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Aldermen shoot down pay cut
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A measure to reduce the salaries of McMinnville aldermen to $1 a year to fund a skate park ground to a halt Tuesday night when it failed to leave the Finance Committee.
Alderman Billy Wood launched the subject into the air as soon as the meeting began.
“I make a motion that we reduce the salary of city aldermen to $1 a year in order to fund a skate park,” Wood said.
Dead silence followed the motion. On the committee with Wood are Vice Mayor Everett Brock and Alderman Clair Cochran, who was absent.
After what felt like a prolonged wait, Wood called the motion a failure.
“I guess the measure fails due to lack of a second,” Wood said. “What about building a skate park?”
Brock says he has questions he would like answered prior to voting on a skate park.
“I would like to know how much a skate park would cost and is it really needed? I don’t know that it is,” Brock said.
In response to the statement, McMinnville Mayor Norman Rone said, “I think there is a great need for a skate park.”
Local teens currently use sidewalks and parking lots of local businesses to skate.
“I see teens all the time at McMinnville Electric System skating,” said Wood. “I’m sure businesses who are dealing with teens using their parking lots would love for us to give them an alternative place to skate.”
When it comes to the location of the skate park, it will not be placed at the Civic Center due to lack of space, says Wood from conversations he has had with McMinnville Parks and Recreation director Scott McCord.
“Scott says he doesn’t have enough space for it to be at the Civic Center,” said Wood. “Alternate locations could be Pepper Branch Park or Rocket Park.”
Aldermen Jimmy Haley requested the city look into the different types of skate parks, professional or general use.
“If we want to hold tournaments there, there are restrictions on size,” Haley said. “If we just want to build something for local use, whatever is fine.”
Regardless of size or location of the park, Brock says he would like the cost to include a fence to prevent skaters from using the park without signing a waiver to protect the city from litigation due to injury.
McCord will look into cost and possible location and report back to the committee at a later date. If officials like the numbers and decide to build the park, the Parks and Recreation budget can be amended.