, Muskogee, OK

May 9, 2014

Don’t absorb Muskogee parks board

— Muskogee city councilors did the right thing when they delayed a decision on the consolidation of boards and committees that would have swallowed the Parks and Recreation Board.

Councilors have considered consolidating some boards and committees because of a lack of people willing to serve on those entities.

That’s the right thing to do.

It streamlines city government.

But parks and recreation is too big a part of this city to have it potentially shortchanged by being absorbed into a larger committee.

There will be less time to discuss matters specific to parks under that arrangement.

Many poor decisions are made from haste.

We agree completely with Councilor Lee Ann Langston.

She referenced the Action In Muskogee initiative at a recent council meeting.

She correctly pointed out that AIM has identified city parks as a priority for our citizens.

We have opportunities to improve our parks.

We have appropriate funding that could go a long way toward improving and maintaining our parks.

The city is in the middle of utilizing a $2.5 million, five-year grant from the City of Muskogee Foundation.

With public interest and financial backing, the city has a great opportunity to seize.

The city can’t make the most of our parks if its board is swept under another umbrella.

Consolidate where you can, but let the parks board stand alone.