Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Tangled Web

Did you see the article in the Enterprise today about the controversy over rec programs? There are some - ah - interesting quotes by Mr. Gochenour.

In the third paragraph, he is quoted as stating that the school board "decided to unilaterally withdraw" from the former joint park & rec program.

Ah - not quite. Remember: we held several meetings that included 2 Village Council members. The Dec. meeting (which I recorded) had Mike Rochelle stating that the plan we had come up with together needed to move forward, and we all agreed with his statement. This plan included representatives from both the village and the school district. Both he and Pam Moore were pleased with the end result, and were confident that the rest of Council and the Administrator would also be pleased and would want to implement our joint plan.

At a special school board meeting in January, the school board moved forward exactly as we had discussed and planned with those two Council members. We didn't change a thing. Hardly the "unilateral" move as charged by Mr. Gochenour.

Also in that third paragraph, Mr. Gochenour states that there are leases with Corn Fest and Party in the Park every year. What he neglects to mention is that those are one or two day events - and there is no stipulation that village residents get a price break on anything. I believe the appropriate phrase here would be "apples and oranges".

In the seventh paragraph, Gochenour is quoted as saying Council "preferred the framework we had before, where we both had say."

Ah - not quite. In the former situation, the Village handled all items related to the physical parks, and the school district oversaw the sports programs themselves (along with some minor park maintenance, and concessions). The Village has never "had a say" in the recreation programs.

In the twelfth paragraph, there is a statement that the Village's proposed discount for village residents is "not set in stone", but village officials want "some type of discount".

Ah - not quite. At an April 27th meeting with council members Rochelle and Moore, the Mayor and Gochenour, other discount options were mentioned as a discussion item, and were immediately shot down.

On page two where the article continues, in paragraph three Gochenour indicates "a sticking point" on the language of the insurance portion of the proposed lease. I can only assume he did not run the language of the proposed lease past either the village insurance agent nor the village attorney, because no one is able to hold a policy on property they do not own - which is what the Village wanted us to do. Appropriate language was provided by our attorney for insurance purposes, but no one from the Village agreed to the change.

In paragraph seven, Gochenour says he doesn't "understand (our) decision to do what (we) did" but "it's all about the community. That's what (the Village) considers most important".

Ah - not quite. Had that been a true statement, the plan forged together by Council members and school board members would have gone ahead as planned, and we wouldn't be having these articles in the Enterprise or on my blog. Mr. Gochenour would not have refused to give us keys to the buildings where our equipment is stored. He would not have refused to give us keys for the Choir Boosters to run concessions. There are many things that would never have happened, if Mr. Gochenour truly considered our community to be important.

I hope that Mike Rochelle and Pam Moore - the two council members who were fully involved from Day One, and who know the whole truth of this matter - are paying attention to how their Village Administrator is acting and speaking through this situation. Our plan - THEIR plan - could have been humming happily along by now, if it had been allowed to proceed.

Why did it suddenly come to a screeching halt once Mr. Gochenour got involved??

I believe there is still opportunity for Village Council and the school board to work together for the good of our community. But it can only be accomplished if everyone is willing to work together, honestly, as we had begun to do. As Pam stated in that December meeting, "this is a real win-win for everyone!" - and it can be again.

Let's work together !

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