Public report requested on recommendations

Published 9:39 am Friday, October 26, 2012

by Patsy Joyner

I’m writing this letter with the hope that enough voting citizens in the community feel the need to demand that Franklin City Council make a community report in the newspaper on the following recreation advisory committee’s recommendations and issues, and also demand that city council implement the committee’s recommendations.

The advisory committee had a productive talk with representatives from the Ruth Camp Campbell Memorial Library. The library is willing to do all that it can to elevate reading within the community and is willing to partner with the recreation department.

The library agreed to put books at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center to support reading programs, including a reading night at the center. The library also agreed to use its computers; however, wireless Internet would need to be installed.

The Recreation Advisory Committee unanimously voted to recommend the installation of wireless Internet at the center. It is not clear which way city council is going with this, therefore the community must step in and support this upgrade.

Here’s another issue that requires citizen input. Public works has changed city policy on recreation department trash pick-up and now requires that recreation staff to pick up and haul trash.

I don’t feel this is a good use of the recreation staff’s time. The staff needs to concentrate on developing and running youth programs.

I have talked to City Manager Randy Martin, but have not heard from him concerning this matter. Therefore, I ask the citizens to demand that city council stop the public works department from making the recreation department collect and haul trash.

Because this project will impact the recreation department, citizens should investigate the Hayden project in regard to city recreation for youth. Senior Services pays for half of the salaries for the recreation department director, secretary and staff member.

Sevamp also rents the community center for senior recreation. When the seniors go to Hayden, will they continue to pay rent and utilize the services these city employees supply now? Also, Sevamp plans on charging the city for the use of the gym, etc.

I’ve been told that Senior Services may charge $12.50 per square foot or less, or somewhere around $60,000 per year to use the building for youth recreation.

We must demand that the city negotiate the fee now. Personally, I don’t think the city should pay Senior Services to allow youth activities in the Hayden building.

I also request that the community supports appointing a member of the Recreation Advisory Committee to Sevamp Board or any committees that will govern the use of the facility. We should demand that the city obtain a contract on the use of the facility for youth activities.

Lastly, the city council is not supporting the joint-use agreement between the city’s schools and the recreation department. We must unite and demand that the city council sign the agreement and then direct the city manager to enforce it for sharing equipment.

THOMAS H. COUNCIL JR. is the vice chairman of the City of Franklin Recreation Advisory Committee and can be reached at