Agree to disagree and end Parks & Rec drama

Published 7:50 pm Wednesday, July 31, 2019


The Advocate-Messenger

It seems fairly obvious at this point the Boyle County Fiscal Court has no interest in funding any local parks except Millennium Park.

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OK — “fairly obvious” is probably putting it too diplomatically. It’s painfully, blindingly obvious the Boyle County Fiscal Court has no interest in funding any local parks except Millennium Park.

Danville’s parks plans have become punchlines for magistrates at community events; Boyle County magistrates’ views have become punching bags for city commissioners.

So why are we still sitting here on this fence?

The current argument over parks and recreation is so old if it were a person, the Danville-Boyle Early Childhood Alliance would be interested in getting it into a Head Start program.

Danville City Commission and the fiscal court keep jabbing at each other from the relative safety of their separate meeting spaces, and nothing keeps happening.

It feels like we’re watching a romantic sitcom that should have been canceled two seasons ago. At this point, the writers have given up. All they do is play up the “will-they-won’t-they” ruse, even though everyone knows where this is going.

We all know every piece of the story by heart: To summarize, Danville has big parks plans and Boyle County doesn’t want an added financial burden. Is Boyle County passing up an amazing opportunity to build on the community’s attractiveness and generate more economic development? Is Danville riding a magical unicorn of dreams right over the cliff of fiscal reality? At this point, who cares?

The two sides have staked their claims, and neither is showing any interest in changing plans. So let’s get on with it.

Danville has sent a proposed ordinance for joint funding of the Parks & Recreation agency to Boyle County. That was in mid-June. It’s now August, and Boyle County has yet to take any formal action. There have been plenty of complaints about what’s in the ordinance, how it was devised, why there weren’t two ordinances presented … but no real response.

So, members of the fiscal court, are you really, honestly not interested in Danville’s idea to make all parks everybody’s parks? Then say so. Send your answer back, all the way over the many hundreds of feet between the courthouse and city hall, and end the drama. Your answer could take the form of a modified ordinance, or a rewritten ordinance, or heck, just the old ordinance again. Whatever it is, just give the city an answer.

Danville City Commission, are you really, thoroughly dedicated to pursuing a new vision for our local parks? Then please take no for an answer — if that’s what the county gives you for an answer. Then do what you can on your own to accomplish your goals.

Danville and Boyle County may not ever be able to agree on much more than Millennium Park, but working together, they could at least cancel the sitcom.