Last week a question was posed whether the public school district should keep its recreation commission.
The issue came up abruptly after it was realized that the commission had met only two times so far this year. Although some of the meetings were canceled by the superintendent, the commission has had a hard time getting enough members to show up for a meeting.
The school board is now considering three options: Reduce the number of commissioners from seven to four, disband the commission or keep it the way it is.
The commission may very well have run its course. It certainly seems that the commission has run out of creative steam.
But district attorney Gerald Butler told the board that if the commission is dissolved, the board cannot recreate it at a later date, according to state law. A new commission would have to be established by another government entity, like the city council.
At this time, the board’s recreation committee is weighing all the options.
This is a needed review. If it were up to us, we would lean toward either scaling down the commission or getting rid of it.
If the commission were to remain, we’d like to see a rejuvenated commission, and mandate that it come up with long-range plans, as well as how to make the recreation department self-financed instead of supported by a recreation tax.
When the district first asked voters to approve a recreation tax many years ago it was promised that the department would one day have enough capital to finance itself.
We are a long way from that.
No matter who oversees recreation, there is a need to wean it off tax dollars.