Concert series may expand next year

Music enthusiasts may have more dates filled on their calendars next year if the series’ organizer gets his way.
Park Board President Joyce Bowles said that Concert in the Park Series’ organizer Bob Moses has requested the concert series be extended through the end of September.
The concert series has been scheduled to begin Memorial Day weekend with its conclusion Labor Day Weekend.
The concert series was scheduled for Thursday nights and some Friday nights. Bowles said she would be concerned about the concerts going up against Friday night football games. Others had concerns that it could interfere with girl’s softball on Thursday nights.
City Administrator Rick Childers said if there was a scheduling conflict, the concert series could move to the Ray County Historical Museum temporarily like it did last year due to technical problems.
Some board members said that might disrupt continuity with the program moving around and some people could become disinterested.
Park Board member Bill Purcell said this is something else the committee should consider.
“If we make a decision now, we don’t know all of the variables,” Purcell said. “There could be variables that could change that.”
Purcell went on to suggest that the board shouldn’t even be considering issues that fall under the recreation department.
“We’re talking about a master plan, but we have a master problem,” Purcell said. “The master problem is we are the park department. That’s a recreation function is it not? It would be the rec department’s decision to extend it to anything beyond.
“Do we have control of the rec department and should we be making decisions for the rec department?” Purcell asked. “We’ve done all we can do. We’ve supplied a park.”
Purcell also seemed agitated about a recent report that the recreation budget will be about $115,000 in the hole at the end of the year. Much of that budget will be spent repairing the pool. Purcell indicated that it didn’t seem right that the park department is asked to formulate the recreation budget, but yet has no control over what goes on in the programs held in the park.
“We don’t have their budget, but we are asked to create their budget,” Purcell said. “There is no reason we should be losing over $100,000 as it’s reported in the paper. If we had control over every program, I guarantee it wouldn’t lose money.”
Bowles also said that Moses is considering putting together two bigger events this summer that could raise some funding for the city.

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