City Council votes to dissolve Parks and Recreation Committee, add its duties to Planning Commission
Tue, 12/22/2020 - 10:53am caleb
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The Grayling City Council voted 5-0 to dissolve its Parks and Recreation Committee and “reconstitute” it under the authority of the City of Grayling’s Planning Commission.
The City Council has discussed the future of the Parks and Recreation Committee at several meetings in 2020, considering a change or the elimination of the committee due to lack of attendance at meetings.
In September, the council discussed the Parks and Recreation Committee at length due to a pending appointment to fill a vacancy on the committee.
Kimberly Kersey, member of the Parks and Recreation Committee as City Council liaison, said the committee suffered from lack of participation and was not accomplishing much.
“Nobody shows up,” Kersey said.
According to the city, “It is the mission of the City of Grayling Parks and Recreation Committee to assure the adequacy of the City’s park system in meeting the needs of its citizens while creating recreational opportunities for all. The City of Grayling has two parks. One is located along the AuSable River right next to the Nature Center on the Business Loop, the other is a skate park located next to City Hall.”
Meetings in 2020 were slated for the second Tuesday of each month.
The council discussed the need for the committee because of its skate park, and one council member asked if there should be a separate skate park committee.
“This board is not just a skate park board and that’s where we’re failing,” Mayor Heather Forbes said.
“Do we need a Parks and Recreation Committee?” Councilman Karl Schreiner asked.
The Grayling City Council, in September, agreed that it would not appoint a member to fill the vacancy on the Parks and Recreation Committee, and it would discuss the committee more at future meetings.
On Monday, December 14, during an online regular meeting of the Grayling City Council, the council discussed the issue again. City Manager Doug Baum provided the council with options for the future of the Parks and Recreation Committee, including one that would add the committee’s duties to the Planning Commission with the option to have subcommittees as needed.
“Planning Commission would basically oversee everything and keep it moving,” Baum said.
Baum said another option was to dissolve the Parks and Recreation Committee and create a Parks and Recreation Department using existing city staff to complete necessary duties.
“We wouldn’t incur any need for additional staff if we did that,” Baum said.
Schreiner moved to dissolve the Parks and Recreation Committee and reconstitute it under the authority of the Planning Commission board. Kersey supported the motion, and it passed 5-0.