A former board member with the Floyd/Floyd County Parks & Recreation Authority urged the group Monday night at its meeting to reconsider its recent motion to dissolve the Authority.
Beth Burgess, who also spoke on the same theme to the Board of Supervisors at their meeting Tuesday, said her concern and frustration revolved around the “haphazard and expedient manner” in which the board voted to dissolve the Authority “without exercising proper and appropriate due diligence before this action was taken”.
She said the board’s lack of due diligence was evidenced by: “the fast-paced timeframe from when the idea of dissolution was conveyed to the board members (the morning of the meeting), to the end of the same day when there was a 6 to 1 vote in favor of dissolution”; also by “the complete absence of any form of reaching out to collect data, opinions, buy-in or input from your stakeholders (this means the community members in which this authority serves, participants, volunteers, sponsors, and donors)”; and “the lack of effort to bring this board to the table with full panels of both Town Council and County Supervisor members to allow for government to government consultation regarding if dissolution and restructuring could be explored and discussed to see if it is necessary, beneficial, and the correct strategic choice to make for our community”.
She asked members of the board to reach out to the initial founders of the Authority and other people in the community “who have a strong knowledge base of how Authorities work, provide the community with your research demonstrating the benefit of a restructure as a department, and show a good faith effort to your community by inviting all stakeholders to participate in the process”.
Burgess said if the decision is made to continue as a department, she urges the board to collaboratively develop a plan of action along with a timeline for reallocating Authority assets and transitioning to the new structure and to keep the public apprised.
The Authority board asked the Supervisors last month to transfer its assets, including the county recreation park, jointly to the county and town along with creation of a new parks department.