Thu, May 23

Letters to the Editor, May 28, 2006

Rec Center will be a benefit to our community


I would like to respond to Mr. Thomas McCabe's letter printed in the May 24 edition of the Independent. Mr. McCabe has brought up many of the problems the Parks and Recreation Commission has considered for the last two plus years. We have had in depth analysis by Barker Rinker Seacat Architects and presented their findings in several public meetings. Last year multiple public meetings of the City Council were held in the Public Safety building to solicit options from the public. In the course of the well- attended meetings the public strongly and enthusiastically supported the center and indicated other activities that they wished to see included within the center.

We have invited the public to attend our monthly commission meetings where we have discussions on all aspects of the many responsibilities assigned to Parks and Recreation Department. One of course is Riverfront Park. If Mr. McCabe and the citizens of Cottonwood will go to Riverfront Park, they will find many areas under construction or renovation, including the ball fields, skate park area and the well used family area with ramadas. We are now in the process of developing an Equine center at the Fairground. We will this year start work on our first small neighborhood park south of the airport at Viejo. Other projects are in the works but the staff of the Department is working them in the order of public need. Now back to the Rec Center.

Mr. McCabe's references the clubhouses within the various subdivisions, we are not in competition with those fine facilities, which are by their nature reserved for the home owners. The proposed rec center will have many items that are not available with their limited budgets. One example is within the aquatic component, a flowing stream so that citizens can walk against a warm current and the youth of our valley can float on approved items and have a good time being kids.. This one feature is almost standard in other rec. centers and is wonderful for those who need to exercise with little impact. Many who have arthritis find relief from stiff joints and muscles. Physical therapy is one of the main reasons that the Hospital has a strong interest in partnering with the City.

The City Council in several open public sessions requested information from the Parks and Rec commissioners, Barker Rinker Seacat Architects and the public. After careful consideration of the cost, where to obtain the funds, and with the assured cooperation of the Verde Valley Medical Center, the Council found the project to be sound and worthwhile. They are now requesting bonding authority for $1 million to proceed with the next stage of this well-considered building program.

The Commission works in the open, Mr. McCabe, and the public is invited to attend our meetings and give us their input, which we will welcome and consider.

We need to provide the citizens of Cottonwood as well, as the whole Verde Valley, the services that will enrich their lives and help make this City a Class "A" place to live.

William Bowden

Parks and Recreation Commissioner

Police Academy an eye-opening, rewarding experience


What a wonderful experience! Little did we imagine when we signed up for the ten-week Cottonwood Citizen Police Academy course that we would learn so much from our men and women in blue. Two hours every Thursday (wish it were longer), we were schooled on the who, what, where, when and why of patrolling, canine procedures, use of physical force, substance abuse, criminal investigations, school youth programs, firearm safety, and so much more.

It was a revealing look at the daily challenges facing the Cottonwood Police Force that we were privileged to glimpse during our weekly classes.

Bottom line Š the next time the Cottonwood Citizen Police Academy is offered, sign up. You won't be disappointed and you'll "graduate" after the ten-week course with a new respect for our officers

Frank and Carole Kodl