Just a few thoughts, as we begin a new calendar year . . .
It is obvious which of the new board members does their homework - and also who doesn't. This is an important job, and it does take work - no doubt about it.
Also, some comments have been made about the Recreation Program that bother me. Here's the thing: the changes that were made to the rec program were not done lightly, nor arbitrarily. Countless hours of research and meetings and study were done by at least 3 members of the former board (and probably more), along with more hours by the Treasurer and Superintendent. The decisions that were made were not made without a thorough look at both sides of the issue.
I understand that those not privy to all of the information we had at our disposal during the time of restructuring might not fully appreciate what was done or why. I am certain that either Cheryl or Paulette would be willing to more fully explain it to anyone who would ask.
It is true that Swanton's original Park & Rec program had morphed from its original core values into something unrecognizable, and that an entitlement mentality had overshadowed the purpose of the programs. But that doesn't mean we should just throw up our hands and say, "oh well - that's the way it's been done for years and so we can't change it, because that's just what people expect - if we try to change it, we won't get any cooperation".
Here's a simple analogy: when Mrs. Smith first enters the classroom of Mrs. Jones who has left to have a baby, and the kids say, "but we ALWAYS did it like THIS", what will Mrs. Smith say? If she's a teacher worth her salt, she will keep the things that are appropriate and jettison those that aren't, regardless of the desires of the students. Right?
At the risk of repeating myself, let me state it again. NO other recreation program in the state of Ohio pays their coaches or directors like we used to do, with a school district tax levy. None. Nowhere. Nada. The programs are self-sufficient, running off of gate receipts, concessions and fees. The person in charge of the entire rec program, the Head Honcho, if you will, is likely to have a salary - but that's the ONLY person who does. Each particular sports director (Soccer, Baseball, Basketball, Football, Cheerleading, etc) is a volunteer, and usually a parent of a participating child, as are the coaches. Parents are expected to help out in their child's chosen sport.
Why did that become such a foreign concept here?? I don't know. But now that we have finally turned things around and are beginning to see positive results - the last thing we should consider is a return to the former, inappropriate policies, no matter who liked it that way.
I realize that being a director or a coach takes time and work. I did it for my own kids, when they were involved in rec program sports. That is what a parent DOES for their kids! It is a sacrifice of time and money, but that's part of what parenting is all about.
And I'm just enough of a hard-nose to say that, if we don't have any parents willing to step up to the plate without being paid, then that particular sport can be eliminated from our program until we get some parents who will gladly volunteer their time.