Community needs confidence in recreation

Published 12:01 am Thursday, November 21, 2019

On a day when recreation officials celebrated a $5,000 donation for area youth recreation by local gym Planet Fitness, another piece of news cast a shadow over the announcement.

In Monday’s regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors, officials announced that county appointee Ralph Daniels has turned in his resignation.

Daniels, who has been an ardent supporter of area recreation, said that he thought it was best to step down from his position because he wasn’t able to make it to the meetings.

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Daniels’ resignation leaves three open positions on the nine-member board.

In October, city appointee Matilda Stephens resigned from the commission just four months after being appointed to the board. Stephens stepped down because of work obligations getting in the way.

Commission treasurer Mose Ard, who was appointed by the Natchez-Adams School Board, resigned in May.

In six months, the all-volunteer commission has lost a third of its members without finding replacements.

In recent months the commission has been beset with problems. Books have not been adequately maintained, and the board has struggled to maintain a quorum at regular meetings — even when the board membership was full.

The most recent resignation suggests the commission has yet to get its house in order.

We applaud Planet Fitness for stepping up to the plate and supporting local recreation. Ordinarily, such donations set an excellent example for other local businesses to do the same. 

Until the recreation commission can restore confidence among the community, we suggest such donations may be premature.

We urge community leaders — the city, the county and school district — to focus on fixing the problem so that we all can enjoy the quality recreation programs we all deserve.