Union City Park

Union officials will ask for representation from community organizations to boost attendance and participation on the city’s park advisory board.

Mayor Mike Livengood said he was concerned with board attendance after there were two of 10 park board members at Thursday’s scheduled meeting.

The monthly meeting was canceled in February because too many members were unavailable.

Thursday’s meeting was not canceled because Union resident Carrie Wilmesherr, requested to meet with the board. However, Wilmesherr did not show up to the meeting.

“I think when everybody is working together we get things done,” said Livengood. “We need more participation.”

He added that cutting the 12-member board to nine members may provide more participation from a “core group.”

“Should we cut the board down?” Livengood asked.

Recruiting Members

It was suggested that civic organizations, such as the Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club and Lions Club, send a representative to serve on the board.

Those organizations play a role in park events, including Founders Day, and having a representative on the park board would benefit the clubs, according to City Administrator Russell Rost, who also is the Rotary Club president.

He added that the Rotary Club can apply for a park grant each year. A Rotary member on the board could be beneficial in obtaining a grant.

Livengood said that the role of board members be better defined, and duties be clarified.

“This is probably one of the most active boards we have,” he said, explaining that the park board requires volunteer hours during events.

During the Union Founders Day, the annual comedy show, Halloween bash and other events, park board members are asked to volunteer to help run the activities.

Alderman Dustin Bailey asked if the board should consider accepting members who live outside the city limits. The St. Clair Park Board recently allowed for non-city residents to make up a minority of the board.

Livengood said that is something that should be considered because there are many outside the city limits who have a vested interest in Union parks.

“We have a lot of people who live outside of the city who would have helped pass the park tax (proposed in 2012) if they would have been allowed to vote,” he said.

Thursday’s Meeting

Board President Suzy Curnette and member April Albrecht attended the meeting. Parks Director Kevin Arand, Program Coordinator Angie Breeden, board of aldermen liaison Dustin Bailey, City Administrator Russell Rost and Livengood also attended the meeting.

“Do we need to do this at a different time? Do we need to do this on a different day?” Livengood asked.

Breeden noted that several board members contacted her to say they had prior commitments, including coaching Little League baseball and a family illness.