Three members of the Seymour Parks and Recreation board have resigned.
Board President Gary Colglazier, Vice President Matt Levine and Secretary Kathy Hohenstreiter submitted letters of resignation to Parks Director Stacy Findley after a board meeting Monday.
"While it was unexpected, it will give new park board members the opportunity to bring fresh ideas and new perspectives to the department," Findley said.
Colglazier, who has served as president of the board for the last decade, said he did not want to comment on the details of why he was stepping down. He was appointed by former Mayor John Burkhart in 1996.
[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]
"With a lot of thought and consideration (I) have decided, after 24 years on this board (to) give my resignation," Colglazier wrote in his letter. "I believe our duties as a board are being compromised and therefore I feel it is best to step down."
Hohenstreiter also said she did not want to comment on her resignation.
"I have really enjoyed the years that I have been a part of this board, and I’m glad that I have been a part of it but feel that the direction that the department is going is not what I had signed up for many years ago," she wrote in her letter.
She served on the parks board for seven years and Levine had nearly three years of service. Both were appointed by former Mayor Craig Luedeman.
Levine could not be reached for comment but said in his letter, "It is with regret that I tender my resignation."
"I am grateful for having had the opportunity to serve on the board of this fine organization for the past several years, and I offer my best wishes for its continued success," he wrote.
Mayor Matt Nicholson said he plans to appoint three new members to fill the vacancies as soon as possible.
Remaining on the board are Art Juergens, who represents the Seymour Community School board, and Monica Boyer, who was appointed by Nicholson earlier this year to fill the seat vacated by his wife, Zabrina, when he was elected mayor in 2019.
The parks board released a statement earlier this year saying it was blindsided by the mayor’s and the Seymour Board of Public Works and Safety’s decision to return a $100,000 matching grant to the Jackson County Visitor Center.
That grant, awarded in 2019, was supposed to help the parks department complete the third and final phase of the skatepark, construct two new ball diamonds at Freeman Field Athletic Complex and two pickleball courts at Gaiser Park this year.
Nicholson said he didn’t believe the city was being good stewards of the tax dollars involved in the grant because the projects weren’t going to be completed by the end of 2020.
Even though the city elected to return the grant in September, the skatepark project was completed in October, construction of the ball diamonds is set to begin next week and the pickleball courts will be installed in the spring.
The projects have a price tag of more than $200,000 and are being funded through a capital improvement bond issued by the city council in November and $12,000 in private donations raised for the skatepark.
Findley said it’s a good time to add new members to the parks board because the city just submitted its parks master plan for the next five years to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for review and approval.
Going forward, Findley said the department and board will follow and promote the three pillars of the National Recreation and Park Association which are social equity, conservation and health and wellness.
"Change can be viewed as negative, however, I look at it as an opportunity for growth," she said.