Archive for Thursday, July 20, 2006

Rec director job needs further examination

July 20, 2006

As I was reading through The Eudora News about all the great events taking place in our city this past week, I was taken aback by one story in particular left off the front page. Apparently, the decision to appoint Eudora Parks and Recreation director Bobby Arnold did not garner the kind of attention that so many of these other stories received; yet I believe this event needs to be more fully examined.

One year ago when the mayor and members of the Eudora City Council where in cahoots to relieve Mr. Arnold of his duties for no apparent cause, many citizens of the community voiced concerns and as a result his job was spared. Several community members wrote letters to The Eudora News calling attention to all the many services that Mr. Arnold had provided the city during the short time he served in the position. Unfortunately, restating the fine job that Mr. Arnold has done for the city over the past several years would be pointless now that the council has resolved itself to ignore the views of the community and press on with its own agenda.

When looking for reasons as to why Mr. Arnold was not reappointed, a simple call down to the city offices will only bring a person more confusion. Of all the city departments, parks and recreation receives the fewest complaints. Hmmm, perhaps he is being let go because he isn't qualified to handle the position.

Before many of those in the current city government came to their position, Mr. Arnold was selected from a massive pool of applicants to become parks and recreation director. To my knowledge, he worked in the parks and recreation field before coming to Eudora and had a degree in parks and recreation. Mr. Arnold is certainly qualified for the job.

I am not sure what reason the council had for relieving Mr. Arnold of his position, and of course because we are mere citizens and non-politicos, we are not entitled to an explanation. But I am certain that word will come out Mr. Arnold simply did not have the support of the community. In truth, Mr. Arnold did not have the support of certain community members who happened to be on the council or close friends of council members.

Firing Mr. Arnold is despicable. It is despicable because it appears to have been done for personal reasons and not in the best interests of the city. He simple should have been left to perform the job he was hired to do and continue serving the recreation needs of the community.

There is complete instability in thedepartment now just weeks away from an immensely important vote on a new pool and recreation center. Yet this is the course our current city council has chosen.

Apparently confused about its actual duty to set codes and policies for the city, the council has chosen rather to take on the day-to-day operations of the city by using its archaic system of appointments to ensure that the "right" people get put in place.

Bobby Arnold was and is the right person for the job. He just wasn't "right" for the city council.

Bill DeWitt


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