Over the past several years the Great Neck Park District has become a virtual model of effective local government.
Its meetings are not only open to the public, but public comments are actually welcomed by the park commissioners. This present and a former board incorporated patience, grace and an honest interest in what park residents have to say into their decision-making process.
Indeed, many years ago the park district established citizen advisory committees for those with more specific interests such as tennis, pool, rink, open space and marina, therefore soliciting even more detailed advice from the public.
This is governance at its very best, and we have the present and recent commissioners to thank for this happy condition.
It therefore bewilders me why so many people who only begin attending board meetings, if at all, only after an upcoming election is announced, think they can do a better job than the people who have been doing a great job.
I understand the private motive, but certainly not the thinking that persuades them they can do it better.
Perhaps one or more of these pop-up candidates has attended an advisory committee meeting. Who knows?
And maybe someone starts attending occasional meetings. Who knows?
What I do know is that we now have three hitherto uninvolved residents who think they can do the very complicated and time-consuming job of parks commissioner better than Ruth Tamarin.
Do they think there is something wrong about Ms. Tamarin’s handling of the office? No.
Has she been ineffective? No.
Are there complaints about her lack of creativity when it comes to her focus on children’s activities and her success in bringing fresh, new ideas to the playgrounds? No.
In fact, children’s recreation is Ms. Tamarin’s special concern.
Indeed, Ms. Tamarin is an expert on so many park subjects that I could hardly do them justice in a single letter. Suffice to say that her accomplishments for the park district are stunning.
Often times it is her vast experience with park management that enables her to apply practical knowledge to visions for park improvements.
For instance, one can’t just get up in the morning and say: Let’s have a wading river in the pool. When you’re having your morning coffee, you can’t just say: Eureka, I have a neat idea for putting a playground for special needs children in the village green.
Or maybe the flash of sudden brilliance is to put in more security lights. Who knows?
To all of these supposedly “new” and spiffy suggestions I say: Well, duh. And where have all these suddenly knowledgeable candidates been before the election was announced?
Out of sight and out of earshot, that’s where.
The sad, practical truth is that by and large, the good ideas have likely not only been thought of by the board, they have been discussed over and over again to make sure the idea is both recreationally and financially desirability.
But only people who know the park’s issues will know that.
The pop-up candidates (some of them appearing like annual apparitions) can make all sorts of claims. Those who don’t know the issues have the freedom to say any darn thing that pops into their heads. But that doesn’t make it true, doable, or desirable.
So if you enjoy our parks, if you want to be sure they will be managed expertly by people who know how, then please vote for Ruth Tamarin. She has the proven knowledge and dedication.
Ms. Tamarin’s commitment is to the park system, not to trying to get a post-retirement gig for themselves.