I am a former 30-year Summit Metro Parks employee, senior staff member and resident of Summit County. I would like to express my full support for the expansion of the board of park commissioners from three members to five.

I also would like to respond to comments from Christine Freitag, of Friends of Metro Parks, in an article regarding the expansion of the board (“Proposal for parks is facing criticism,” June 11).

She indicated that factions may develop among five commissioners, diluting the board’s strength and causing qualified staff to leave.

The park board, like any board, needs to disagree on occasion to function. That is why boards exist. The board also needs to listen to its constituency and the park staff, not just the director.

Freitag also said that it might be difficult to get five commissioners to agree. I have served on several boards, and a healthy discussion is a very good thing. I attended the Metro Parks board meetings regularly for 20 years. I honestly can’t remember a time when the board members did not agree, except for early years and when the discussions involved who should be the next chair.

Another point made by Freitag was that there is no evidence two additional commissioners would benefit the community or the present system.

More board members mean more discussion and more influence. I suggest that board members should be more active. Active commissioners representing their community would bring ideas, concerns and projects to the table. More commissioners should mean more representation, more participation and more communication with constituents.

Finally, Freitag noted that the probate judge appoints all commissioners, which might cause political interests to interfere with what’s in the best interests of the parks.

The laws haven’t changed. The probate judge has always appointed the park commissioners. Only the party has changed.

I believe there will be great improvements in this regard. I think the community will find that Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer is a brilliant, fair, creative, sensitive judge, an individual who cares greatly for her community and the park district and will do her part to keep the board fair and impartial.

The people of Summit County have a tremendous park system. Their new commissioners are heading in the right direction, and there is an opportunity to find a new creative leadership.

David C. Whited

Edwardsville, Ill.

Breakdown of ?health-care costs

Surely, it would give substance to our ongoing debate on the cost of medical care if we had all available information.

For instance, how much of our Medicare drug dollar goes to the cost of the drug itself? How much for clerical work? How much to the doctor? How much to the insurance companies?

The result would be an estimate and cause debate, but that would be a good thing. I realize that such an investigation would be expensive, but if newspapers can’t provide this information, who will?

Jean Grundberg Hudson

Hudson

Lesson in ?loaded words

Reactions to the June 8 headline “A poorer, dumber Summit” may be a sign of what educators refer to as “a teachable moment.” Loaded words such “dumber” and “poorer” are frequently used to charge debate. And this is no different. It worked.

But the best part is that those who were moved to write, and the many who were moved but didn’t write, may be interested in the books of Harvard professor Howard Gardner.

Much of Gardner’s work has to do with the many forms of intelligence and their measurement.

I hope those who have been moved by the article will pursue the question that Gardner asks: “Not how intelligent are they, but how are they intelligent?”

Motivated readers and writers will find there are worlds of intelligence waiting to be explored and better understood.

Pat Sargent

Akron