July 20, 2012

Council abolishes county park board

by Kelly Hawes

LOGANSPORT — The Cass County Council this morning abolished the county park board on a vote of 4-2.

Council members said the vote should not be taken as a reflection on the current board members, but they said the county's lone park, France Park, was in need of a new direction.

The move came in spite of an effort by Councilman Ralph Anderson to delay the discussion.

"I don't think the public has had proper time to review it," he said of the proposed ordinance.

Anderson made a motion to table the proposed ordinance, but the motion failed.

"I think we're all on the same page," Councilman Grover Bishop told his colleagues. "I think we all know some changes need to be made out there. ... As I said earlier, I think there's a better way to run a railroad."

The move puts the management of the park in the hands of the county commissioners, a step Council President George Stebbins said had the support of all three commissioners.

Dave Arnold, the president of the board of commissioners, said after the meeting that he agreed with the move.

"There are some changes that need to be made, and I think this is the way to get it done," he said.

Arnold said the commissioners would meet to name a new park director.

Sandy Heckard, the park's long-time director, had little to say after the meeting.

"You know, this is a lot to absorb today," she said, "so I don't know that I have a whole lot of comments."

For additional details from the meeting, pick up Sunday's edition of the Pharos-Tribune.