The Washington Park Department’s strategic action is closer to being official after a second review by the board members.

After spending months and numerous meetings reviewing the plan in sections, the park board reviewed a revised copy of the plan Thursday night at its regular meeting. The board made a unanimous recommendation to approve the plan.

Now the plan will be forwarded on to the city council for review at its April 28 administrative/operation workshop. The city council could adopt the plan at its May 5 meeting.

The 12-part plan has been a project of Parks and Recreation Director Darren Dunkle since he took over in Washington. Section by section, the park board has been meeting to go over the plan.

In each section, board members recommended changes and tweaks. Dunkle made all the modifications and showed the board the revised copy at Thursday’s meeting.

The board only had one question about the new plan. In the document, it was listed as the parks plan for 2014-23 and the board had been told it was supposed to be a yearly plan.

Dunkle said the actual strategic action plan is set for 10 years with annual reviews. Changes and alterations could be made on a yearly basis, but a major overhaul wouldn’t be needed each year, he explained.

Dunkle said this way it would be another 10 years before the board would need monthly meetings to go over each section in great detail.

Satisfied with the clarification, the board approved the revised plan.


In addition to finishing up the strategic action plan, the park board also gave a final reading on proposed ordinance changes.

At the March 6 meeting, park board reviewed the first draft of a proposed revision to park ordinances. Once again, Dunkle made the requested changes and presented a revised copy of the proposed changes.

The board had no issues with any revisions and passed along a unanimous vote of support.

The ordinances hadn’t been updated in several years and Dunkle made it a priority to change that.

Citing some conflicts that needed to be addressed, as well as additions that needed to be made since new facilities have been added since the last revision, the board conducted a workshop to get the ordinances up to date.

Most of the ordinances remain unchanged, but some were altered. Dunkle said he consulted with other cities to see how they do things before making changes.

The board requested one big change that wasn’t in the draft proposal. Board members requested Dunkle present them with any bids for purchases before taking the request to the city council.

Board members want to be more involved in the bidding process, but didn’t want to see bids from every single parks purchase. Things like sod and mulch are regularly purchased and the board said it would slow down the process if they reviewed small purchases like that every month.

After a discussion, the board came to the consensus that Dunkle should present bids on purchases more than $10,000 to the park board for review first, before taking the bids to the council.

The bidding change was the only major change to the draft, but the board did agree to some minor adjustments.

Like the strategic plan, the board can make changes to ordinances on an annual basis. And, after a thorough review this year, won’t need to go through point by point next year.

The proposed changes will now get vetted by the legal department before being presented to the council for approval.