Moundsville Vice Mayor David Wood Seeks Clarity on Parks and Recreation Issue

MOUNDSVILLE — Vice Mayor David Wood expressed frustration Tuesday over a lack of action on a plan to have county officials manage Moundsville’s parks and recreation facilities.

Wood’s comments came during a meeting of city council’s finance subcommittee as Craig White, who has been representing the Marshall County Recreation Department in talks with the city, spoke to the committee to clarify what his agency’s role would be if council decides to move forward with the plan.

Council has met with white several times in recent months to discuss ways the county agency could help increase revenue and formulate a long-term plan for managing the city’s recreation facilities.

Wood urged his fellow council members to take action on the proposal during next week’s council meeting. He said continuous meetings have produced ideas and the beginnings of plans, but without clear direction.

“I’m not going to waste Craig’s, or anyone else’s, time. If we’re not going to go forward, why do we have him spinning his wheels?” Wood asked.

White, who also serves as general manager of Grand Vue Park, said he would work to advance the city’s recreation plan.

“I’m not here to give you your vision,” he said. “I want to help you guys create that, but you’ve made it clear that I’ll work within what your restraints are. … We feel we could help you increase your revenue and programming.”

On Tuesday, White brought up the city’s variety of sporting facilities, which the county at large otherwise lacks.

“One of my passions is baseball. One of the things I don’t have at Grand Vue is a baseball park. You’ve got 13 of them, and I’d love to work with them,” he said.

Wood said some people are concerned White will try to bring all of Marshall County together as one entity regarding recreation and tourism — although Wood said he sees potential in this way of thinking.

“There are some who believe that what you’re trying to do is combine Marshall County into one recreation group. I think it could be better managed that way, myself — more opportunity, more things happening.”

White agreed that Moundsville — and Marshall County as a whole — could benefit from a unified front between city and county when seeking assistance or grants.

“If you look across the country and you say, ‘I’ve got a park district,’ and we put out a master plan for that district, and we start going to get grants, people are going to see that we have it together, and there’s a plan to do it,” White said. “There’s more money in that fashion. When we’re all going after the same money, in the same area, that makes it difficult. We’re all going after the same pie. Benwood and Moundsville are going after the same thing, and that makes it tough to work together.”

City Attorney Thomas White said if the city moves forward with White’s proposal, it would not be taking White and his staff on as employees.

“To pull this off legally, we have to pull this off more or less like a consulting contract,” White said. “If you want to make it happen, I can make it happen.”

White would not serve as the city’s recreation director, but he and his assistants would manage day-to-day operations and tasks delegated by City Manager Deanna Hess.

Attempts to call for an informal vote to see how council members may vote on Tuesday failed.

COMMENTS