The Town of Luther has a new Parks Commission. After updating ordinances governing such a commission, the Town Board of Trustees, at ites July 10 meeting, selected five community members to serve as unpaid volunteer commissioners.
Six candidates attended the meeting, but there are only five spots on the commission. Noting all of the candidates seemed well-qualified with good ideas, the board ultimately pulled names out of a hat to determine the commission candidates before voting to appoint each one to three, two or one year terms.
- Sgt. Mike Oliver, Luther Police Department
- Jimmi Roach, spouse of trustee Jason Roach (who did not vote on her appointment)
- Kacey Wood, community member
- Summer Shelton, community member
- Andy McDaniels, former town trustee
Town leaders said the purpose of the Parks Commission is to work to improve the Town’s park and public areas with things like beautification, modernization and improvement. The commission will be able to seek grants and other funding to help improve the Town which in turn makes the Town more attractive to families who might move here, which in turn helps the town’s coffers grow to improve infrastructure for things like water, roads and public safety. The commission also can work on community events, projects and make suggestions to the Town board.
The Commission gets no funding, and will run all of its decisions and requests for funding by the Board for approval. The Commission will also abide by Open Meetings Laws and have public meetings. The five will select a chairperson from among themselves.
A first meeting is anticipated soon.
At the trustee meeting, candidates introduced themselves, and all of them said they have ideas to help the town. Sgt. Oliver pointed to the parks system in Harrah with a pond, walking trails, splash pad and modern playground. Wood said as a mother to young boys, she would like to improve facilities for other young families. Shelton said she and her husband are building a home here, and fell in love with the Town and are anxious to raise their young daughter here. Roach said she has ideas to work on the park near the former Booker T Washington High School. And McDaniels has long talked about implementing walking trails, a community garden and even a community fishing pond around Wildhorse Park.
Many ideas abound.
Here is the ordinance governing the new Parks Commission:
SECTION 11-105 POWERS AND DUTIES
The board of park commissioners shall act in an advisory capacity to the Luther town trustees in connection with the care, management and control of all parks and grounds used for park purposes, all boulevards and parkways, now or hereafter owned by or under the control of the town. The board of park commissioners shall advise with, and suggest to, the Luther town trustees, methods of improving and adorning parks, boulevards and parkways. In addition, park commissioners may help conduct special events as desired and approved by the Luther town trustees. Park commissioners may apply for available grants as necessary to complete desired projects upon approval of a majority of Luther town trustees. Park commissioners shall have power to make and alter necessary rules and regulations for the maintenance of order, safety, and decency in the parks, within town limits. No such rules or regulations shall be of any effect unless they shall have been first approved by a majority of Luther town trustees. For the purpose of enforcing such rules and regulations, all such parks and property, within town limits are hereby placed under the police jurisdiction of the town. Any member of the police department may arrest in any such parks or places, within the limits of the town, any person who has broken any park rule or committed any violation of such rules or the ordinances of the town in the park. The municipal court of the town shall have jurisdiction of all such violations committed within the limits of the parks. (Prior Code, Sec. 15-5)
Parks commission projects which require funding must be provided to Luther town trustees via a written proposal including a budget with line items for each requested and/or required expense. Budgets and proposals shall be approved by a majority of the Luther town trustees prior to implementation. Once approved, budgetary expenses shall be paid directly to the identified vendor by the town of Luther utilizing current town of Luther vendor payment policies and procedures. Neither the parks commission, nor any of its members, will receive money directly, or indirectly, from the town of Luther or the LPWA for any reason whatsoever.