First day on the job for new Minneapolis Park Board superintendent

January 21, 2019 04:58 PM

It's his first official day on the job and new Minneapolis Park Board Superintendent Al Bangoura is back at his old stomping grounds at Powderhorn Park, where he spent six years as a facility manager.

"I learned a tremendous amount from being here. If you don't do what they are asking, you'll know about it!" said Bangoura.

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Bangoura, who worked for MPRB for 19 years before relocating to North Carolina, will oversee the city's 6,000 acres of parkland, 550 employees and 180 parks.

Bangoura says his first order of business includes partaking in listening sessions with residents so that parks and programs can be as personalized as possible.

"It could be athletics and sports, or it could be digital literacy," he said.

Bangoura is inheriting a few high-profile issues including the fate of Hiawatha Golf Course, which he says he still needs to evaluate.

As well as the pressure for racial equity. In 2016 the park board approved equity-driven metrics for selecting projects. Bangoura says the board needs to continue on that path.

RELATED: Minneapolis Park Board picks new superintendent after tense debate

"I think we are doing a great job with the measurements we use and the tools we've used to address these issues. Minneapolis is on the forefront. Around the country, people are calling Minneapolis right now," he said.

Bangoura will temporarily live in the Theodore Wirth House. The park board just approved the terms of a year-long lease which includes about $1300 a month in rent. Public tours will still continue at the Wirth house. 

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Ellen Galles

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