As Director of Manassas’ Parks & Recreation what do you consider the system’s most obvious shortcoming?
Hundreds of kids playing baseball and softball on city ball fields in a city ball park from early spring to late fall, could there be a better entrance, gateway to an American city? Or is Manassas simply destined to be a city located in a strip mall, where developers stuff dollar bills into politicians’ garters?
Did you get your parks and recreation survey in the mail? If not, Manassas citizens can also go to the city’s survey and tell the politicians what they can’t seem to figure out, i.e., kids need more than just tablets and recess denied, they need places to play and learn outside the overbearing reach of a school board and a central office preoccupied with their self image.
Here’s a hypothetical situation and question, I think it may have been presented at a recent Harvard JFK School of Government training course:
A community has 1,000 local kids who want to play baseball and softball on weeknights and weekends. You have thousands of local citizens family and friends of those kids who voluntarily supervise and monitor the kids as they play and learn the valuable life lessons which sports has to teach children. Suddenly the fields the kids are about to step foot on to play are hit by a tornado, and shortly thereafter, cosmically speaking, pummeled by a blizzard.
What’s a local leader to do?
A. Hold a ribbon cutting ceremony in Old Town?
B. Invite a 1000 kids from elsewhere and build them a new school and playground?
C. Hold a ribbon cutting ceremony in Old Town?
D. Sponsor an historical reenactment of the Civil War with an alternative outcome where you have one lone African-American symbolically tending the fields?
E. Hold a ribbon cutting ceremony in Old Town?
F. Fix the Frig’in Fields?
The above hypothetical question submitted to the Harvard JFK School of Government with no copyright strings attached is solely the product of one disgruntled volunteer parent who if he sees one more photo of a local leader cutting a ribbon without first addressing THIS hypothetical question will lead a hypothetical uprising of aforementioned hypothetical kids and adult volunteers surround the city hall while council is in session and wrap the building in toilet paper and silly string and force the local leaders to cut their way out of the building with what appears to be their endless supply of big, big, scissors.
It’s not Manassas, but as Manassas reconsiders its parks and recreation programs perhaps it can learn from the best.
“At least 13 front companies that AP identified being actively used by the FBI are registered to post office boxes in Bristow, Virginia, which is near a regional airport used for private and charter flights. Only one of them appears in state business records.”
(AP – Whose side is the press on?)