ERBM board hears input from staff on state of the district

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MEEKER | The Eastern Rio Blanco Metropolitan Recreation and Park District held a public meeting Sunday, Sept. 22 for staff and board members to discuss the district’s future, capital projects, and staff concerns and questions.

“That was part of the value of today,” said board president Kent Walter. “It wasn’t just getting feedback, it was educating the employees, too. There was a lot of positive about today. It was a good business practice. How many organizations do that?”

Staff said feedback received wasn’t necessarily what they expected, but the communication was authentic, and helped overcome some challenges.

“The chain of command is still super important,” Walter said. “In some of the groups I was in they talked about that.” Walter said it was a good time to reexamine the “hoops” of communication and what needs to be addressed.

“In some cases, everyone is so fixed on this [matrix] we can’t get this done,” said board member Dan Chinn.

“For me there is a frustration,” said Dondi Glasscock, administrative services manager. “It’s inefficient. We’ve gotten so into layers, that’s my personal experience. We got stuff done.”

“There were some really serious questions asked, and the risk of doing that is getting answers you don’t want to hear,” Walter said. “How do we tweak? Thank goodness we’re in an organization that’s willing to ask the questions.”

The board heard a presentation about the town’s comprehensive plan update and spoke with comprehensive plan consultants about plans for river access that are part of the district’s second phase of Town Park updates, and future plans for outdoor recreation.

“How can the town lead this?” asked Walter. “How can we complement each other?” Expansion of trails, the golf course, winter activities—including cross country skiing and ice skating—were part of that discussion.

Executive Director Sean VonRoenn looped the conversation back to trails and how to expand them, and the challenge of working with multiple landowners for expansion of the current trail system, particularly along the river.

Walter asked about marketing. “The things we’re offering are different,” he said. “It’s a different experience.” How to market that raises more questions, which board members discussed further.

The ERBM board meets again Oct. 8.