Encouragement for working together

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By Becky Barnes

It’s a good move.
I don’t agree with change just for changes sake, but I do agree with progress.
Politicians are quick to say things like “If you aren’t moving forward we’re moving backward.”
And, while the saying may be profound, certainly not every move forward is progressive.
However, I like what I’m hearing with the proposed Department of Parks and Recreation.
For the last few months, a group of Cynthiana and Harrison County individuals have met to discuss the possibility of establishing such an entity.
The group was jointly formed by city and county leaders and made up of regular Joes.
Tagged the Phase One Committee, it was their purpose to gather information and pass it along to a Phase Two Committee.
I know, I know. We can be committee’d to death and its only action that shows real progress. But, I think this is a good start.
The Phase One Committee has worked tirelessly to provide information for the establishment of its successor.
The idea, which has been the brainchild of city commissioner Billy Grayson, is that if found viable, to have one Department of Parks and Recreation. Under that umbrella will be volunteer leaders of each aspect of recreation.
For instance, there could still be a single director, like we have now with Rick Chasteen. Under Rick would be leaders for Little League, girls’ fast-pitch, soccer, volleyball, horseshoes, etc. Then, under them would fall the coaches.
As well, all of the city and county parks would be married into one union.
There would no longer be city parks and county parks. No argument over maintenance or bathrooms.
As it stands, the city has Heroes’ Park on Pleasant Street and The Rev. Ross Park on Locust. The city and county have River Road Park and Flat Run Veterans’ Park.
At one time, the Recreation Department maintained all of the parks, with the exception of Flat Run, which wasn’t part of the equation yet.
Then came a squabble over who had the most toys and who should be in charge and eventually one said to the other “I’ll just take my toys and go home.”
That was then.
We’ve all grown up now. I hope.
I’d like to think that this new Department of Parks and Recreation will work. I want to see it succeed.
With the success of this I envision growth at Flat Run and improvements in other areas.
There was once a park committee that worked on what is now Flat Run. They laid tremendous ground work that stalled out for whatever reason.
However, again, that was then. We have new leaders with new priorities.
I’d like to think that we can move ahead without reflecting on what happened before.
I like seeing a busy park. This summer when I passed along U.S. 27  South I could see much activity at River Road.
On my weekly trek to the police department, someone was always playing basketball on the hill at Heroes Park.
And, on Farmers’ Market Days, the parking lot at Flat Run was packed.
Keeping things busy is what the new Department of Parks and Recreation is all about.
Committee members are Mark Mattmiller, chairman, Frank Henson, vice chairman, and Layne McIlvain, secretary. Other members are Brad Yearsley, Larry Bishop, Jack Keith, Missy Lutz and Grayson.
We need to get behind this committee member and help them succeed.
Their success is our benefit.
And, in the fashion of another favorite political saying, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”