - that question didn't get onto the ballot because of some technicality or legal issue, I don't remember quite what at the moment. The BET was voted on, and in their wisdom and/or confusion voters decided to keep it.

Re: Park Board

Posted: November 11th, 2013, 2:09 pm
by MNdible
So, has anybody figured out yet how RCV worked for the At Large race? I'm still baffled by it. As near as I can figure, since I voted for Erwin with my first vote, my second and third place votes weren't counted (or rather, a very tiny fractional percent of those votes apparently was reallocated). But this really doesn't make any sense. Since there were three seats available, I should have had three votes counted, straight up, right?

Am I missing something?

Re: Park Board

Posted: November 11th, 2013, 3:20 pm
by talindsay
MNdible wrote:So, has anybody figured out yet how RCV worked for the At Large race? I'm still baffled by it. As near as I can figure, since I voted for Erwin with my first vote, my second and third place votes weren't counted (or rather, a very tiny fractional percent of those votes apparently was reallocated). But this really doesn't make any sense. Since there were three seats available, I should have had three votes counted, straight up, right?

Am I missing something?
Yes, I had the same annoying conclusion: if it really worked the way it sounded like it did, we got somewhat disenfranchised - even though there were three open seats and three votes, only the first one counted if that person was elected. The problem here is that it introduces a need to strategize your vote to a degree that's not really compatible with free democratic elections IMO. I'm hoping we misunderstood in some way what actually happened.

Re: Park Board

Posted: November 11th, 2013, 9:44 pm
by gpete
No, your fears are correct. It's a very counter-intuitive process that is unnecessarily complicated compared to just getting 3 votes for 3 candidates. The bad part of RCV.

This video explains it a bit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNxwMdI8OWw


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - now Free

Re: Park Board

Posted: November 11th, 2013, 10:23 pm
by MNdible
That's really a terrible way to do handle this! I'm generally supportive of the RCV, but this just doesn't make good sense.
Fair Vote MN wrote: Your vote always counts for your highest ranked candidate until he or she is elected or eliminated and your vote continues to count once your favorite candidate is elected or eliminated until all the seats are filled. This helps ensure that more voters than ever are represented by someone they voted for and provides greater opportunity for more diverse representation.
Bogus. At the very least, this wasn't explained at all, and as Talindsay points out, it forces people to try to make strategic voting decisions on races without enough information. All around bad, and perhaps the worst part of it is that almost nobody realizes/cares/understands this is going on.