Readers respond to "Angry Management"

I have known Jon Gurban since the mid-'60s. I have seen him in friendly, casual, tense, business, personal, and tragic situations. He has always conducted himself in a calm, rational, and intelligent manner. That a few people would perceive him otherwise says more about them than him. Jon has never been anything but a kind, considerate, and loyal friend. I am proud he is my friend and proud of the excellent work he has done on behalf of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Department. His legacy will outlive your article.

Mark Condon

Thanks for the article on the Minneapolis park board. While your article details the political maneuvering that led to Jon Gurban's hiring, and the apparent character flaws that led to a bullying and less than transparent tenure, I think the article misses some larger points.

There is a constant and healthy debate about how to use our parks in Minneapolis. It is my perception that Gurban, Fine, and many others, myself included, feel that city high school sports, particularly football, have not received enough attention (money and resources) to compete metro-wide, and to serve as anchors of pride and stability, especially for young men. The efforts to get a football field at De La Salle and to rejuvenate Parade Stadium are, I believe, both with solid merit and will serve city youth for many, many years to come. We shouldn't kid ourselves that every debate about resources is a "win-win" situation. It is wise to acknowledge that people have differing agendas. This isn't good or bad, it's reality.

Charlie Meyers

Excellent article on the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and Jon Gurban. It was well researched and balanced. Look for a letter from me soon regarding the dysfunctional nature of the Wirth chalet in winter.

Jonathan O. Scott

Perfect description of the man, great article. My personal experience is he has the emotional maturity of a pinhead. He should never ever have been in that position, and he appointed complete idiots who will stay employed and continue to lead with immaturity. It's a good ol' boys club over there at the MPRB: Take a look at the senior management and you'll see it's rainin' men. Good luck to the park system; you shot yourself in the foot with Gurban and lost my support a long time ago with his management style.

Comment by Beau G.
from Minneapolis

I am a homeowner of 15 years. My property is adjacent to a lake, and a small amount of park board property.

The people of Minneapolis need to understand that the park board is filled with petty tyrants. They thrive on pissing people off and upsetting them. All I can think of is that they never left the eighth grade.

Park Board meetings begin about 4 p.m.—not a convenient time for any working person. Citizen input maybe be allowed around 6:30 or so. So when does one eat? Do you really want to address a forum with low blood sugar?

My community of neighbors (about 60 families) had a run-in with the park board. It seems the board is known for making decisions, then letting the property owners know, and holding a "hearing"—when in reality all the decisions have already been made.

I have personally spoken to Gurban (at board meetings), and received "nasty gram" letters from Gurban. He is a very angry, controlling person. I have witnessed Gurban talk down to my 80-year-old neighbors. In my opinion, he is a vile person.

The role of government should be management, not aggression.

Carol Kummer is also part of the problem.

Comment by East Coast Doug
from Liberal Lakes

Jon Gurban is a nasty, hateful bully of a man. Kudos to the newly elected park board officials who orchestrated the extermination of one of the rodents in charge of our precious parks. Now if only in our next city election we can throw Olson, Fine, and Kummer out the door as well.

Comment by Kim
from Minneapolis

What a sad little rag of a newspaper. I have wondered for years why I bother picking it up. I will no longer even bother. John Gurban is a neighbor and a great person. He cares deeply for this city and the parks and his family. The obscene cover of this rag was horrifying. I can only hope the childish illustrator will someday have some sense of human compassion. There is good satire and then there is abuse. This was nothing less than character assassination.

Comment by Steven F. Brown
from Minneapolis

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