State Rep. claims Minneapolis officials are trying to prevent media from recording parts of meetings

A Minnesota State Representative said a Minneapolis public advisory board’s attempt to block journalists from recording meetings about the proposed Upper Harbor Terminal project is “deeply troubling.”

Rep. Dean Urdahl (R-Grove City) issued the statement over the weekend. He claims city officials are trying to prevent media members from filming the public meetings.

“It is deeply troubling that several members of this board – including a Minneapolis City Council member – attempted to block journalists from exercising their first amendment rights and informing the public about this taxpayer-funded project,” Urdahl said in a statement.

Urdahl went on to say the city of Minneapolis is seeking $20 million in bonding funds from the legislature to fund the $200 million project. Urdahl is a member of the House Capital Investment Committee.

“With that comes a responsibility to be open and transparent with the public, including the media,” he said.

Urdahl’s statement argues that the board’s actions are a violation of the state’s open meeting laws.

“This incident, and the assertion that the board ‘wouldn’t discuss certain business items with reporters present’ raises major concerns as we evaluate bonding projects heading into the next session,” Urdahl added.