Councilman wants to drop Parks & Recreation seats
Bath councilman Jim Slough asked his colleagues to consider withdrawing the Town of Bath’s representation on the Morgan County Parks & Recreation board, citing concerns about legal liability and the general functioning of the group. The Town of Bath appoints three members to the county board, which oversees county-owned parks and sports facilities.
Slough resigned his seat on the board in an August letter to Mayor Susan Webster, and discussed his concerns at the September 7 town meeting.
“I think we’re wasting our time on that board,” Slough said.
“In my opinion, the board has a mind of its own and feels empowered to act independent of either the city or the county,” he said.
Slough said he was disturbed by “a number of confrontations” between board members, acting director Bruce Beadenkopf and Commissioner Stacy Dugan, who also sits on the park board.
“Bruce is a very dedicated person who donates a lot of his time, but he thinks it’s his fiefdom and the board goes along with it,” said Slough.
Pointing to the county’s move to shut down the soccer complex for an environmental survey and cleanup, Slough said the Parks & Rec board has ignored its responsibility of oversight in some cases. The parks board knew there were issues with debris embedded in the field, but ignored the potential liability of letting kids use it, said Slough.
“They’re eventually going to get sued and everyone involved is going to get pulled into it,” he said.
“I think we ought to get away from that committee. We ought to participate when it’s in our best interest,” Slough said.
Webster said the town has two other active members on the board – Pat McCoy and Gordon MacLeod. In addition to town representatives, the Parks & Rec board has three members appointed by the County Commission and three appointed by the Morgan County School Board.
The mayor suggested the council take up the question of membership on the parks board at their next meeting, on September 21.