A chance to participate

Published 9:25 pm Tuesday, September 2, 2014

For many people in Suffolk, the city services that affect them most directly and the city employees with whom they interact most often are affiliated with the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Even for parents with children in public schools, there’s a good chance they speak more often to a park ranger or a recreation center specialist than they do to a school teacher or principal. In fact, it’s likely the only city employees who regularly have a greater presence in people’s lives than Parks and Rec staffers are the public works employees who pick up trash every week.

Considering that level of exposure, along with the high level of engagement by city residents in Parks and Recreation activities, leagues, events and facilities, it’s entirely appropriate that officials from Parks and Rec have decided to hold a community input meeting regarding the department’s facilities, programs and events.


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“We want to hear from the taxpayers on how they want to see their funds spent in Parks and Recreation for the short and long term,” Parks and Recreation Director Lakita Watson said recently. “We need them to help weave the future of parks and recreation.”

Public input sessions are scheduled for Monday, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Creekside Recreation Center and from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at King’s Fork Recreation Center and Tuesday, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at East Suffolk Recreation Center.

Consultants for the city will serve as facilitators at the meetings, with the goal of providing an environment in which people feel encouraged to offer ideas, discuss needs and plan the future of the department.

Especially for a city department with such a direct connection to so many Suffolk residents, the public input sessions are a great idea. We hope many Suffolk citizens will take the opportunity to participate.