Sioux Falls City Council Member Greg Jamison is proposing a major power grab from the citizen parks board.

According to Jamison the parks board is not acting quickly enough to make recommendations on alcohol consumption at Van Eps park, which is located near 6th and Minnesota.

Council member Jamison is proposing to strip the parks board of responsibility and authority to oversee all parks operations. While the issue of drinking in the parks is the excuse he is using, according to his own voice, "The real focus of it is to get the authority back in the hands of the council."

Sadly, Council member Michelle Erpenbach agrees with Jamison.

Ironically, Erpenbach has served on the citzen's park board, yet seems willing to strip that board of authority and responsibility, making the board useless now that she is on the city council.

This city is noted for its beautiful, efficient, diverse, and functional parks system. One reason has been the wise oversight, provided for decades, by non government citizen board members.

The drinking and fighting problem at Van Eps park is unacceptable. Action needs to be taken. Tower Park, north of downtown is dealing with the same issue.

Jamison's proposal goes far beyond the immediate situation. In my opinion it is an unnecessary total power grab.

A wiser, more prudent solution would be for the council to modify the proposal to deal only with "immediate public safety concerns."

That language, or something similar, would allow the parks board to continue to function in the community's best interest for park planning and operations and give the city council the authority to immediately react to potentially dangerous situations.

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