Seawolf Park fishing pier

Benny Caparas fishes off the pier at Seawolf Park in Galveston on Wednesday,May 1, 2019.

Now that the negotiations between the city and the police association have apparently ended — all that is needed now is the approval from the city council — it is time for the council and park board to kick into high gear getting an interlocal agreement.

The park board and city have been in discussion since last fall about an interlocal agreement — a contract between public bodies — that both hope will clarify their relationship and duties. The interlocal is meant to clarify more than 50 years of contracts between the city and park board.

The interlocal agreement should have been wrapped up a long time ago, Mayor Jim Yarbrough said.

We agree with Yarbrough.

But attempts to reach the agreement, it seems, has only increased tension between the two organizations and led to questions about the management of two major parks.

The park board was created by city ordinance in 1963, after the state legislature authorized its creation the year before. It’s tasked with maintaining island beaches and promoting Galveston tourism. It maintains city-owned assets such as Stewart and East beaches.

There still are sticking points, and according to some council members, some confusion.

One of the sticking points is who should manage Seawolf and Dellanera RV parks. The park board manages those parks.

But some in city government — including Yarbrough — think the city should be managing Seawolf Park, 100 Seawolf Park Blvd.

The interlocal also proposed a transition plan for Dellanera RV Park, 10901 FM 3005, and several council members said they thought it made sense for the park board to explore having a third-party operate the park.

Other areas of discussion include:

• While the city traditionally cleans streets and the park board cleans beaches, the line between those two jurisdictions is still undefined, especially at beach access points.

• The city council also discussed the possibility of returning the paid seawall parking program to the city. The park board has run the parking program since 2014, after a year of city management.

• Officials have discussed the city taking over disaster relief claims for the board and managing insurance coverage on city assets for the board.

“It’s amazing when you talk and communicate how the sticking points aren’t really sticking points,” Yarbrough said in a July story.

We suggest, then more communication might be the trick to getting the interlocal agreement.

• Dave Mathews

Dave Mathews: 409-683-5258;

(1) comment

Galveston Park Board

For clarification, the interlocal discussion began in August of 2018. After numerous meetings between Park Board and City staff and the Park Board Trustees and City Council, discussions stalled in June:

• On June 16th, the Park Board delivered to the City a draft of the interlocal with edits.

• On July 25th, the Park Board Chair sent a letter to City Council requesting an update on the status of the agreement.

• On August 2nd, the City posted an agenda that included unilateral changes to the agreement to be discussed at City Council without notifying or discussing the changes with the Park Board.

The items included in the latest draft of the agreement that were not previously discussed with the Park Board include:

• Item 21, the funding for services to clean and maintain beach access points and the Seawall

• Item 23, the transition plan for Dellanera RV Park, Seawolf Park, and Seawall Paid Parking with no justification as to why the management of these parks are in question

The Park Board agrees that communication is key when it comes to the interlocal agreement and would like to see more communication and transparency from City staff so that we can finalize discussions and move forward with a signed agreement that is in the best interest of the citizens of Galveston.

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