LaFayette council debate parks and recreation’s financial accountability

Published 5:28 pm Tuesday, June 25, 2019

LaFAYETTE — Councilwoman Charlotte Blasingame called for more financial responsibility on the Parks and Recreation Board in LaFayette this past Monday during a LaFayette City Council meeting.

She said she was invited to a meeting this past week and while reading the bylaws of the board, she learned none of the bylaws said anything about accountability.

“Parks and recreation is a big thing in our city,” Blasingame said. “We are accountable for everything and all other departments are, and I really think this is something that may have been overlooked that we need to see about redoing.”

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Toney Thomas, LaFayette councilman and Parks and Recreational Board chairman, said the parks and recreation board has turned in financial statements, and its accounting is up to par.

“We don’t want anybody to get the wrong idea saying financial statements have not been turned in because we have records at city hall of all the financial records that have been turned in,” he said.

Blasingame suggested Monday that it may be a good idea for the LaFayette city attorney to rewrite the bylaws for the board to create more accountability.

However, Councilwoman Tammie Williams said it’s up to the actual board to create its own bylaws and present it to the city for approval.

City Attorney Joseph Tucker said the city council is the governing body that would approve such bylaws for the board.

“It seems like several times we have talked about this, and it has always gone back to the recreational board for them to come up with financial reports and submit them to the county,” Williams said.

Thomas said when he was appointed chairman, he was told to take good financial records, which he claims the board has done, including turning records into the city.

“It is not like it hasn’t been accounted for,” he said. “All the money is where it needs to be.”

Mayor Barry Moody asked Thomas to review what the recreation board is doing and see if there anything the board would like to change. 

“Take a look at the process and see what needs to be done and bring it back to the council for recommendations,” Moody said.

Thomas ended the discussion by saying anybody is welcome to look at the financial records of the board anytime.