board will ignore mayor's letter
Asking for more accountability from the Platte
City Park and Recreation Board, Mayor Dave Brooks
has launched a campaign of sorts apparently aimed
at enlisting more volunteer support from its members.
Fresh off a campaign of his own, Brooks appears
to have leveled his sights on the park board,
speaking out at local civic events and recent
board of aldermen meetings. This past week, Brooks
initiated a letter from the board of aldermen
that points to the volunteer efforts of others
and asks whether or not the park board
in and unto itself a volunteer entity if
they will join in.
Since the inception of the Pocket
Park volunteers community wide have donated
material, equipment and most valuable of all their
time. We are writing to inquire as to what extent
or what amount of time the Park and recreation
board (the members) are willing to give in the
creation of the park.
The letter, which was signed by the entire board
of aldermen, asked the park board to respond to
the aldermen by Friday. After actions taken by
the park board on Monday evening, such a reply
doesnt seem likely.
Nobody from the board wanted to respond
to the letter, said Dick Stephens, director
of the Platte City Parks Board. Basically
it became a non-issue for us.
Stephens said the board did make a decision on
how to proceed with dealing with the park and
the interested parties who have volunteered at
What we wound up doing was putting the
pocket park project back to our buildings, grounds
and equipment subcommittee. Then well meet
with Olin (Miller) and those who have an interest
in the (pocket) park.
Stephens said that he realized time was running
We have to spend this money by Sept. 1
or we lose this money, Stephens said about
the $13,000 grant from Platte Countys Outreach
program. He said that about $11,000 remains in
Stephens reacted strongly when told that Brooks
had questioned aloud at the last meeting of the
Platte City Board of Aldermen whether or not park
board members were willing to work with
their fingers in the park.
Thats not the position of this board,
Stephens told The Landmark. If (Brooks)
wants to count the volunteer hours of this board,
Id be happy to show them to him. How can
he try to force a volunteer board to volunteer
Stephens pointed out that at this phase of the
parks creation, real tradesmen were needed
to complete construction.
This board is not a concrete pouring, steel
reinforcing, unskilled labor pool, Stephens
remarked. If Brooks wants us to have (the
park project), give it to us, and we will proceed
like all the parks that we have master planned
in the past.
Stephens pointed out that the pocket park, which
was borne out of discussions initiated by current
members of the Platte City Area Development Association
(PCADA), was never mastered planned. The park
board became involved after the PCADA decided
to go for the outreach grant and asked the board
to sponsor their application.
At last weeks meeting of the PCADA, Brooks
mentioned the need to form a volunteer
committee to overlook the park board in regard
to the pocket park project. With two vacancies
on the board, Brooks may not have to even do that:
the mayor is responsible for appointing new members
to the board.