The Maxwell Park and Recreation District Board of Directors voted 3-0 on Aug. 22 to recommended Kurt Chambers to fill an open seat on the board.
The Colusa County Board Supervisors must first confirm chamber’s appointment before he can be sworn in, but the director-elect said he is excited to get started.
“I’ve been to a number of meetings and I’ve got the feel of Parks and Rec,” Chambers said. “I’ve also sat on a number of boards so I think I can help out.”
The MPR board interviewed three prospective candidates during their last regular meeting to fill the vacancy that was created by the abrupt resignation of Dale Johnson in June. Chambers’ appointment will bring the number of people on the board to four. The unfilled position created in 2018 will remain vacant until 2020 as the board was unable to secure a replacement within the time period allowed by law, officials said.
Tony Rolon and Marlene Velasquez, both qualified candidates, also submitted applications to fill Johnson’s unexpired term, and both have been encouraged to apply for the remaining vacant position when it comes open next year or serve as a volunteer on the MPR Auxiliary.
Until then, the MPR will function with a four-member panel.
“It was extremely tough making a decision, but it came down to Kurt’s experience on boards,” said Acting President, Kyle Miller, the board’s secretary.
Chambers, a Maxwell native, is the Maxwell Public Utility manager and has been a member of the Maxwell Volunteer Fire Department for nearly two decades.
The Maxwell Park and Recreation District was formed in 1985 to provide recreational opportunity and facilities to the people residing within its boundaries. The district operates the town pool, runs the youth basketball program, oversees the distributions of commodities, and hosts a number of community events, including Maxwell Country Christmas and the Easter egg hunt.
In recent years, the MPR board has struggled in meeting the demand for services with an inadequate tax base, few volunteers, and limited fundraising opportunities in such a small town, officials said.
The board has also struggled to meet the requirements mandated by the state pertaining to public meetings, which is something Chambers said he hopes to help change. He said one of the things he would like to insist the board do is adopt a regular meeting schedule and stick to it, so as not to create conflict nor disenfranchise the public.
Chambers said he is looking forward to the MPR board working together as a cohesive group, while inspiring community involvement with better outreach.
“We need to figure out a better way to get the community involved,” he said.
Chambers said while social media had some success in its earlier format, the platform no longer works as a method of outreach, especially with the Hispanic community.
“We’ve got to put our heads together as a group to reach the community,” Chambers added.
Chambers said he would like to see the board use other methods of communication, including banners, door-to-door campaigns, and by having a physical presence at other community events.
“When we have a new event we want to try out, then maybe we should go around and talk to people about it,” he said. “We need to get the word of mouth out there.”
Chambers said he would also like Maxwell Park and Recreation to work side by side with the Fire Department.■