The four-term commissioner from New Brighton has been a swing vote on the board, which often splits along suburban and urban or liberal and conservative lines — although strictly speaking, it’s a non-partisan position.
Most recently, she’s been a fourth vote on the Vikings matters. It was her affirmation that she supported a “request for qualifications” that indicated the board’s most recent stadium maneuver was going to pass.
It was an uncommon 4-3 vote on the board, a sign of sharp division among a group that often works by virtual consensus.
But Parker says stadium politics have nothing to do with her departure.
”No. Absolutely not,” she said today. “The Vikings issue is just one more challenge. You know, the role of the county commission goes unnoticed most of the time. But there is always something exciting and interesting going on. And so, no, the Vikings stadium is not any part of my decision.”
Parker said personal issues played a bigger role. Her husband recently retired, and she has a new granddaughter in Milwaukee that she’d like to spend more time with.
“And 16 years is a long time for anybody to serve in any capacity,” Parker says. “It’s a good idea to rotate around a little bit.”
Parker says she won’t be endorsing any successors, but figures there will be plenty of contenders.
She represents the cities of Lauderdale, Little Canada, New Brighton, Roseville, St. Anthony and part of Mounds View. She’ll serve through the end of 2011 — and may yet have a hand in where the Vikings play during her successor’s tenure.