In a news paper article appearing in the April 18th edition of this paper it was reported that both the City of
In reading the article one gets the distinct impression that the YMCA is trying to work with the
Although the article indicated that there is some scheduling co ordination between the City and the "Y," Mr. Scott Deckard, the YMCA Executive Director, indicated that "the strained relationship between the YMCA and the park board has been going on for nine months." He pointed out that the YMCA is scheduling their programs around Branson's, offering programs that the Branson Park District does not offer, and is "not duplicating programs that you [Branson Park District] offer."
For years, the
Herein, the Ole Seagull thinks lays the "strain." The YMCA is striving to build a multi purpose fitness center facility, similar to that which they have been building and operating for decades. On the other hand, the
Do they, collectively, have as much experience in building and operating multi purpose fitness centers as the YMCA does? Will they use less tax payer dollars to build and operate such a facility than the YMCA or by working with the YMCA to build and operate such a facility? Do they have a program support system and personnel available, from the local to the national level, to provide the types of programs that will maximize the use of such a facility by the community?
Considering that the YMCA would be able to invest substantial private funds in such a facility would it be a better investment on the city's part to partnership with the YMCA in the building of such a facility or, at least refrain from building a competing facility with tax payer dollars? Is there the possibility that this could free up tax dollars to be used in other areas where the investment of tax payer dollars could better serve the recreational and economic needs of our community?
One, of many areas, that might be considered is the "fast tracking" of the City's Master Trail Plan. This Plan provides for the development of an 89 mile net work of hiking and biking trails. These trails will not only provide a unique outdoor recreational experience for locals and visitors alike, but also has the distinct potential of providing an environmentally friendly economic stimulus to the "soft adventure" side of Branson's economy.
One can only wonder what could be accomplished if the Branson Parks and Recreation Department decided to work in partnership with the YMCA for the benefit of our community. Like the community he serves, the Ole Seagull can only hope that the