Greater MN Parks & Trails Annual Meeting in Review

The GMPT’s Annual Meeting was held Oct. 19 at the Monticello Community Center. Read on for more information on four of the important agenda items covered at the meeting.

GMPT Board Elections

A slate of officers was adopted for the 2017-2018 open positions on the GMPT Board.  In a series of unanimous votes, the following member representatives were elected:

– Secretary/Communications – Brad Harrington, Wright County
– Treasurer – Tom Salkowski, Wright County
– District 1- Bob Manzoline, St. Louis and Lake Counties Railroad Authority
– District 3 – Dan Coughlin, City of Olivia
– District 5 – Jacqueline Knips, Jackson County

They will join the following members previously elected to serve on the board through 2017:

– Chair – Marcia Larson, City of Bemidji
– Vice Chair – Ted Suss, Individual
– District 2 – Joe Amundson, City of Thief River Falls
– District 4 – Peter Theismann, Stearns County
– District 6 – Mike Nigbur, City of Rochester (2016-2017)

The current GMPT board and incoming board representatives will be meeting in November to discuss the transition and 2017 goals.

Legislative Policies and Agenda

The members present at the annual meeting had a lively discussion regarding the legislative policies and agenda going into the next legislative session and the 2017-2018 biennium.

For the purpose of developing legislative discussion points for the annual meeting, members were asked to submit their suggestions for both the Policy and Agenda statements. In October, a survey was emailed to all members requesting feedback on the specific language in each. The suggestions and input of members was brought forward to the annual meeting, where final input on each policy and agenda item was received.

The adopted legislative agenda and policies as amended and approved by the membership at can be found on page 3 of this newsletter and on the GMPT website here.

Update from Greater MN Regional Parks & Trails Commission

GMRPTC Executive Director Renee Mattson was on hand for an in-depth Q & A on the application process, Legacy funding, GMRPTC’s budget, and a look ahead to the next designation cycle.

A snapshot of the conversation:

– To date, 46 parks or trails have been designated as regionally significant; these are well-dispersed geographically and represent a cross-section of natural resource parks, trails and special recreation feature parks.
– Funding recommendations will be made annually in order to best address funding priorities as they emerge for designated projects.
– The E-teams have been directed to provide detailed feedback so that applicants can revise and re-submit what is likely to be a more successful application in future rounds.
– The application portal continues to evolve to better serve applicants’ needs.
– The Commissioners are discussing improvements to the master plan development and entry process and are working through strategic initiatives which address the needs and goals for each district.