When the sudden closure of Brighton Beach was announced July 1 (“Brighton Beach to close for summer”), I had a lot of questions. Why didn't the city government give us more notice? Why close the whole park? Why now? What are the details of the plan? How will the government be held accountable for getting the project finished in a timely manner?

Although the city of Duluth reversed course and decided not to close the beach at this time (“Brighton Beach to remain open until further notice”), these questions remain. The explanation given by the city on July 2 was "a change in construction scheduling."

While everyone agrees the shoreline and road need to be restored, I'm frustrated by the lack of transparency surrounding the project. Closing the beach in the middle of summer would have affected my family, my neighborhood, my city, and even my state as a whole. I'm glad the city recognizes that fixing the beach is important. However, I was disappointed that the city seemed to disregard the impact its closure would have on almost everyone I know and our ability to enjoy summer in Duluth. Therefore, I am glad it remains open.

That said, Brighton Beach is still in need of extensive repair. Given the surprising announcement that the beach would be closing with hardly any notice and then the abrupt reversal, we are left to wonder when the beach will actually be closed for repairs. Will it just be closed all of a sudden? Will it be left undone for another season? I have even more questions than I did before the about-face. But all I really want is transparency from our city leaders.

Is it too much to ask our City Council and Mayor Emily Larson to communicate with us about their plans for our parks?

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Rita Busam


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