Minneapolis picks park, tax board commissioners

by Tyler Gieseke

Minneapolis races for two Board of Estimate and Taxation seats and Park and Recreation Board commissioners at large had to go to a second round of ranked-choice voting tabulation Wednesday.

Tuesday’s ballot also asked voters whether the Minneapolis City Charter should be reorganized, modernized and rewritten in plain language, which passed with nearly 80 percent of voters saying it should. The second ballot measure asked if wine and liquor sale provisions should be rewritten in clearer language, which citizens overwhelmingly approved, with nearly 86 percent voting “yes.”

This year showed decreased voter turnout compared to last year. Of the voting population, at least 34 percent voted Tuesday — down 47 percentage points from last year. Voter turnout for this year doesn’t include voters who registered on Election Day, so it could be higher. However, voter turnout is traditionally higher in years with a presidential election.

Board of Estimate and Taxation

After the first round of counting, incumbents Carol Becker and David Wheeler had 49 and 34 percent of the first-choice votes, respectively.

The Board of Estimate and Taxation helps manage the overall debt of the city and consults with citizens to assign the maximum tax levies for tax funds like the Park and Recreation Fund. Minneapolis voters had to choose two candidates to serve on the board.

Challengers David Pascoe and Douglas Sembla had 12 and 5 percent of the first-choice votes, respectively.

Park and Recreation Board

Minneapolis voters had to choose nine people to serve on the Park and Recreation Board, which manages both land and water areas of the city’s park system.

The Board consists of one commissioner from each of six districts and three commissioners at large.

Of the 10 at-large candidates, John Erwin, Annie Young and Meg Forney led the race with 25, 16 and 13 percent of the first-choice votes, respectively, on Tuesday night.

Erwin and Young are incumbents. Three incumbent district commissioners were also re-elected, and two races will be counted on Wednesday. The only new commissioner, Steffanie Musich of District 5, ran unopposed.