Councilman asks for answers regarding park, recreation committee

Published 10:56 am Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Franklin City Councilman Greg McLemore has requested the City fix the park equipment in the park on Maplewood Street and College Drive. -- Rebecca Chappell | Tidewater News

Franklin City Councilman Greg McLemore has requested the City fix the park equipment in the park on Maplewood Street and College Drive. — Rebecca Chappell | Tidewater News

During citizen’s time of Franklin City Council’s meeting on Monday night, Ward 3 representative Greg McLemore spoke regarding the recreation advisory committee and the park equipment on Maplewood Street and College Drive.

McLemore said that the swings, along with other pieces of park equipment, are not in good shape and several of the pieces are unsafe for children to play on.

“Our children don’t have a lot in this city and the park on Maplewood and College Drive is the most used park, not only by children for Ward 3, but by children from other wards,” McLemore said.

He noted the City Manager Randy Martin had returned his phone calls regarding this matter and that Martin had told him that they would be getting new sand for the park as the weather is changing seasons. However, McLemore went on to say that the equipment still hadn’t been fixed to satisfaction.

He is making a request for the City to do something as the committee, who normally takes care of business like this — the recreation advisory committee — had been dissolved.

The recreation advisory committee was dissolved by the city several months ago due to lack of quorum for every meeting.

“People wanted to know what happened to the recreation advisory committee … and from an email sent to the director, there is a line in the second paragraph … the city council declares the committee inactive in terms of the members,” he continued. “I think if we are going to dissolve a committee, it needs to be done in the proper form. I would request that the city attorney let me know in writing what is the proper legal way to dissolve a committee.

“I was never asked about [whether] we should dissolve a committee because we haven’t been able to get a quorum,” McLemore added.

The Tidewater News had previously asked Martin [in October] about the dissolving of the recreation advisory committee. Martin said when former chairman of the committee Frank Davis asked for clarification on the dissolving, he responded saying:

“However, as evidenced by the enclosed adopted agenda and excerpt of the official adopted minutes from the February 23, 2015, regular meeting concerning this topic, following a work session included on the agenda to receive and discuss an administrative update on Parks & Recreation services, the City Council accepted by consensus my recommendation that the Committee be declared inactive upon the expiration of the terms of the members. This recommendation, as referenced in the minutes, was in large part made due to the Council’s difficulty in getting people to agree to accept appointments to the Committee in recent years.

“The recommendation was also prompted by the attendance records of the Committee in recent years, and specifically the consistent lack of a quorum to hold official meetings.

“It also was a concern that it was unfair to the remaining members who did attend to continue to schedule meetings at which it was almost certain a quorum was not going to be reached and thus waste the valuable time of all involved when no official business of the Committee could be conducted.

“In short, despite your concerted efforts as chair to encourage attendance, the Committee has been by its own actions inactive for the 18 month period prior to the Council’s February 2015 meeting.”

After citizen’s time, McLemore made a motion to amend the agenda to add discussion of the recreation advisory committee. The motion was ultimately denied as no other person on council seconded the motion.