Parents address Council Montpelier

Parents address Montpeler City Council with concerns abd solutions for Parks and Recs. Program.

Montpelier City Council held its regular meeting on Oct 2, 2019. Dru Strange and Shane Johnson were not present. After the regular business of the meeting, the council moved to the agenda items. Robert Matthews had asked to be on the agenda in regards to the cabin rental. Robert was not present at the meeting, so this item was tabled until such time as he attends the meeting.

The next item was Parks and Recs with improvement ideas. Ten parents attended the council meeting. Their leading spokesperson was Hayden Neild. She presented the council with a written list of items that these parents were concerned about, and some possible solutions they felt would improve the program.

The main program they had concerns about was the youth football program. These parents felt the program could start earlier in the year and help avoid the cold. They requested better communication and fewer last-minute schedule changes. Lisa James, Parks, and Rec. was present at the meeting to answer their questions. She explained that many of the games were changed due to the weather. The parents ask that makeup games be scheduled. These parents would also like the Bear Lake teams to travel and play other communities rather than just play locally. The other communities are on a different schedule than Montpelier. Lisa had concerns that many of the children would not get to play if they did not wait until school started to distribute the signup form.

The Mayor commented that he had many parents that had expressed appreciation for the teams not traveling this year. There appear to be two trains of thought with parents in the community. The parents attending the meeting thought that a committee of parents to help with the programs could make things work better. Lisa is very willing to work with parents, and involvement by the parents will only make the program better if they work together.

The Parks and Rec. are mostly self-supporting, and there is only so much that can be done with the amount collected. There have also been parents that did not pay the fees and still requested their child to participate in the program.

There was some misunderstanding with some of the choices that had been made for the program. James came back to the program after a three-year leave because the city had five directors quit for various reasons. James has been able to make the program and tournaments work with minimal disruptions.

Ted Slivinski, the council member over the Parks and Recs, told the parents he was available for comments or concerns. Many of the parents did not know who was over the programs. The parents were told Lisa James is the director and Kandi Eborn is the assistent director.

The parents asked if it would be possible to start using the Remind app and have the website updated. They would like to form a committee that could help James and Eborn with the programs. They also want to put up banners to announce sign up forms are available.

Both Lisa and Kandi run this program as a second job, with both of them have a full-time job also. The community does not have the funds to pay a full-time person with. This is what would need to happen to have this be a full-time position.

The discussion lasted for about an hour and a half. The parties seem to feel that some progress towards the issues was arrived at. James is very concerned about the kids and does not want to see anyone left out.

The meeting then to the information the playground equipment at the Wells C. park. The mayor showed the council a packet of information with some choices. The council decided on which equipment they would like to see installed. The chosen equipment will be installed next spring as weather permits.

The next item was the prosecutor. Until now Joe Hayes has been the for the criminal for Montpelier City. Hayes was just hired as the Public Defender for Bear Lake County. Due to this change, he cannot be the prosecutor for the city. The council approved to have Doug Woods by the city attorney for Civil and issues.

The Council had the opportunity to express concerns or comments.

Steve Allred reported that the Montpelier Foundation had a $2000 from Maverick to help with the update to the Tennis/Pickleball courts. He also said that the Foundation would be working to pair up volunteers with several smaller projects to improve the community.

Allred reported on a conference that he attended in Rhode Island that addressed the ways the Arts can help the economy in small communities. This will be further assessed to see what things may work in our community.

Dan Fisher reported on the Regional Commission meeting, and the reports received attendance at the Lake this summer. Rich County and the Utah Marine $20 a car compared to Bear Lake’s $5. Utah cleared $900,00 this year after their parks and marine. Bear Lake almost broke even. Fisher also reported that Brad Jensen would be the new County Commissioner with the Commission. He will replace Vaughn Rassmussen. The Regional Commission will need additional funding to continue to operate as they in the past. Utah is willing to help with more money if Idaho agrees to increase their participation.

Bobbi Leonhardt had nothing further to report. The Oregon Trail Center will hold its board meeting in two weeks if it is not again.

Ted Slivinski thanked the citizens that attended the meeting for their and concerns. The city does not want to micromanage their department wants the public to know they can come to him, and he will discuss any concerns with James as the director of Parks and Recs. The thanked James for a thankless job as she has gone above and beyond to ensure the children of our community have to be in a fun and safe recreational program. She is changing the lives of children, and he thanked her for this of time and energy.

There were no further comments, and the meeting was adjourned.