A question at last week’s public forum for Augusta City Council candidates asked for comment on the city’s role in creating activities and opportunities for youth of the community.
Moderator Clint Headley suggested the question scope might also include thoughts on a building, complex and/or recreation commission.
The General Election where four candidates will be elected to the city governing body will be Tuesday, April 7, in all city wards. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Here are their responses:
Ward 2 candidate Launa Volkman:?
“I have five grandsons so this is important to me and I’m sure to others in the community.
“It doesn’t seem like there’s enough activities for our youth from kindergarten to high school.
“I think a sports complex would be excellent. I don’t know if there are vacant buildings that could be used for youth activities, but I’d be very willing to work for and support youth.”
Ward 2 candidate Ken Bratton:
“Our city responsibility is to encourage and support those who work with kids.
“There’s been talk about a recreation commission in the past and that’s something for citizens to decide. If that’s the route they want to go, I’d be more than happy to help them accomplish that.
“Our city job is to support and give youth safe places to do things. We might also need to improve the park master plan if we go forward with a recreation commission.”
Ward 2 Councilman Huddleston:
“This is one of those quality of life issues and the city does have an obligation to help young people. I’m a member of the park board and one thing we keep hearing is the need for a skate board park.
“I also think it’s important that Augusta have some type of community building or civic center. There’s no place in town for a large group of people. We need a place where a 150 or more could get together.”
Ward 3 Councilman Mike Rawlings:?
“It’s a quality of life issue that is very important to this community.
“I?don’t know how involved the city should get in raising the youth and providing things for them, but we should definitely back people who do.
“The recreation commission has been discussed and when asked, many citizens didn’t want it, but some day it may be helpful.”
Ward 4 candidate Rob Chandler:
“We under-utilize the resources we have at our city lake.
“I’m all for parks and recreation in this city. We have a volleyball area already set up at Shryock Park (east side of city lake). The city might provide a beach area there.
“A recreation commission could head up all youth activities.
“I know occupied kids stay out of trouble and stay in this town.”
Ward 4 candidate Ron Reavis:
“There’s no doubt this town needs more youth activities. I suggest using an untapped source of volunteers to provide more than just sports.
We need to include arts, music, fishing derbies, etc. for boys and girls who aren’t so interested in sports.”
Ward 1 Councilwoman Holly Harper:
“I’m not sure I totally agree the city should initiate and be responsible for youth activities. We need to support organizations that foster programs for youth.
“Several parks are in decline and we are in the process of revitalizing them at this time. The city already has so much on its plate.”