Recreation is a big deal in the city of Clinton. People have varied opinions about what should be offered, what needs revamping and what needs to be set aside. Many have shared those thoughts with us privately, others have been publicly vocal.
Now is the time for everyone who has a thought about what Clinton recreation should look like moving forward to share those thoughts with those who can make it happen, starting Monday night with the Recreation Advisory Board whose members, in turn, will take those sentiments back to city staff and eventually to the City Council.
Staying quiet is not an option if residents want to have their voices heard and their thoughts factored into future decisions about city recreation.
The city wants those thoughts as staff move forward with developing a long-range plan for its recreation offerings, one whose landscape already appears to be changing.
“We are in a transition period as we look for our next recreation director, and this is a great time to get feedback from the people we serve,” said city manager John Connet in talking recently about the upcoming advisory meeting. “We want to hear from all stakeholders of our recreation program.”
Stakeholders include those who have children in a multitude of athletic programs the recreation department, but it is not limited to just those folks. For some time now, recreation has also included, to a lesser extent, Clinton’s senior adults, who have enjoyed a variety of activities courtesy of the recreation department.
As it stands now, some of those things could change as the city works to map out the department’s future, another reason everyone needs to share their thoughts now.
Connet said a few weeks back that everything regarding recreation was on the table as far as how the city move forward with recreation. But, that said, there is a proposal that’s been floated calling for future recreation to be predominantly focused on youth athletics.
With 70 to 80 percent of the city’s overall recreation participation in that youth category, the proposal has legs.
Along with that proposal could be a shift in smaller programs utilized by fewer people, among them, perhaps, senior citizens and health-related programs.
The decisions are yet to be made, but one thing is clear, how recreation will look in the future will weigh heavily on the desires of Clinton residents. And that means letting your voice be heard.
Residents need to attend the Monday, Sept. 24 meeting and share their thoughts with the rec advisory group. Those who opt to stay home and stay quiet will have no dog in the fight once decisions have been made.
Our city leaders do a great job of providing its citizens ample opportunity to have input into what goes on within Clinton. Citizens only have to take advantage of them.
We hope they do. The meeting is at 7 p.m. in the Clinton City Hall Auditorium. We hope to see you there.