From an email from Park and Recreation Director, Jake Anderson:
Hello Parks & Recreation Board Members,
I wanted to let you know about a budget development that could have a significant negative impact on our department. Alderman Veserat has included a budget amendment to take out the Full-Time Recreation/Aquatic Supervisor position that I proposed and was included in the committee and mayoral budgets. This action would more than likely mean that my current part-time Rec Coordinator Jordan Burress would leave as she has a full-time job offer on the table, but would prefer to work here. I would then have to eliminate numerous recreation programs to be able to handle all of my duties with capital projects and day to day operations. If you would like to support our department, the city council will meet on Monday night at 7:30 pm at the Library. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks.
From an email from Pat Howell, long-time Park and Recreation Board member:
Dear Fellow Park Board Members,
I am writing out of concern for Ald. Veserat's budget amendment to eliminate the recreation/aquatic position that was included in the budget. I strongly believe that proposal is wrong.The strength and growth of the Monona Recreation Program has been a benefit to everyone who lives in this community. The money generated from the various programs pays significantly for the valued people who develop and oversee the success of our parks and recreation programs. In addition to the dollars, the value of their work contributes to the quality of life we enjoy in this community. The positive direction Monona is currently taking to bring new life to our changing community and enhance the opportunities for people at all stages of life who live here is worth far more than we can measure in dollars. Providing recreational opportunities along with the space and facilities for those things to happen is critical to this community culture we value. By reducing staff, we reduce the quality of community life. As a department, I hope we can show support and voice our thoughts on this in as many ways as possible. My plan is to attend the city council meeting on Monday. I will also e-mail Robb and Pat.
From an email from another long-time Park and Recreation Board member, Pam Kitslaar:
I am writing to ask your support to include the full time Recreation/Aquatic position in the 2011 budget.
Please recognize the exemplary job that Jake Anderson has done to bring our Parks and Recreation Dept to a level other communities envy. As you are aware, and note in the City newsletter, we now have a wide variety of quality programs, activities, and special events for all age groups. These have been met with enthusiasm and successful attendance. These serve to strengthen and bring our community together, promote health and wellness, and attract other people into Monona. There has been an increase in revenues.
The department has grown. Jake has had an excellent 19 hr per week Rec Coordinator, but that is no longer enough support to maintain our lively recreation department. It is also difficult to retain a good worker at these hours.
As Park and Recreation Director, Jake has many administrative responsibilities. He has been a true asset for Monona with his up to date knowledge of programming, marketing and community relations, safety, equipment, grants available for application, and etc. He has been very dedicated, spends long hours and needs additional help. The full time Rec/Aquatic Supervisor position to manage the outdoor pool and thus eliminating the need for Head guards, to charge up pool operations and assist with other activities is a position with growth whose time has come.
Let’s show our gratitude, let’s show the community, the Pride we have in our Parks and Recreation to support this full time position. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration to put it in the budget.
City Council meets at 7:30. Please be there to voice your opinion on this issue. Unfortunately, I will be watching the Monona PeeWee Football championship game at Ahuska Park at 7pm.