STOW – Appointments to the SKiP (Stow Kids Playground) Park Committee will wait after some council members raised concerns about several of the nominees’ qualifications.
Although confirmation was expected Oct. 24, council members decided to wait to approve the list of members for a new committee that will work on plans for a playground/play trail and other features such as a splash pad near the city center site.
Council last month overrode Mayor John Pribonic’s veto of legislation they approved establishing the new committee. The committee must have a minimum of nine members and a maximum of 18. The legislation calls for the council president to appoint three council members and three separate applicants to the committee, and for the mayor to appoint three members from the administration and/or parks and recreation board. The remaining four to nine members would be appointed by the mayor and confirmed by council.
Pribonic recently submitted nine nominees for the SKiP playground committee to council for its consideration and confirmation.
The legislation forming the committee calls for the appointees to be residents who do not work for the city and “have some experience/background in parks, splash pads, playgrounds and civic development projects or reside in a neighborhood adjacent to the city center project.”
Council member Brian Lowdermilk (Ward 3) said several selected to serve on the committee would not qualify under the criteria set up by the legislation.
“Draw hard skills out of the community,” said Council member Mike Rasor (At-Large). “I can't vote for people who raise their hand.”
Rasor said there was flexibility on the number of people (4 to 9) who could serve on the committee and some names could be removed.
Pribonic said his nine nominees were on boards council members voted for. They wanted to be on the committee and be educated.
The mayor told council previously he nominated the same nine people who have already been serving on a playground committee, and have “spent countless hours” working on a play trail/playground and splash pad plan. The members, who mostly come from the city’s boards and commissions, volunteered to serve on the advisory body a few months ago.
Those nine people are: Bruce Bach (Commission on Inclusion); Jenn Bernard (Holy Family); Sarah Haren; Kimmy Henderson; Deborah Luchka (Senior Citizen Commission); Bernie Moxley (Commission on Inclusion); Cherie Schrengauer; Kari Suhadolnik (Arts Commission); and Denise Tonelli (Arts Commission).
The legislation council approved in September to set up the committee included a requirement that no more than two members from the same city board or commission could serve on the body. There were five members of the Arts Commission on the original committee, but Haren, Henderson and Schrengauer recently submitted their resignations from the Arts Commission. By doing this, they could serve on the newly formed playground committee.
Council President Matt Riehl (Ward 1) Oct. 24 appointed David Miller, Jonathan Leissler and Jennifer Coleman to the committee.
The next SKiP committee meeting is slated for Nov. 6 at 6 p.m. in Stow City Hall.
Editor’s note: Reporter Phil Keren contributed to this story.
Reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at 330-541-9434 or firstname.lastname@example.org