Commissioners want interim parks/rec director

A special meeting of Sunnyside's Parks and Recreation commissioners has been called for today (Friday) at 4:30 p.m. as a result of this past Wednesday's regular meeting.

The commission decided it is not keen on the idea of forming a Boys and Girls Club in Sunnyside, but would rather start its own club.

Deputy City Manager and Chief Financial Officer Byron Olson Wednesday told the commissioners Dorothy Aiken, who serves on the commission, spoke at the last city council meeting. At that meeting, she expressed an interest in hiring a parks and recreation director.

Following Olson's remarks Wednesday, Aiken spoke up and made a motion to hire a parks and recreation director this year.

A discussion ensued regarding possible programs and/or services that might be provided if a director was hired.

Commissioner Doug Rogers said he believed an interim trial program might be wise if the city did agree to hire a director.

He believed a newly graduated college student might be suited for a position that is interim.

Commissioner Bob Sarmiento proposed a basketball program, consisting of volunteer coaches and referees might be a program that would be suitable. He believes it is a program many youngsters would enjoy and could serve youth if the council approves the hiring of an interim parks and recreation director.

The commission agreed and Aiken spoke again, expressing a need for senior programs.

Commission Chair Kari Zapata entered the discussion and said she believes a triathalon should also be brought to the community.

Olson did advise the commission Wednesday that a budget retreat is planned for later this summer.

By unanimous consent the commissioners agreed to hold a special meeting today (Friday) to further discuss the issue.

The commission also unanimously agreed a parks and recreation director should be hired by the end of 2011.

Wednesday, too, the Sunnyside Parks and Recreation Commission discussed adding basketball hoops to Central Park.

The group believes youngsters using the park, who are too old to use the playground equipment there, are bored.

Zapata said she visited the park and found a group of youngsters that expressed they would like to play basketball.

She suggested a basketball hoop could be added to the stage area.

Olson told the commission the city's comprehensive plan would have to be modified for that purpose.

When asked why, he said the comprehensive plan must be up-to-date for future grant requests.

Zapata made a motion to add a basketball hoop to Central Park and the committee voted unanimously in favor of the proposal.

All commission decisions must be forwarded for council approval before they can be enacted.


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