Letter to rec board sparks discussion

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 11, 2000

VIDALIA, La. – A letter Juror Willie Dunbar sent to Recreation District No. 3 detailing nine items he said need fixing at the district’s park near Vidalia Junior High took center stage at Monday’s Concordia Parish Police Jury meeting.

Needs Dunbar detailed in the March 20 letter included basketball backboards, goals, nets and court markings; restroom partitions; a storage building; repairing grills; sprucing up the concession stand; and mounting plywood on the tennis court’s fence for practicing.

&uot;I want to know what’s going to be done,&uot;&160;said Dunbar, who was elected to the jury last fall.

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The reason many of the items on Dunbar’s list have not been done is because no one has asked for them before, said George Cupit, the board’s director.

Other jurors, as well as board members and others who packed the jury’s meeting room, said the board has done a good job of meeting children’s recreation needs for years.

Fred Marsalis, who attended as a concerned citizen and principal of Vidalia Junior High, said his school uses the park for girls’ softball and for children to have a place to play during their noon break and has never had a problem working with the board.

Juror Charlie Blaney said the correct way to deal with the situation would have been for Dunbar to bring his concerns to the jury, which could then ask the board to appear at a jury meeting.

&uot;I’ve been on the board for 30 years, … and in all that time I have never been sent a letter of demand from a juror,&uot; Cupit said.

&uot;If I’ve got to report to Willie everything I&160;do in maintenance and improvements, you don’t need this board. I’m going to answer each of his questions, but … he can come to our board and ask.&uot;

Dunbar maintained that he had a right to send such a letter and that Cupit could have called him after receiving the letter to address Dunbar’s concerns prior to the jury’s meeting.

Still, Dunbar added that he will attend the board’s next meeting at 6 p.m. Monday to see how the items in his letter will be addressed.