08/07/12 The Culver Park Board had their monthly meeting at the Culver Town Hall last Wednesday night. Five of the six board members were present to vote on the 2013 budget. Their initial discussion was on the purchase of a floating fishing pier that the board had agreed to seek sealed quotes for. Park Superintendent, Kelly Young, had submitted a packet to nine different businesses seeking their participation in the quote process. There seemed to be some confusion with the selection process and whether the idea of a year around fishing pier was attainable in our climate.
One spectator stated that if Culver Academies couldn’t find a year around pier then the park board certainly could not. Tammy Shaffer, a long time board member countered that one could not cause harm by checking into it and that seemed to put the issue to rest until the end of the meeting when citizen Tim Yuhas again implied that the board was not involved enough with the process of selecting the companies or material sent to the companies requested to give quotes. The Board agreed to submit an article to the paper requesting any company interested in bidding for the fishing pier to contact the Town Hall.
Second on the list of issues the Culver Park Board addressed was the 2013 budget request submitted by Kelly Young. Ms. Young gave a line by line explanation of the budget for this year along with the projected amount for the upcoming year. In the budget she submitted a raise for park employees and an increase in equipment expenses. The equipment requested was for a Gator to help pick up seaweed, a wagon, and a computer. The budget for 2013 was about $1,000 dollars more than the budget for 2012. Patty Stahlings asked about the timing of the board meeting, 3:30 in the afternoon and the budget that Kelly had submitted stating that it would have been nice to get the information early enough to have some time to discuss and look into things more thoroughly. Mrs. Stahlings then asked who was responsible for Kelly’s evaluation. The Town Manager has been conducting them but Stahlings thought that the Park Board should have input into the Park Superintendents annual evaluation. Ed Behnke another Park Board Member stated that the Town had no control over firing or hiring so they should not be doing her evaluations. Tammy Shaffer reminded them that Kelly is a Town of Culver employee.
A vote was taken on the 2013 budget with a 4 to 1 count passing the budget on to the Culver Town Council. Patty Stallings was the dissenting vote stating that she felt they should have more time to discuss the budget. Ed Benke stated that it was preliminary and that it would be discussed further in the Town Council’s work session on August 7th.
The tension only mounted with the citizen input portion of the Park Board meeting. Mr. Stahlings, who had been reminded earlier in the meeting when he interjected, that it was not the citizen input portion of the meeting, brought up that raises are for good employees and then proceeded to say that the money or “rainy day fund” was substantial and that they should be using some of that money to lessen the pier slip cost or the beach pass costs.
Ed Pinder, town council member stated that with all the costly projects being proposed the “Rainy day fund could disappear in one bad season.”
Bill Githens another town council member wanted to go on record agreeing with Patty Stallings on the issue of the budget discussion.
The next park board meeting will take place the 1st Wednesday in September and a joint Park Board and citizens walk thru of the entire park was scheduled for May of 2013.
Correspondent Rhonda Reinhold