New Hartford getting rid of Board of Parks Commission

The New Hartford town board is getting rid of the Board of Parks Commission and looking to develop a Parks Committee.

Posted: May 9, 2019 12:44 AM
Updated: May 9, 2019 1:28 AM

NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. - The New Hartford town board is getting rid of the Board of Parks Commission and looking to develop a Parks Committee.

Several of the commission members resigned in March due to lack of communicated between the town and the commission. 

New Hartford established the Parks and Recreation Commission in February 2018.

"We formed the commission to help the town and make the parks a better place," Paul Miscione, New Hartford town supervisor said.

The job of the commission was to supervise, oversee, manage and direct the operations of each of the town parks and all of the recreation programs provided at any of the playgrounds, parks or recreation centers by the town of New Hartford. 

Members of the commission say they weren't give the opportunity to do what they were appointed to do, and the town supervisor says they had too much authority.

"The commission we put in place had too many responsibilities and took a lot of power away from the board," Miscione said. "So what we need is a committee, that the board can look at and see what they actually want to put together, instead of something that takes over all the power in the parks because our board has been running the parks still and it kind of make it uneasy."

Members of the commission as well as the town supervisor agree that there were communication issues between the commission and the town board.

"I think really the problem was a communication problem, again I think on both ends, the supervisors office and the commissions end and I think we'll take care of that putting a committee together," Miscione said.

There was a public hearing at the town board meeting on Wednesday, and a couple of residents say they believe the town should have a park commission and things need to change.

"Had this [the commission] been done properly and had the proper channels of communication been open, I think a board would be effective and could do a good job but things need to change," Mike Kennedy, member of the commission said during the public hearing.

The next step is for the town board to sit down and take a look at exactly what they want to see from a Parks Committee so these issues don't happen again. The town supervisor says once they decide what the responsibilities will be, they will be looking for volunteers.

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