I enjoyed reading this article, "Parks hits a budgetary winner," in the News-Leader today.
I wrote an article for the "Community Free Press" about the decision process of budget cuts within the park system last year. I was proud of that article and spent a great deal of time on it, including over 2 hours of meeting time with Parks Director Jodie Adams. The article also offered document boxes with the services that were available within the system of parks for the remainder of last summer, as a public service. It would have come out in the issue that followed the article I wrote on the City versus Springfield Skatepark Association, if it had been published.
I agree the Parks Department has taken some unwarranted hits about some of their cuts in the past. I don't know how they can communicate what they do in their budget, what can be used to fund pools and parks which originated prior to sales tax revenues being approved for new parks and pools. Somehow, no matter how many times it is reported, a lot of people still do not understand it.
Of all of the articles I ever submitted to the Community Free Press, the parks article was the only one that CFP refused, or failed, to publish. Though I repeatedly asked why an article I had invested so much energy in was not published, I was never given any answer other than a promise to get back to me on what I could do to make it work for the paper.
Later, I asked Adams if she would mind if I posted it at JackeHammer. She wanted to read and approve it before I posted it. I didn't feel it was appropriate to seek her approval of the piece before posting it, something I would not do before publishing an article in a news paper, why should I do it at my blog? So, it languishes today in the file cabinet. I regret it because, I really felt it gave insight into what the parks department went through during their budget cuts last year, relayed the facts about many issues within that department the public questioned, and showed Ms. Adams in a more personal light, as she struggled with decisions she did not wish to have to make in a way that she felt would be fair to all the citizens of Springfield.
That one, I guess, is the one that got away.
The reason I sought her permission to post it here, in the first place, is because she granted her interview to a contributor for CFP, not to a local blogger. I didn't feel it was appropriate, under the circumstances, to post it here, without her permission, for that reason.