The Sioux Falls City Council has halted the proposed power grab from the Parks and Recreation Board.  An ordinance proposed by council member Greg Jamison would have made the citizen parks board worthless.

His proposal would have side stepped parks board review and input, currently provided for in city law. His reason for the move was to get a faster resolution to the problems being discussed in Van Eps and Tower Park in downtown Sioux Falls. Also he publicly stated he wanted to get the power, responsibility, and authority back to the City Council.

In a previous opinion piece, I suggested the ordinance be changed to deal only with immediate public safety and health issues. The council read the comments and acted on them.

The revised ordinance allows the park board to continue their good work, discussing, reviewing and making recommendations on  park operations, programs, dealing with park development and design. In fact the board still has some say in public safety and health issues, however the city council now has the authority to act quickly to deal with those issues, if necessary.

An intelligent compromise.

The next step for the city council, what to do with what is perceived by some to be public safety and/or health issue in Van Eps and Tower Park. Also there is some interest in the community to deal with the broader issue of regulating alcohol consumption at all city parks. Stay tuned.

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