Much discussion has occurred in different forums regarding my motivations in supporting potential changes to the park and recreation ordinance regarding county park and facility usage.
However, much of the motivations attributed to me bear no resemblance to the truth. Let me first explain what this is not about. This is not about having BOC oversight into the day-to-day operations of county parks. This is also not an attempt to disband, overrule, or strip power away from the park and recreation board or any booster club.
This is an effort at ensuring that the board of commissioners does what every BOC in the state of Georgia is supposed to do.
When I mentioned “control,” my meaning was simply to set or ratify the policies and procedures on how county-owned facilities are used and enjoyed by the public.
Since the board of commissioners acts as the steward of all county property, this is a matter the board has no choice but to address. Apparently, nobody was aware of this flaw in the ordinance until the football issue came up.
It is my personal vision that the board of commissioners will receive recommendations from the park and recreation board and park and recreation staff, that we will review, modify and ultimately approve those policies, and the final job of implementing those policies will return to park and recreation staff.
I do not believe the board of commissioners should be involved in the day-to-day decision making regarding parks and fields; but we do have an obligation to set the larger policies regarding that use — and then turn over those policies to our capable park and recreation staff for implementation.
I am not yet sure what will be done about travel football, and that is not my issue to fight. I intend on reviewing the previous proposed policy, current policy, talk to staff and citizens to get all the facts and opinions. Then, and only then, will we be able to render a decision.
Let me make this clear, I will not vote to allow the board of commissioners to overrule the park and recreation policy that outlines requirements for facility and field use.
Patrick Bell, commissioner