The following is a letter to the editor from abc newspapers and reprinted here, permission was not obtained, as it is of public record.
To the Editor:
Anoka's mayor, Bjorn Skogquist, said in a recent Star Tribune article, "I'd like for someone to give us a dose of reality."
The Windego Park Society has been in place for over 12 years. Twelve years.
During that time it has amassed $8,000 towards the cost of renovation (of Eastman Stadium), currently estimated to be well over $1 million. $1,000,000. At this rate the project will never get done.
In the meantime, donations are being spent and people who have donated in good faith will be disappointed to see that the project does not occur.
If one of these (or dozens of these) donors decide to sue, who will they sue?
The Windego Park Society? I don't think so.
Their lawyers will quickly discover that Anoka's mayor was the founding member and that his brother is the current president. (Mother, Barb Thurston, is the treasurer.)
They will discover that the city of Anoka has leased the land for only a token fee to Windego and that the city knew of their fundraising.
They will also discover that the city of Anoka has much deeper pockets.
This is a recipe for disaster. And it's too bad. I would liked to have seen Windego succeed.
But the reality is the amphitheater exists in poor condition and as long as Windego exists, the city does not look seriously at other uses for the site.
The property has a great value, based on the fact it is on the Rum River near city hall.
A public debate on the best and most efficient use for the property has never taken place.
Could it be sold to a private developer? Should the city develop this city owned property? Would the DNR have need of the property for a special project?
These and many more questions would be asked if the property was brought to a public forum.
Now that's reality.
Patrick J. Walker Anoka
HRA member, longtime resident
Letter to the Editor, Appeared in the Anoka Union 5-16-08