Rip Robertson is the Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Tucker. He brings to the job years of experience in Parks and Rec, as well as Public Works. Rip is a former Military Intelligence Analyst for the U.S. Army and is active with the Army Reserve.
Happy New Year, everybody! It’s been a while since we’ve done a mailbag and we got a lot of great questions this month. So let’s dive in!
Bruce Nutter - Now that the City of Tucker is collecting property tax revenue for the purpose of parks and recreation, will a citizens oversight board be assembled to see that those funds are spent most effectively, to work with Park Pride and to work with the Friends of Tucker Parks groups?
Bruce, these revenues are collected and administered by the City Manager, Finance Director and myself with all expenditures approved in the annual budget by the Mayor and City Council. As part of our budgeting process, we work closely with each of the Parks Friends groups to identify projects and utilize our recently adopted Master Plan to help guide what is budgeted on an annual basis. We also have a contract and a great relationship with Park Pride and are able to use their expertise as we improve, expand and maintain our parks. Just this year, we were able to leverage our funds through grants from Park Pride (in partnership with three Friends groups), DeKalb County and the State Department of Natural Resources to help us improve several parks.
This was all done through advice, assistance and partnerships within our community. We are diligent in all of our expenditures and we solicit input from all of our resources as we plan and move forward. Finally, the City is audited annually to ensure funds are expended in accordance with state and federal regulations/laws.
Matt Skidmore - Any plans for a skatepark in Tucker?
At this time, there are no plans for a skatepark. After undergoing a lengthy Master Plan process and gathering extensive community feedback, a skatepark was not an amenity that was recommended.
John Brieske - Are there any plans for a softball league at Cofer Park?
We are always excited about bringing new programs/activities to our parks. This is one that has been discussed recently and we will be offering this spring. Please stay in touch and be on the lookout for news. Also, we could always use input from teams and other leagues about what they would like to see as part of a new league.
Chris Harshman - Will the Tucker Nature Preserve still be connected to the paved multi-use trail system that Tucker has planned?
Yes, as the trail plan is expanded, each of the Tucker parks will be connected. They are currently working on the initial phase of the path and you will see it expanded over the coming years. We are excited about getting this project started and seeing access increased to all of our community parks.