Misplaced priorities in Parks & Rec budget

Sandra Clark

Visit any community and ask what citizens want. You will hear more and better parks, sidewalks and greenways.

We heard that in Hardin Valley just last month, and Shauna Godlevsky, parks planning and development director, said her capital budget is just $300,000.

When a mile of sidewalk can cost $1 million, you see the problem.

“No money” is the mantra. Yet somehow we continue to add personnel – even in Parks & Rec.

Mike Donilla, former reporter for the News Sentinel and later WBIR-TV, has joined Knox County government as PR guy for Parks & Rec.

We confirmed last week that his salary is just south of $50,000.

Add that to the salaries of senior director Doug Bataille, $123,143; deputy dirctor Chuck James, $75,690; and Godlevsky, $50,936, and you see we’re paying about $310,000 for people to plan and manage a $300,000 budget for purchases and projects.

How many folks do we need to tell us there’s no money?

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