Friday, April 21, 2000

Park Board Approvals May Be Last

Commercial Appeal
by Wayne Risher

The Memphis Park Commission board conducted minor business Thursday in what may have been the last meeting in its nearly 100-year history.

After a 70-minute delay waiting for a third member to show up to make the meeting official, the board approved a lease agreement for Gagliano and Sowell baseball fields and an adult baseball program entry fee.

The City Council has scheduled a final reading Tuesday on an ordinance abolishing the Park Commission board and replacing it with an advisory board.

Council members have complained that the board is an unnecessary layer of government and unresponsive to public needs.

Park board supporters have decried the council move as an attempt to politicize the city's parks and recreation system.

Board members Fred Davis and Peggy Seessel waited more than an hour past the board's scheduled 1 p.m. meeting time Thursday for the third member, George Jones.

The five-member board, which needs three members to transact business, lost member Rob Baird and chairman John Malmo to resignations last year, and they weren't replaced.

Copyright 2000 The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN

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