Unable to gain the full autonomy they sought, the Washington Board of Trustees rejected a revised version of the new Romeo / Washington / Bruce (RWB) Department of Parks and Recreation.

What was proposed at the previous board session was a complete overhaul of the RWB’s charter, which would essentially give Washington control of the system, allowing them to create their own parks and recreation department.

At their March 16 meeting, the trustees spoke publicly about their prospects for a complete overhaul of the RWB’s charter, which would give Washington full control over the current RWB by creating its own parks and recreation department.

RWB attorney Robert Davis told the board that on Tuesday, March 15, the recommendation commission approved a new draft statute that both sides had worked on four days earlier, adding that the city of Bruce approved the revised draft earlier that day.

Among several problematic points for Washington townspeople was the addition of a language that would require an “overwhelming majority” of at least six votes in a revised RWB seven-member commission to approve RWB’s big expenses and annual budget. The revised commission will consist of five members from the city of Washington and two from the city of Bruce.

“Washington thought it had been intercepted,” City Attorney Greg Maine said of the new language, later adding that he considered the joint document a “firm agreement.”

“On these two elements, we wanted to have a slightly higher standard so that the budget was rejected,” Davis said. “If you’re 5-2, you can win everything.”

Washington trustees have assured that there will be no change in current programs, even if “not all the money coming to the parks is automatically provided to the parks and recreation services,” as stated in the new charter.

“The truth has always been that we want programs to continue, but we will look at programs that are losing money,” said trustee Dan Detkowski.

“Programs are not going to change; I don’t understand why there is so much mistrust, ”Mikhail Palod, the trustee, said.

Some members of the Washington township council have said they would like to set up their own parks and recreation department, which would be headed by their own director. The RWB will “serve as an advisory body to (Washington) Parks and Recreation” and “has no final authority on administrative matters,” according to the latest draft proposal.

RWB “should consult and advise the Director” but will not be entitled to enter into contracts or purchase land.

One key passage, which was in the January 26 draft, said that Washington would contribute only “quantity” to the town of Bruce, keeping the remaining amount for its own department.

The new project says that “the size of the park and recreation services are set by the settlements.”

Washington township officials backed their claim that they had the right to rewrite the charter and essentially repeal the parks and recreation areas adopted in 2020, due to the fact that the RWB was not legally established.

“The public does not understand that you do not have a legal organization that is funded,” Maine told the board. “According to my research, all the mass gathered should not go to RWB parks and recreation.”

Head Sam Previti was against the process from the start and stood his ground.

“I feel like it works and I’m against changing anything and just leaving it as it is,” he said. “If it was up to me, I would have put it on the ballot on August 2 and allowed people to vote.”

Trustee Gary Cope also opposed the lawsuit.

“It’s against the law,” he said. “I do not know how to vote for it, because it is against the law. All funds should go to parks and recreation in connection with the popular vote.

At the end of the discussion, Previti made a petition for the adoption of the statute with the inclusion of a new language, but this petition failed due to lack of support.

After the council approved funding for the department by mid-summer, proxy Cindy Olsen filed a motion to remove Greg Brinert from the Washington City Committee’s representative on the Parks and Recreation Commission and Previti, who was his deputy. After the offer was accepted with a score of 5-2, Olsen singled out Detkowski as the new representative of the township with her as an alternative. This movement passed with a score of 6-1.

There was no specific date for the meeting of the representatives of the holiday and the village.

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