At the Parks and Recreation meeting last night, Connie Edmonston, P&R Director discussed the memo she sent to the Mayor and City Council. Parks and Recreation have to reduce their budget about $160,000. Most of the recommendations were the discontinuance of some activities we enjoy, Lights of the Ozarks, Gulley Park Concerts, July 4th Fireworks and Movies in the Parks. While the suggestion is to discontinue these, hopefully City Council can reduce the scope of these events instead of entirely eliminating them. There could also be a reduction of hours at the Wilson Park Pool and Yvonne Richardson Center. One idea that is very workable is not to mow some of the smaller parks as frequently. This could eliminate some part-time summer workers.
At the Council Meeting where the proposed tax increase was voted down, one Alderman made the comment that we may need to stop being so generous with taxpayer's money. I heartily agree with that idea. The Boys and Girl's Club receives $250,000 from the city while the Council on Aging receives $50,000. I see no reason why these organizations get city money when they can work a little bit harder to get more donations. I'd really like a good portion of the budget reduction come from these 2 items. If people really value these organizations they'll step up with some donations.
One thing is for sure, a lot of people aren't going to be happy. I think this slimming down is good for the city. It's time that people stop planning a city budget as if it was going to get a raise every year. The city has gotten use to spending more and more money every year. It's time to stop thinking that every year the city is going to get more money to spend.