Letter to the Editor

Let's get a rec center built

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Dear editor,

I have been a tax paying, home-owning member of this community since my first military assignment here in 1990. My family chose to retire in Mountain Home because we enjoy what the area has to offer.

However, the city has been discussing, planning and negotiating since 1990, and we are no closer to enjoying a Community Recreation Center. I know it can't be an easy thing to do in a small community, but we have been paying taxes for many years, yet reading weekly about the myriad of problems, disagreements, and reasons why we lack any progress toward our goal.

What has me real concerned is the WECRD Board now conducts board meetings with a quorum of two people, making decisions to give money to outside agencies within the community but not toward a Community Center. I support our school sports and community programs, but does the tax payer not have a say in where this money for a Community Center is going?

I am no lawyer, but allowing two board members to be considered a quorum and calling meetings whenever they feel like it (meeting twice in two weeks) to approve giving tax payer money to entities outside the Community Recreation Center umbrella doesn't seem ethical.

My second concern is why do we never hear from our elected leaders or those business owners who have been successful in putting together profitable businesses in this small town, chiming in on this subject? I truly believe that the people who have sat on the WECRD board have had good intentions but lack the experience, business sense and backing to be successful.

I would like to know what our elected officials and our Chamber of Commerce folks have to say or contribute on this adventure.

We have now raised a couple generations of kids and a couple generations of seniors have passed away without a community center, though we continue to pay taxes toward a Community Center. Rezone, replace board members (or not), pay contractors NOT to work, give money to other organizations in the city... seems like some things are very important to our city leaders, but something like a local Youth Center or a Community Center seem to be on the back burner or in the refrigerator.

Build the Community Center, give kids and families something that they really need. It might lower a good number of vandalism, illegal substance and DUI court cases in town and provide for a healthy community of people of all ages.

I don't want anyone removed or point fingers. It's just time for WECRD and community leaders to take deeper interest and get this thing done.

The Community Recreation Center would definitely better our community... and, just me, but it needs a pool to be successful!

-- Allen Niksich, Mountain Home