I have learned a lot while living here in Mountain Home and working as a volunteer board member in a government position in the Western Elmore County Recreation District. Our mission statement was clear for us all, but challenges of the “naysayers” inside and outside our meetings took its toll. I resigned from the WECRD board after my heart attack.
I applaud anyone who can continue to complete this most important mission.
Being a past president of the WECRD and citizen of our small town 30-plus years I have a need to air what I consider important information regarding your decision in Tuesday’s election for the WECRD Board members.
▪ WECRD (the taxpayers) is building a recreation center. The “building” mentioned in our mission statement (wecrd.org). I feel this “building” will also replace the missing “youth center building” that the city government (and rightly so) closed due to management problems and asbestos contamination a few years ago. And look at the building’s perfect location — across the street from the new junior high and on land already paid for in our city limits. (With lots of growing room to spare.) I remember when I was on the board, Mollie Marsh would say, “We need this building, let’s keep on keep’n on.”
▪ During a recent forum I listened and heard the debate of having the YMCA as the non-profit organization to run the programs in our Mountain Home Recreation Center. A lot of money (taxpayer) has been spent for the YMCA (recreational experts) to give us professional advice regarding building size, structure plans, programs and sustainability for a successful recreation center in our small town. Why not let our youth compete with other YMCA youth in all their programs? How great is this?
Many spoke at the forum of the membership charge for having a YMCA. Discussion was also heard that no one would be turned away. In all fairness, we now pay, a monthly fee for local exercise gyms and City Parks and Recreation per programs. These are all fee-based programs. Looking at the local recreation websites I could pay a one month fee of $75 for volleyball (MHP&Rec) or one year of twice a week morning Discovery Preschool (MHP&Rec) for $712. Apples and oranges are all enjoyed.
▪ So who has the most to gain with all this controversy? To build or not to build? To complete the mission that we have all debated and studied for so long? Or not?
What happens to the work and savings we labored so hard to have on hand to help complete the mission? (Build the building) Ask any lawyer or county commissioner and they will tell you that everything will be liquidated, land sold and the county commissioners will decide how the money will be spent on “County recreation.”
Did you really think you would get a tax refund? “Sorry.”
The HUD funds collected ($579,000) is money and by law will be returned for other Federal “pork barrel projects” (i.e. For someone else’s mission).
▪ Why not support the present contract to build our Mountain Home Recreation Building as the Community Leadership Development Committee prepared the way for and the Community Construction Task Force has advised.
Keep in mind the board of directors have full control of its management.
▪ Vote for Rachelle Ruffing and Jana Borgholthaus for WECRD Board or Directors.
▪ Maybe the YMCA is a good idea. Give it a chance.
▪ “We need this building, let’s keep on keep’n on.”
▪ “Let’s break ground together” — Nov. 6, 2015.
Marsha Sellers is past president of the Western Elmore County Recreation District.