Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Memo to Parks Commissioners

According to Matt Campbell, KC Star 7-22-07 – “KC park board’s mandate from new mayor: Make people happier” you, the new board will be taking a retreat to map a strategy. While on retreat please:
Consider that the director of Parks & Recreation, who at this time is Mark McHenry, serves at the pleasure of the board and that you have the authority via the City Charter to ask for Mr. McHenry’s resignation should he not be able to meet the deliverables you set before him. Somehow along the way this has become a job for life once in that seat – with no performance measures or accountability. This should not be. The buck stops on his desk. If you don’t hold him responsible and accountable the buck stops with you.
Contract out pool management; the Aquatics department is a mess. How can you have lifeguards that can’t pass the certification until the 3rd pass? Some lifeguards we are not sure that they can swim.
Word on the street is that one of the regional managers is not allowed into the Bruce Watkins Cultural Center when a certain employee is on duty? Why is that?
Why does the Tony Aguirre Center still not have anyone who can give swimming lessons and summer is half over.
Why do so many Parks & Rec. employees show up on Missouri Case.net? Employees include persons who have been charged with embezzlement, assault, and domestic-violence. Some of these people are working in, around and with our children. How do they get around the background checks? Is there a fault in the hiring process? Or is someone in a position of authority circumventing the system.
Why don’t the Community Center directors get a budget that they have to adhere to?
Why do Community Centers not have cash registers or a better cash tracking system? Or why are pants pockets acceptable surrogate cash registers?
What is the strategy to build our urban forest?
Why won’t Parks & Rec. more aggressively go after more Federal & State grants? I was told that they don’t have the staff to do the reporting paper work required. Is this true? How do we change it?
Why don’t the kids in summer camp in Central Region, not have their t-shirts? The camps are almost over? The other Region’s camp kids have their t-shirts. Did summer camp once again catch the Central Region Manager off guard?

More things to consider are to follow


russellorama said...

There was a very good post about the mismanagement of KC community centers on the Law School Bound blog: http://imgonnasueyou.blogspot.com/2007/07/kansas-city-community-centers.html

It's a shame that with so many viable centers with pretty good programs, we are still very far behind in comparison to our suburban neighbors. I think your questions are great and deserve answering.

Anonymous said...

as far as background check i really dont think the city does it. if you get arrested you can call in sick and no ones knows about it.

Anonymous said...

The last mayor left KC in a mess. . . not only are the parks deplorable, has anyone noticed that there is no new housing going up or old housing coming down. There are no loans or grants for housing. All the money is going downtown for the "thunderdome" that nobody in my community wanted. How are we gonna have two arenas 4 blocks apart. This town is a trip full of agendas. We gonna end up like kansas city kansas before long. . .

KC Sponge said...

Hey - funny to find your blog as I'm venting myself about the community centers . . . wish I could get this to them as well.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I have had the same disgusting experience… I am so embarrassed about this system…

Anonymous said...

McHenry should be fired because of the ice storm debacle, which hasn't had its total impact yet. Everything at Parks is mismanaged. His majesty Lampone stills lives in a taxpayer house; neither of these two know how to manage. But they sure know how to charm a parks board - that's how they hang on.