Parks board at standstill again

The South Kitsap Parks and Recreation Board of Commissioners has been struggling for years to keep commissioners on the board and push for changes in the park.

Four frustrated commissioners have resigned over the past several years; the board is no stranger to public criticism. Hopes for South Kitsap Community Park brightened considerably this summer as a master planning committee took shape and several opportunities fell into commissioners’ laps.

As spring graduates to fall, however, one commissioner is becoming especially frustrated with what he perceives is a lack of any action on the part of the Board.

Commissioner John Palo said he’s had enough.

“I’m not upset about any one specific commissioner,” said Palo. “But I got on the board back in May and we have done absolutely nothing as far as accomplishing anything.”

Palo has teamed with ex-commissioner David Kimble to generate interest in tonight’s meeting and the activities of the board in general.

“There are some people that are on the board for the wrong reasons,” Palo said. “And it’s hurting the park.”

Palo said he is frustrated by several incidents, including the lack of motivation in resolving the board’s contract with Annapolis Water and what he said is the board’s lack of organization and record-keeping.

“There’s no accountability,” Palo said. “There’s no tracking anything.”

“It seems like Groundhog Day,” echoed Kimble, referring to the board’s lack of initiation. “It’s not desperate yet, but it’s no better than when I left.”

However, Palo said the completion of the master plan that he was entrusted is the one bright spot on the horizon.

“Our master planning meetings have been going very well,” Palo said. “We’re wrapping it up now and we’re getting ready to make a presentation to the board (at tomorrow’s meeting).”

However, Palo said he doubts the master plan will be well-received and prompt any action. He has his own theories as to why decisions aren’t being made, but said he wants to focus on what’s best for the park.

“I’m fed up with it,” Palo said. “Right, wrong or indifferent, the park needs to start doing things. I’m going to start bringing up issues.”

Palo has proposed conducting concrete meetings to discuss why nothing is happening in terms of park planning.

“I’m not going to quit,” Palo said, as several recent parks commissioners have done. “I see this as an opportunity for the public to stand up.”

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