The chairman of the Cortez Parks, Recreation and Forestry Board has resigned, while his fellow board members search for more volunteers.
Paul Adams has served on the advisory board for about five years, but during the Friday meeting, he said he planned to step down. Another board member, Tom Rennick, announced his intention to stay for another two-year term, and was re-elected unanimously. But Adams’ departure will leave a third vacancy on the nine-member board.
Adams said he decided to leave the board in order to focus on his job as a real estate agent and to pursue other volunteer work.
The other board members said he would be missed.
“He’s been an exemplary board member,” Parks and Recreation Director Dean Palmquist said. “I look at Geer Natural Area, and without his involvement, it wouldn’t be where it’s at today.”
Adams said he had recommended a few people who might want to take his place, and Palmquist said the board would discuss candidates at its next meeting. The group also needs another regular board member and youth representative. The city plans to advertise for the positions in the hope of filling them within the next few months.
When full, the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Board has nine volunteer members, in addition to Palmquist and a City Council representative, who don’t vote.
Rennick, whose second two-year term ends this year, submitted a letter of intention to continue volunteering on the board.
“I have enjoyed working on the board for the last four years, and would like to continue working with the board for the betterment of the city,” he wrote.
The other board members voted to let him stay. His appointment will go before the Cortez City Council for final approval on Tuesday.
During Friday’s meeting, the board also heard a presentation from Deb Berger, of the advocacy group Citizens for Recreation, on the proposed Cortez Recreation Center sales tax. She spoke about the upcoming ballot question that would reduce and extend the sales tax that pays for the rec center’s maintenance, giving examples of the programs and capital projects for which the revenue would be used. It has several major projects coming up in the next five years, many of which were proposed in 2017 by Palmquist.
The board members all expressed support for the ballot question, which would reduce the rec center sales tax rate from 0.55 percent to 0.35 percent and continue it past its planned sunset date in 2021. David Newman asked why the tax needed to be reduced. Berger said her group believed the public would be more willing to continue the tax if the rate was lower, especially since the city will no longer need it to pay interest on the bond that built the center.
The City Council will vote on the final draft of the ballot question during a public hearing on Tuesday.