NEW PARIS — During a meeting on Monday, Jan. 6, New Paris Council approved New Paris Community Park Foundation’s proposed bylaws, after amending.
Brad Hampton presented council with the proposed bylaws, explaining, their committee had already approved the bylaws, but they needed council approval as well. He explained, those bylaws include “project procedures,” stating nothing would be executed without final approval from council.
Hampton added, the Foundation will be following these procedures every time a new project is started at the park. After reading the proposed procedures, he asked council for their input and approval.
Mayor Kathy Smallwood had one critique with the bylaws as presented. She believed New Paris Community Park Foundation should seek council approval before seeking bids. She feared the committee “wasting money,” as she believes that is a problem they’ve had in the past.
Council member Ralph Dungan had an issue with the wording of the bylaws, as he believed it gave the Foundation more power than the village.
“In my opinion, the village isn’t going to answer to the Foundation,” he said.
Hampton responded, “We don’t expect that. That is why we’re going to be bringing it to you — you guys will have the final say.”
After further discussion, it was discovered that Dungan was confused with wording of the bylaws and believed where it stated “the Foundation” it was referring to The Dayton Foundation, where it was really referring to New Paris Community Park Foundation.
“You guys come up with the ideas, that is fine, you discuss in your committees, but I think that is the time it should come here, just for preliminary [discussion]. [Council] wants to know what you’re doing,” Smallwood said.
Council member Luther Conway argued that if council was interested in discussion regarding the park, they would attend some of the New Paris Community Park Foundation meetings. However, Smallwood responded, it is his responsibility to report back to council, since he is representative for council.
“In my opinion, it should come [before council] right then,” she said. “The only thing I might suggest, and its up to council, on number five here, were you going to present things to council with pricing, then anything that had to be changed would come here too.”
Dungan asked if Village Council could move forward with an idea on their own, using village funds. However, Smallwood responded, they should meet with the Foundation for discussion as a courtesy.
“I agree with Kathy [Smallwood], I don’t want you wasting money, sending it out to bid,” Council member Kim Fields said. “Not that we don’t want the bids, we just don’t want you to waste money.”
Smallwood asked if they could move number two in the bylaws down and something else put in its place saying an idea is to come before council for approval. Hampton responded, they could change the first sentence to indicate that ideas are to be brought in front of council for approval.
Council also worked with the New Paris Community Park Foundation to schedule a planning session for further discussion on upcoming plans. The special council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. in the New Paris Village Building.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH