May 29, 2024

Park ordinance discussion continues

Creston Parks and Recreations board members continue to speak against proposed changes to the city ordinance regarding the role and duties of the board.

Creston City Council has been working to amend various aspects of the ordinance since February, including number of board members and a listing of duties. In a previous meeting, councilmembers Jocelyn Blazek and Kiki Scarberry stated the goal of the amendment was clarification.

Park board members argued the changes took away clarification and duties rather than enhanced them.

“When I compare what is out there now in the current ordinance to what is proposed, the part where the board has the authority over properties and the hiring authority over the director of the park has just completely vanished in the new ordinance,” board member Gary Borcherding said. “We have the authority to make rules and regulations for the parks just like we always have, but the penalties portion has vanished.”

Blazek said none of these things have been taken away, but are instead included in the duties listed. Specifically with penalties, she said any consequences to breaking of rules could be listed in the rules themselves.

“In regards to the penalty piece, where this came into discussion was, you guys set the rules and as part of that process, you guys can determine what the consequences are for breaking those rules,” Blazek said. “That would be part of whatever rules you adopt and the consequences. Like you said, most times things can be resolved with a civil conversation.”

However, Borcherding said the park board shouldn’t have to change their rules just because city council was changing their rules.

Neither Blazek nor Scarberry found any issue with adding the interviewing and suggesting a park director to the duties of the board, nor adding penalties back into the ordinance. They explained the goal was to both clarify and simplify the ordinance. Additionally, Scarberry said it was important to state in the ordinance who had ultimate control of the parks.

“There were conversations in meetings that had stated this council has no authority over the parks because park and rec board ordinance says they have the authority over the parks,” Scarberry said. “When legal was asked, it was stated that, yes it does say they have authority over the parks, but it does not say they have exclusive authority over the parks. It also states that they are an advisory board to this council.”

With the requests to add more to the ordinance, the council decided to table the first reading in order to make these changes.

In other council news...

The transfer of the FBO contract from Nor-Wes, Inc. to West Aviation, Inc. was approved. Nor-Wes ended their contract early due to their inability to complete all expected duties.

The council approved Joe Anson’s request for a special event and temporary liquor license for a June 1 “Kick Off to Summer” event on Adams Street. The event will include a band, food trucks and a beer garden.

Erin Henze

Originally from Wisconsin, Erin is a recent graduate from UW-Stevens Point. Outside of writing, she loves to read and travel.