STOW — How many playground committees are there?
At the moment, there appears to be two, but a city council member said he hopes to bring forward legislation to combine the committees.
City Council in July approved two pieces of legislation connected with constructing a new SKiP park. One measure set up a matching fund policy to build a new park on city center property and the other created a committee to oversee the process.
Council member Mike Rasor (At Large) on Aug. 8 said he had since learned that a committee for a new SKiP park is already in place — this is the playground committee that had been formed by the administration in conjunction with the city center project a few months ago.
On his blog, Rasor said he is planning to amendment the SKiP committee legislation to: expand the size of the committee, so that the members of the existing committee are invited to join; expand the committee’s duties to encompass the entire city center project, and allow for subcommittees for specific aspects of the project; require the committee to follow open-meeting laws, and require the committee to make regular reports to council.
This legislation is expected to come before council in September.
In letters to council that were read into the record at the Aug. 8 meeting, both Cherie Schrengauer and Kari Suhadolnik said that council’s action in July to create a separate SKiP committee had created confusion among residents.
Schrengauer noted there had been a visioning workshop earlier in the year in which all city boards and commissions gathered to discuss the city center project. People in attendance were asked if they wanted to serve on committees for the project. Schrengauer said she is on the playground committee, which will soon be seeking public input from both adults and children.
"It would be appreciated if council could explain their plan and how it ties into, or doesn’t tie into, the comprehensive plan for the city center so we can get people informed, end the confusion, and continue the progress we have already made," wrote Schrengauer.
Suhadolnik, who is also on the playground committee, wrote about the visioning workshop where committees were formed, noted that two people who Rasor supports for council signed up to be on the committees, and added the Stow Sentry had written "multiple" stories about the city center project.
"If council did not know about these committees, that is an admission of a lack of awareness of what is occurring publicly," wrote Suhadolnik.
Suhadolnik added that the creation of the SKiP committee, "and the ensuing confusion has only served to delay what has already been occurring. The next step is where we determine if the SKiP committee is more about public recognition or about working together for the community …I welcome the collaboration."
The playground committee’s next meeting is Sept. 4.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.