Guilt by Association

A political snipe-fest drowns out residential harmony in Minneapolis's up-and-coming Central neighborhood

The first thing the new leaders did was fire Jana Metge, the neighborhood group's popular, connected executive director
Diana Watters
The first thing the new leaders did was fire Jana Metge, the neighborhood group's popular, connected executive director

Members of the new board say they can. CNIA has hired an interim director, and Zachary Metoyer says plans are in the works for a summer forum where neighbors can air their concerns to the board. But peace still seems a long way off. One board member has filed a complaint with city officials alleging that the recent series of hostile meetings were held in violation of state law, so the new neighborhood leaders don't have any authority to spend tax dollars. And in the meantime, there have been more ugly CNIA meetings--one so nasty that the James Ford Bell Foundation's Peterson walked out. From Metge's perspective, the fact that the turmoil follows so much progress in Central is the biggest tragedy. "Too many neighborhood groups get to this point and fall apart," she says. "If we were able to move through this ordeal, it would be a good example for the rest of the city."

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