By Crystal McGough
PINSON – Parks and Recreation Director Matt Nixon spoke to Pinson City Council on Thursday, September 16, about some ideas he had to improve recreation in the city. After giving the board an update on parks and youth athletic programs, Nixon told the board he wanted to provide non-athletic options for children who may not be exercising.
“Parks and recreation, and I’ve been saying this from day one, is more than sport,” Nixon said. “We encompass all kinds of leisure activities. This morning I met a young woman named Cierra Dunbarr. … I met her to become an art teacher for young people and adults here in Pinson. She was very excited.
Nixon said he hopes the art program will begin in mid-October and that, as a first step, it will be offered free to attendees in order to generate interest in the community.
“We believe this will affect our senior community,” he said. “I think it will affect our youth community and the fact that the arts are developing in Pinson.
“It will also affect a base of young people who are underserved. Many young people in our community and surrounding communities simply do not play sports. So, I feel like it’s time for us to reach out to these kids now. “
Additionally, Nixon pointed out that Kermit-Johnson Elementary auditioned 80 children for its theater team, and that community theater may be something the city may consider going forward.
“I’m going to go ahead and start offering these arts and crafts classes,” he said. “I ask you to get involved if you can. “
Mayor Joe Cochran and city council have been receptive and supportive of Nixon’s proposals.
“A lot of times when people think of parks and recreation, they don’t think of things like that, but there are a lot of kids who don’t play sports and don’t go to the wading pool, but they can participate in something. thing in the arts world, ”Cochran said. “So thank you for trying to include this in the program. “
Nixon also came up with something he said he had a “vested interest” in: a mayor’s youth council.
“… I actually ran the program for two years when I worked for Clarksville, Tenn., When I lived there,” Nixon said. “I don’t know if any of you know of any other cities that have this; I don’t believe that many around us do. So I think it would be something that … would benefit the young people in high school, which are aimed at the juniors and the seniors, outgoing.
Nixon said the Youth Council would serve to build leadership and public speaking skills.
“But the main key thing is that you (the mayor and the council) are the vital part of this,” he said. “… It would be the mayor and the council who would have their say. You would help me to lead these sessions with these young people, to explain to them and to give them an overview of the functioning of the municipal administration. How they get involved in their communities.
Councilor Brad Walker said at the Alabama League of Municipalities conference in Huntsville he heard that the mayor and council of Guntersville have a junior council.
“From what she said, the way she described it, I think that’s a great idea,” Walker said. “This is one of the ways I got interested in government in the first place – economics – a teacher at school got me interested in it. If we can get our young people in that direction, because they will be our leaders in the future, I think that’s a great idea.
Mayor Cochran and Councilor Glenda Kirkland both said they liked the idea as well.
Kirkland said the city will host a drive-through lunch for Veterans Day again this year, Nov. 11, 2021. The city will provide boxed Chick-fil-A lunches for local veterans and their more. RSVPs are required and can be made by calling Pinson Town Hall at (205) 680-5556.
In addition, the board approved the following:
- Resolution 21-31, Ordering Reduction of Trash / Waste Nuisance at 5359 Willow Ridge Lane
- Continuing a hearing regarding the demolition of a building or structure located at 5359 Willow Ridge Lane, to give the owner time to come into compliance
- Request for the purchase of an ice machine for the sports department at Pinson Valley High School, in the amount of $ 6,400
- Motion to hire Visual Productions to produce architectural photographs of various buildings and facilities in Pinson, for use on the city’s website, in the amount of $ 3,550
The next Pinson City Council meeting will take place on Thursday, October 7, 2021 at Pinson Town Hall. The regular meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m., following a 6.15 p.m. pre-council meeting.