Bethany’s Board of Aldermen approved the Bethany Park Board Appointments that did not include the board’s current president during a meeting held on Monday night. Bethany’s Board of Alderman approved Lisa Burrows, Jason Long, and Patrick Miller for the Parks and Recreation Board. Current Board President Suzanne Wagner was not among the appointments presented before the council.
The action came after former mayor Jonne Slemmons communicated what she felt were several deficiencies regarding park maintenance and questionable oversights. Specifically, she detailed trash pick-up, inconsistent mowings, and a late storage of Christmas lights at Bethany Memorial Park. She noted planted flower beds were mowed at Allen Park. She also stated that she felt it was inexcusable to not properly winterize the pool which led to a later start of the pool since the pool accounts for 40 percent of the total expenditures of the city and is only open 12 weeks out of the year. She did not point the blame to current Bethany Parks and Recreation Department Director Aaron Baker, but she did state that he is not receiving the proper guidance and direction from his governing board.
She suggested that the department attempt to provide park activities that could be provided to a broader base for those interested in using the park, suggesting that properly-kept walking trails, adult swimming, and water aerobics could be offered.
City Administrator Jacob Taylor stated that the move is not being made as a way to take away the independent management of the Bethany Parks and Recreation Department, but the city is allowed to appoint the members that they see fit.
During the council reports, Councilman Dan Robertson stated he would like to receive public input about placing a miniature golf course for some of the Israel land that has been purchased by the city. He stated that could be used as recreation for several ages and potentially bring in some revenue.
Mayor Lance Johns would also like the public to provide input on the city’s potential plan to move the Train Depot from its current site to be used as a storage and concession area at the park. The move would require and expenditure of $60,000 to $70,000 but would provide visibility for a piece of the city’s history in addition to usefulness. Public input would be welcome at any future council meeting.