Minneapolis Unwired: Park Board decides to throw its weight around

This is a follow-up to my last post about Wi-Fi in the Minneapolis parks.

Brandt Williams at Minneapolis Public Radio has an excellent update (Jan. 9) that covers the parks issue along with the issue with “dark” areas (where Wi-Fi won’t work) which is limiting the usefulness of the network to the City of Minneapolis which is paying $1 million a year for a current service level worth $50,000.

Park Board Commissioner Scott Vreeland is interviewed in the piece and says that he is “not aware of any staff that knew about it…. It certainly wasn’t brought to the commissioners.” Scott, Wi-Fi in the parks has been discussed from the beginning of the implementation and it’s part of the contract. What you are telling me here is that our Park Board Commissioners ignore anything that isn’t officially presented to them to the point of now causing considerable delay in the full use of the Wi-Fi network here in Minneapolis and costing the City a significant amount of money. Thanks.

So the City makes a formal request and the Park Board turns it down “pending further study.”

And by the way, I’m pretty sure we’re talking free Wi-Fi in the parks. So the Park Board resistance is also holding back a valuable service for residents. Thanks again.

I hope this issue is raised as the campaigns for Park Board Commissioners gear up. I’ve talked about the Park Board before relating to the Red Bull bike route blockage. Our park system in Minneapolis is one of our most important assets and I want elected representatives who are paying attention to who they are representing.

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