One city alderman said the issues with financially backing the Parks and Recreation Commission are strictly politics.
Ward 3 Alderman Sir Johnathan Rucker addressed the “elephant in the room” during Monday’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, which included a request from the Parks and Recreation Commission for financial assistance in the midst of heavy budget cuts from the city of Yazoo City.
“You are doing more with less,” Rucker said, to Parks and Recreation Director Sedric Hudson. “It is pitiful and sad that in the past people have come in and got what they wanted and needed. But you are bringing so many programs to Yazoo City, yet we are giving you less.”
Mayor Diane Delaware said former directors were not given what they wanted. However, the drastic cuts in the city’s contributions to the Parks and Recreation Commission began in Hudson’s tenure two years ago.
“We are not going to give you money just to cut grass,” said Aldermen Aubry Brent Jr. “We want some Parks and Recreation programs for our youth and elderly citizens.”
But Rucker said Hudson has implemented more programs, including a softball tournament and Movie Night for citizens.
“Nobody wants to deal with the real issue,” Rucker said. “The real issue is that (Hudson) is doing more with less. I want to commend you because you are doing some great things for our Parks and Recreation. And we sit here and don’t give you the support in what you need.”
Brent said he is supportive of the program, but he would like to see the county also contribute their share to the department. Delaware has stated that the city would give its fair share in line with the county’s contribution.
“The county uses parks and recreation much more than the city residents,” Brent said. “If we are going to have a Parks and Recreation Commission, we should support it. If we aren’t going to support, we should dissolve it. I am in support of giving you what you want if the county also gives you what you need.”
Rucker said Brent’s statement about county residents using the parks and recreation more isn’t right.
“You can’t say county residents use the parks more,” Rucker said. “Go by Campanella. Those are city kids playing basketball and wanting to have something to do. You go by some of the other parks. It is city kids going. I feel like politics have killed our city, our kids, our county.”