Rec. Authority planning for initial steps

Published 8:51 pm Friday, October 2, 2015

The Bainbridge-Decatur County Recreation Authority is working to gather as much information as possible before debating major decisions.

Friday morning, the group had an information session with key members of Bainbridge Leisure Service’s staff, and the authority is working to meet with the director of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Recreation Authority within the next two weeks. The Authority is also planning to meet with a representative of the Carl Vinson Institute for a workshop and assistance on the initial steps before the group talks about hiring a director. Harry Hayes with Carl Vinson was originally scheduled to come to Bainbridge Sept. 24 and then Oct. 2, but he’s rescheduled again to Nov. 12.

“There are a lot of administrative, back-office types of things we’ll have to done in advance of [July 1, 2016], but we’ll have a clearer vision of what we’ll need to do when we hear from Harry,” authority chairman Jeff Findley said. “Hopefully he’ll give us a checklist.”

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Members of the authority expressed frustrations with their inability to take a first step, but said that speaking to George Page from Valdosta will be helpful.

“We need a director, and we probably need an attorney and accountant. What else do we need? Give us something to think about until Nov. 12,” authority member Carol Floyd said, asking if there were any informational resources Carl Vinson could provide the group with before the November meeting.

Ex officio authority member and Bainbridge City Manager Chris Hobby said that the first big step the group will probably need to take is to hire a director who will then layout and put the organization together, but that person can’t be hired until the authority has money.

“But you’ve got to have an outline for that person to go by, an outline for that director to be able to hire on,” authority member Brandon Conley said.

“I think a lot of questions are going to be answered and a lot of concerns eased once we hear from George and again once we hear from Harry. I’m very confident everything is going to fall into place,” Findley said.

The group will hold a called meeting in October with the director of Valdosta’s Recreation Authority, and it will hold a meeting Nov. 12. Both meetings will take place at the Potter Street Community Center.