Traverse City Record-Eagle

Region

September 26, 2013

Discord on GT parks and rec board

TRAVERSE CITY — It’s not all fun and games on the Grand Traverse County Parks and Recreation Commission these days.

Parks and Recreation Commissioner William Dorrier called for fellow board member Christine Maxbauer to resign from her post as board president during a public meeting late last week. Dorrier accused Maxbauer, a Grand Traverse County commissioner, of repeatedly undercutting the efforts and will of the parks and recreation board from her position on the county’s governing body.

“I want to suggest that it’s not appropriate for you to be the president of this commission,” Dorrier said to Maxbauer during the meeting. “And I think the nice thing to do would be for you to step down and let the vice president take over. I don’t think you advocate for us. I don’t think you support what’s going on.”

Maxbauer said this week that Dorrier’s request was unwarranted.

“I’ve been a strong supporter of parks since before I was a commissioner,” she said.

Dorrier pointed to a specific county commission meeting to support his allegations. Parks and Recreation Department Director Jason Jones, following direction from the parks board, went before the county commission Sept. 11. He asked for permission to apply for a grant to help fund county recreational programming staff.

Maxbauer made a motion to deny Jones’ request. The motion passed.

Dorrier said it creates an ethical problem for Maxbauer to serve as president of the parks board and the board’s representative to the county commission.

”Just because she’s a county commissioner she can negate all our work?” Dorrier said. “Because that’s what she’s doing.”

The grant application wasn’t the first time parks board members chastised Maxbauer for not presenting their position to the county board.

During a debate in 2010, Maxbauer’s report to the county board spoke in favor of returning operation of the baseball program at the Civic Center to the American Legion. Maxbauer failed to tell the county board that the parks and recreation commission voted overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the program under county oversight.

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