The opinions of Christine Freitag and Friends of Metro Parks regarding the possible expansion of the Summit Metro Parks board are flawed (“Proposal for parks is facing criticism,” June 11).
The park board has historically been compromised of wealthy socialites, lacking any diversity in race, financial status or ethnicity. It’s time to expand the board and continue to diversify it, to be representative of the entire community.
The parks are for the people, all the people, and a five-member board would allow for Summit County’s diversity to be better represented.
Freitag errs further by wanting a cohesive board. The boards of the past have been nothing more then rubber stamps. Commissioners Jane Bond and Mark Spisak have helped bring that to an end by actually asking questions, holding legislation for review and including all members of staff in giving input on projects.
Five members would offer five opinions, ideas and differing viewpoints on how to successfully and efficiently run the district. Which is worse for the park district, factions, as Freitag asserts as a possibility with a five-member board, or one three-member faction that just pushes legislation through without question, which she terms a team?
Regarding a final claim by Freitag, that appointments are political: The number of board members, whether three, five members or 25, has no bearing on preventing an appointment from being motivated by politics.
Other park districts have moved to five member boards, and now is the time for Summit Metro Parks, one of the largest park systems in the state, to expand its board of unpaid commissioners.
Union at UA
I thank retiring University of Akron President Luis Proenza. He did what presidents Dominic Guzzetta, William Muse, Peggy Gordon Elliott, Marion Ruebel, and their predecessors did not. He gave us a union.
Paul J. Kuzdrall
Editor’s note: Kuzdrall is a former business professor at UA.
Reported with compassion
Readers might not know that Jim Carney, longtime staff writer for news and features about the military and community, retired more than a month ago.
Among his readers were veterans and members of related organizations and the parents of military members killed in action in Afghanistan and Iraq. A testament to his consummate reporting was the compassion so evident in interviews with grieving parents.
He honored those killed in action by maintaining an online list of their names, hometowns, military branches and parents.
Recent features written by Carney have covered local college students biking across America to raise awareness about disability, a Facebook page devoted to Akron’s pictorial history and union apprentices working to restore the Boy Scouts’ Camp Manatoc monument.
The subjects of Carney’s features over the years have ranged from the homeless and programs such as Summit County Family Promise and Habitat for Humanity to fires, accidents, weather, businesses and crisis intervention by police and dispatchers.
He wrote an empathetic story recently about a man with multiple sclerosis who, in a wheelchair, toted equipment for a Bath Township girls’ softball team. Unforgettable.
Nancy Yockey Bonar
Lure James to the Cavaliers
Most everyone would like to have LeBron James return to the Cavaliers and lead them to a championship. But how to entice him to return? Money? Putting good players around him?
Knowing he is all about winning championships and is a student of NBA history, the Cavs should offer him the position of player/coach. The last player/ coach to win a championship was Bill Russell, whose uniform number, 6, LeBron took when he went to Miami.
The chance of winning NBA championships as a player/coach for his home team just might be impossible for him to resist.
Sagamore Hills Township
Parallels to Prohibition
Efforts to abolish abortion are, in a sense, akin to Prohibition, when the women of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union attempted to abolish alcohol.
Their effort was a dismal failure, giving rise to illegal manufacturing, selling and distribution of alcohol. There were deaths due to the lack of quality control in the making of alcoholic beverages.
Just as in Prohibition, abortion opponents will not succeed. What they will do is drive abortions underground. This was the case prior to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
One of the principal reasons for the Roe decision was the harm done to females who underwent such unsafe, unregulated procedures. In addition, “back alley” and self-attempted abortions left many dead or maimed for life.
One would hope that rationality will return to our wonderful country and the anti-abortionists will see the harm they are afflicting on fellow citizens.
James H. Trapkin