« Home

John Nephew

Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics


Who Wants to Develop Open Space?

In each neighborhood of Maplewood, it appears that candidates Rokke and Cave are distributing a customized joint flyer that identifies a nearby park or neighborhood preserve as needing "saving."

The flyers say that the "#1 issue of concern" from meeting with homeowners in that neighborhood was how to save public parks and open space. (This is funny to me, because after talking to people in every neighborhood of Maplewood, I'm pretty confident in saying that the #1 issue of concern to residents is, "When can we get rid of that mayor?")

It says the problem is "how to stop developers from smooth talking your city council into selling your Parks and Open Spaces for building condos or apartments." The flyer also says "The crucial thing that our opponents want to 'Preserve' - is the ability to sell to developers at the simple will of the city council!"

What is ironic about this is the fact that, as far as I am aware, only one candidate has suggested the possible desirability of selling public open space -- and that would be Delray Rokke, one of the people producing and distributing this flyer.

Take a look at the candidate profile that Rocky completed for the Lillie News, presumably before he decided to team up with Rebecca, turn 180°, and dump his own positions in favor of her campaign's talking points. In response to the question, "What does the city need to do to preserve Maplewood’s parks and open spaces? Do you think conservation easements should play a role?" Rocky wrote:

We need to let the voters decide again whether they still support the city controlling large quantities of undeveloped, non-park land. We need to let residents know how much this costs in additional taxes per household. We should consider some additional safe, attractive and affordable senior housing so that more young families may move into many neighborhoods to enjoy the parks. Conservation easements should be considered on a case by case basis—not encouraged.

Am I reading this wrong? It sounds like he was saying that some neighborhood preserves (the "large quantities of undeveloped, non-park land") might better be developed with senior housing.

Perhaps he misspoke? Well, at the Chamber of Commerce debate on August 30th, Rocky again suggested that the neighborhood preserves needed "development" to make them more useful and accessible (I think he meant trails and amenities); then he went on to say that some should maybe have parking lots built on them! (I guess that would keep them "open.") Listen for yourself (228 kB MP3).

He also seemed strongly opposed to conservation easements in the candidate profile; this was the impression I had from a conversation I had with Rocky in August, too. Now, he apparently has decided that conservation easements are not only OK, but a centerpiece of his campaign.

I have wondered how Rebecca and Rocky could team up, since on Rebecca's core campaign issue (at least, what she says is the most important issue), Rocky was the one candidate who held the most extreme opposite view. I guess it makes me wonder how important it really is to either of them.

Labels: , ,

Post a Comment

Newer Posts Older Posts

Posts by Date

Powered by Blogger & Blogger Templates. Customized by Michelle Nephew.
Contact me at