The Luther Parks Commission met for the first time Thursday, August 3. The agenda called for the group to decide when and where to meet, choose officers from among themselves, hear about a grant opportunity and to dream.
Meetings will be the first Thursday of every month at 6:30 pm at Town Hall. To name the officers, names were drawn from a cup. Kasey Wood was named chairperson; Sgt. Mike Oliver was named vice chairperson and Summer Shelton was named secretary.
Andy McDaniels and Jimmi Roach are the other volunteer members. Commission members were selected by name draw at the July Town Board of Trustees meeting after approving ordinances governing the body. Mayor Jenni White is the commission’s board liaison.
The commission will serve in an advisory capacity to the Luther Town Board. The members have no money and no decision making power but do intend to mine for grants, support and help to improve the Town’s parks. The group invited public participation and ideas. They will report back to the board.
In an open forum, the commissioners talked about their ideas and plans for their volunteer service to the Town. A wide range of ideas were discussed including:
- building a public bathroom at Wildhorse Park;
- cleaning up the overall appearance of the Town;
- reviving the historic nature of the original Booker T Washington High School and park;
- coordinating cleanup days;
- beautifying Main Street;
- pursuing an idea to have a fishing pond at the park to give the “kids something to do” to help build up and not tear down the Town;
- encouraging the police department to have an increased public presence;
- and applying for grants to help with building walking trails, playground equipment, historic signage and other possibilities.
Josh Trupe, a representative with TSET, the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, told the Commission about possible grant opportunities. The trust has widened its focus to “eat better, move more and be tobacco free.” Other grant or funding possibilities are with Keep Oklahoma Beautiful and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
Even though the air conditioning in the back of Town Hall was not working, the group pressed on with their discussion during the 2.5 hour meeting. The temperature topped 83 degrees.
The commission members acknowledged they have a learning curve but are energized to help the Town. Roach encouraged the group to concentrate on honing in one issue at a time and doing it well.