Vote To Dissolve Ontario Recreation Board Passes

  • 12/6/2017 9:51:18 PM
  • Jesse Smith
  • Local News

ONTARIO, OH - In the Ontario City Council's meeting on Wednesday night, members of the council voted to dissolve the existing Recreation board in a six-to-one vote.

Larry Arnold, Ontario City Council Member At Large, spoke on behalf of the council to explain the decision that they would be voting on. He explained that none of the existing recreation department programs would be affected by the change before detailing several reasons why the board would be dissolved.

In March, the Recreation Board Members were tasked with creating a list of activities to be implemented throughout the year. They requested to be given more time to come up with the list, which council agreed to. During one of the following meetings, the Recreation Board members then presented their list. The new list consisted of longtime community staples such as "Honkin' Haulin' Trucks" and various holiday events, with few additions to the regular lineup - a detail that was not overlooked by Arnold and other members of the council. Arnold noted that even though they were given six months to brainstorm new ideas, the board took two months of vacation in the summer.

"Candidly... I don't want to speak for anybody else, but - that didn't sit well with me," Arnold said. "We have to continue to evolve. The items were good, but after six months, we expected a lot more."

Following those meetings, the City Council found that the Recreation Director's position was the only position paid by the City of Ontario that wasn't under the direction of the Mayor. Following that, the Council moved to transition the Recreation Director position to be more closely related to the directives of the Mayor, but the Ontario City Law Director found that they couldn't do so without first writing new legislation, which would effectively dissolve the Recreation Board itself.

"The only thing we want to say is, we want the Recreation Director to report to the Mayor," Arnold explained. "Whether it's in the form of an advisory board, or the 'rec' board as it is - I don't care, and I don't think anybody here cares. The only thing we're changing is that (the Recreation Director) will report to the Mayor. If you walk away from (volunteering), and we're not asking that you walk away from it - you're only hurting the kids, and all of the programs... if you walk away from it just because you don't have control now, I guess I'm questioning: What were you on the board for anyway?"

The City Council then proceeded to vote on dissolving the existing board. The motion passed, with six for the dissolution of the board, and one against.

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