It’s about time.
The meeting of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority’s Board on Friday, February 24, ushered in a new regime change, as Former Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz was announced to be the Authority’s new Chair. This change came as no surprise to any who have followed our coverage of the Authority (see list below of 28 columns, 2005-2015).
The February 24 Star Tribune article by Rachelle Olson, creates the new game of “Who is Next?” following the departure of Michele Kelm-Helgen and Ted Mondale. Those wondering include those in both the White and Black communities who have denied and covered up our reporting.
As we stated in our column of June 27, 2012, the MSFA faced “one of the greatest challenges in the history of Minnesota and its legacy of civil and human rights.” Sadly, Minnesota failed again in this chapter of civil and human rights, as well. The Star Tribune concentrated on abuse of stadium suites use, instead of broken promises to communities of color and falsification of documents to make it look like promises were kept for all who were invited to sit at the stadium table.
The Minnesota legislature’s auditor and the Republican controlled senate indicate they will take a closer and more detailed look at the awarding of contracts and the failure or success of equity commitments of the previous administration. New Chair Blatz was identified by the Star Tribune reporter as the one asking questions regarding contracts and equity, noting that for over four years, even Commissioner Barbara Butts Williams had never asked any pertinent questions about any aspects of contracts and definitely not about equity.
It is quite obvious that some commissioners and staff of the MSFA are growing nervous about the legal questions raised around how well the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority dealt with issues of equity and contract awards, and the consequences of these questions.
But we warned of this (see especially May 7, 2015 column, Jan. 15, Feb 15, Feb 12 and Aug of 2014 columns. Also see Jan. 16 and 23, June 26 and Sept. 24 of 2013 columns. See also 20 columns between 2005 and 2011, and in Solution paper #46, Nov. 2, 2011, on “Disparity/Compliance Studies”).
The legislative auditor has already recognized that documents have been shredded or lost —as discovered in their search for crucial documents of the MSFA — in order to answer the question: What happened to the legislature’s promises to communities of color that we would receive appropriate and meaningful opportunity in the construction of the $1 billion people’s stadium?
Will this new investigation finally expose the failure of inclusion in the demolition and construction of the $1.1 billion people’s palace, called US Bank stadium? There will be a need for great care by those who have stayed on to explain to the new chair of the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority the inconsistency in attempting to put Humpty Dumpty back together after his great fall.
Humpty Dumpty represents the base information to compare against the false documentation given to the public and the tax payers of the State of Minnesota. Will we now hear all the fairy tales about how much opportunity there will be for people of color to be involved in the 2018 Super Bowl in Minneapolis and other events to be part of the future of the peoples’ stadium?
We put into play a couple of months ago the so-called prosperity in which the African American community participated. Where is it, really? Instead, there is so much violence and so many heartaches.
Maybe some of the new commissioners can help us with that as they respond to the legislative auditor, who is clearly a man on a mission.