The Violation of Theodore Wirth GC

No Club House on the Par 3

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board was established in 1883, but the true beginning of the Minneapolis park system began when Theodore Wirth became superintendent in 1906, serving until 1938. Wirth is recognized as the dean of the local parks movement in America. At one time, the Theodore Wirth Golf Course was one of the most prestigious golf courses in the United States.

Wirth’s policies included “equal access for all people regardless of race or economic status” (these words are no longer in the MPRB “Mission, Vision & Values” page). As we described in our three MSR columns of 2016 and given the racism of the current board, Wirth’s legacy has been violated:

  • June 01, 2016: “Racism inside Theodore Wirth Golf Complex. White Mike Baker forced out by internal White racism.”
  • July 06, 2016: “Michael Baker is out at Theodore Wirth Golf Course”
  • August 17, 2016: “Timeline showing Mike Baker dismissed after 2016 season”

These columns report some of the most questionable acts of racism by a government agency in the State of Minnesota.

Two letters to the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder in 2016, from the Director of Golf, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (June 16, 2016 and July 28, 2106) said we lied in our three columns.

To disprove that, we provided an affidavit from Mike Baker, who stated that in early July 2016, the Park Board attempted to pressure him into writing a false declaration; and that the Park Board had not tampered with his employment. Mr. Baker confirmed the accuracy of our three columns.

The August column has a timeline of the eight key actions, March 2016 to August 25, 2016, by the Park Board, Mr. Baker, and this column.

Baker’s termination was in violation of the Land Trust Provision, contained in the will of the late Theodore Wirth. The clubhouse at Par 3 no longer operates. To play there, you must purchase a ticket to play on it at the Par 18, approximately two blocks from the Par 3 course and the first tee.

There is an enormous billboard with an architect’s rendering where the 17th hole at Par 3 was once located. The billboard has the design for a very large building that includes cafes, locker room, sports shop, and other amenities due to be completed by the early part of 2018.

The only problem is that the organization violated the 100-year-old Land Trust wishes of Theodore Wirth. More troubling: There are no funds to begin construction on what would stop the final demise of the Theodore Wirth Golf Course, both the Par 18 and the Par 3.

During the election year for seats on the Minneapolis Park Board of Directors, the Minnesota State Attorney General needs to investigate all candidates. To protect the rights of the taxpayers of the City of Minneapolis and the State of Minnesota, the Theodore Wirth GC should be placed in Minnesota State receivership.

To do anything less is to continue the criminal culpability of individuals who have taken taxpayers to the financial cleaners.
Stay tuned.


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