Sunday, November 09, 2008

Park Board take over of the Springfield Skatepark

It was planned to be a done deal

When I wrote "The Stage is Set for Springfield-Greene County Parks to Take Over the Skatepark" back in May, I didn't know how right I was. I don't know the exact date the Park Board, or Parks Director Jodie Adams decided not to renew the agreement with the Springfield Skatepark Association but what I do know is the Springfield City Charter, in Section 5.6 states:

"The fiscal year of the City of Springfield unless otherwise provided by ordinance, shall begin on the first day of July and shall end on the last day of June of each calendar year...."

So, when I was doing some unrelated research tonight, I was a bit surprised to learn that in 2007, no later than June 30, 2007, the Park Board requested budgeting and budgeting was included for the running of the skatepark:

Public Parks Sales Tax Fund--2001 Parks Sales Tax Priority Number 1:

"NEW PARK OPERATIONS-SPRINGFIELD SKATEPARK-- Springfield Skatepark Association, Inc., is the organization currently operating the Springfield Skatepark. They are expected to cease operations and management of this facility in October 2007. As a result, the Springfield-Greene County Park Board anticipates operating the facility at that time. To operate this facility, three full time positions are necessary to cover this seven day per week operation and includes the following: (FTE) Community Recreational Coordinator, and two full-time contractual supervisors. To operate this facility, requests for all necessary, operational budget items are included within the budget necessary to begin operating the facility effective October 1, 2007. Total budget for operating this new facility is funded from operating revenues and the 2001 Parks Sales Tax revenues.

Estimated Costs: $339,405. This priority is funded in the 2007-08 budget." - [PDF] CITY OF SPRINGFIELD, MO 2007 - 2008 ADOPTED BUDGET

June 4, 2008, as the city and City Council were budget crunching for fiscal year 2008-09, I wrote, "Springfield Skatepark Association/Springfield-Greene County Parks Mitigation: Example of Open and Transparent Government." In that entry, I quoted from Jason Wert's blog, "Life of Jason,*" an update in which he quoted, in part, Public Information Director Louise Whall as making this statement:

"We have another round of mediation scheduled for January 8 (2008) and we are hopeful this matter can still settle. We want to work with these guys if at all possible. But we don’t feel its appropriate to air any details on the matter until we make this further attempt at mediation. After the January 8 meeting we should be in a position to discuss it more fully.”

We all know now that the city ended up filing suit to try to take ownership of the skatepark.

This story just gets more and more wicked.

We're supposed to believe the city and Park Board were seriously trying to negotiate and work with "these guys" in January, 2008, when they'd already budgeted to take over management of the skatepark 4 months before the agreement was even due for renewal and had stated outright the Skatepark Association was, "expected to cease operations and management of this facility in October 2007" in the budget document for fiscal year 2007-08?

I wonder what happened to that estimated $339,405 that was budgeted for running the Springfield Skatepark last year? Hmmm.

Update: The bus rode around the block on this one:"TWO PLUS TWO MAKES FIVE!"

*The author (Jason Wert) gives permission for electronic, print or broadcast media to use information from any posting ONLY if a link to this blog site is provided and printed identification of the location of the information provided or the full web address of the site,, is mentioned as the source of the information."

1 comment:

tom said...

Of course we can't have an independent organization such as "these guys" controlling something to which "we"(read Parks Board) WANT to control.

As with anything the city gets it's hands on I would be curious to see the Skatepark earn more in revenue then it is costing to operate. Of course with any government entity that isn't the means by which how operational guidelines are met. It is always voiced for the betterment of the community.
Perhaps we should allow private sector entities to run these facilities such as the Skatepark Association. The pools could be operated and maintained by a staff of volunteers, since this community has volunteers for everything from committees to city council. Allow the communities that have these pools to staff and operate the facility with the money earned going into the upkeep of the pools.
The city just like any branch of government doesn't do anything to generate a revenue source except tax the people. If the people want a swimming pool let them "pool" together the resources for this and build it, let's not remove money from them by force and build it only to say we did it for you. If it was done for me with my money why am I being charged to use it.
Stadiums are built they say for the people and yet the people have to pay to gain entrance. I purchased a house out of my money and yet if I want to charge people to gain entrance into my home I must pay the government for this privilege. Government uses my money to purchase a house an if I want to go inside to have a look around I'm charged for the privilege to do so.
Does any one else think this is a backasswards system ??