by BRAD ROLLINS
Faced with the threat of mass resignations from the Citizens Parks Advisory Board, the Hays County commissioners court today yielded to a range of the group’s “recommendations” that its chairman told the court were not negotiable.
Growing increasingly impatient with what its members consider conflicting, confusing instructions from the county judge and commissioners who appointed them, the parks panel at its Feb. 4 meeting unanimously laid out a plan that goes as far as to insist that CPAT be renamed and made a permanent, standing advisory committee. The recommendations were approved, 4-1, with Pct. 3 Commissioner Will Conley dissenting.
“If you don’t approve this as written, I’m pretty sure the committee wants to sunset,” said Buda area resident Jorge Anchondo, the parks committee’s third chair in less than two years.
The parks panel’s recommendations, now adopted by the court as policy, include:
- Creating a new permanent panel, to be called the Hays County Parks and Open Space Board, and naming current “active” members of CPAT to it.
- Appointing former members of the now dissolved habitat conservation plan advisory committee to serve on the newly formed Hays County Parks and Open Space Board.
- Allocating $600,000 of remaining funds from a 2007 bond proposal passage to “recreation projects” with a $200,000 cap per project
- Allocating $50,000 of bond money to create a new parks and open space master plan.
- Reserving the rest of the bond money pool, about $8 million, specifically for habitat and open space preservation and projects that advance the goal of improving water quality or access to water.
Read the Mercury tomorrow for more coverage