Gov. Dayton is at the MPR booth at the Minnesota State Fair over the noon hour, taking questions from the audience. One fair-goer took the opportunity to ask Dayton what he’s doing to end the Minnesota Orchestra lockout. His response:
I’ve been doing all that I’ve been asked to do, all that I can think to do behind the scenes. When I met last spring with the the representatives of the [Minnesota Orchestra] board and the representatives of the musicians, both sides agreed that my role would be best done under the public radar screen, so I’ve honored that request.
I’ve been involved with finding a mediator, former United States Senator George Mitchell, who has negotiated truces in Northern Ireland and elsewhere around the world. I don’t know what the status of their negotiations are. Like everybody else, I wish they would settle and get back to being the Minnesota Orchestra we had such great pride in.
But as Senator Mitchell said, you can’t make two sides come to an agreement, they have to decide that they’re both willing to do so. Evidently that hasn’t happened yet. I’m as troubled by it as anyone. If I knew what to do with a magic wand, believe me I’d do it.
Dayton also said he thinks the Minnesota Orchestra is a key factor in the health of downtown Minneapolis.