In a nutshell, the decision to build the larger park, is a decision guarded by fiduciary responsibilities. While Ramsey Jr. High students appealing to the board make for a great photo opportunity, the results at the polls trumps all. The aquatic park passed with about 64% of the vote; the vote for fire/parks improvements passed with about 75%
When setting up bond financing for one-half the aquatic park project, a maximum spend was set by the voters. Could a higher maximum been approved? Probably, but what was presented to the voters was voted on by the voters. The people voted for what they felt was a maximum price to pay.
The voters that day also approved fire and park improvement funds. The voters were told their tax dollars would support a complete laundry list of projects and after reviewing that list, it resoundingly passed. Here's what they were told the money would finance: http://www.fortsmithar.gov/newviews/ You might notice that financing the rest of the aquatic center was not one of them; only paying for its operating costs/shortfall. Five city parks were identified to the voters as needing maintenance and improvements as they were in decline due to current budget under funding. While apparently they will still get fluffed, the Chaffee Crossing ballfields will take the powder. Aren't these the ballfields approved by the board because they would bring an influx of visitors spending money at our restaurants, gas stations, motels and shops?
Diverting funds away from their intended purpose is not fulfilling fiduciary responsibilities. Neither is delaying promised projects that passed voter scrutiny. Making rushed decisions and making decisions with only a verbal assurance of profitability is not fulfilling fiduciary responsibilities.
Not searching or exploring other means of funding, like state and foundation grants, naming opportunities and concession leasing, is not fulfilling fiduciary responsibilities.
I believe the marketing slogan used to pass the fire/park improvement tax was called, "Progress ic as Promised" How ironic.