Several years ago, before A.R. “Babe” Schwartz passed away, I had an opportunity to talk to him about why he founded the Park Board 60 years ago. I wanted to know, specifically, why it was created as an entity separate from the City of Galveston. He credited the work of the trustees for its longevity and success.

“Its strength has been maintained because its membership has always been the best the community has to offer,” he said. “That principle prevails today and the community has never been better served.”

Mary Beth Bassett is the public relations coordinator for the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Park Board of Trustees.

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Charlotte O'rourke

“My other goal on the Park Board is to bridge the gap between the City of Galveston and the Park Board. I want to champion a great relationship between the two groups to move projects forward.”

I hope you can bring the city and Park Board together City Rep. Mike Bouvier.

The first step is for the Park Board and it’s employees to understand the city created the Park Board via ordinance based on legislation created in Chapter 306 Local Government Code.

The Park Board has started doing a lot of other things not in its original creation that may need city council review and agreements as it isn’t part of their original defined responsibility. The Park Board was hired by the city to collect HOT tax on the city’s behalf, but it doesn’t have to use the Park Board for this city responsibility.

Fiscal oversight will not be a bad thing, but important fiscal accountability that is long overdue.

It is a check and balance that residents should expect. I know I do. I don’t want a Park Board that is totally independent of the city that can use city HOT money to do whatever and build whatever it wants.

Welcome to the discussion.

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