Parks planning needs better communication

Posted: Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Although there are several issues that I could clarify related to the budget article in Sunday's paper, for the sake of the children in the community and their families, I'd like to speak to the $10,000 "slotted for a new playground" that I did not support/ "wanted to redline."

Obviously, $10,000 does not make a playground. The line item says "planning for a park." Now that I have a grandchild in the area, a good amount of my time is spent in playgrounds in Kenai, in various school yards and in our sister city. Soldotna. This Papa clearly recognizes the value of parks and playgrounds and is pleased that the City of Kenai is talking about more opportunities for residents and visitors.

My concern was that this request was a surprise for the Parks and Recreation Commission, definitely not on their priority list. It appeared in the budget and was not well-defined. While I may believe that it is time to refurbish our current parks and consider future endeavors, I do not believe this is the most helpful approach.

Let's get together with Parks and Recreation and the public and discover what more we can be doing, where the improvements should be and how we are going to get there. That almost sounds like a plan.

Hal Smalley

Kenai City Council member

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