Park board member resigns

One of three Columbus Park Board members appointed after a May 2014 mass resignation of board members has stepped down.

Angela Macy, whose term was to expire Dec. 31, 2016, has resigned, said Dascal Bunch, the city council’s liaison to the park board, at a city council meeting Tuesday.

The announcement at the end of the meeting was the first time Macy’s resignation was revealed publicly by city officials.

On Thursday, Macy confirmed the Sept. 10 parks board meeting was her last.

Macy said in a telephone interview she began considering resigning in July and that she and Mayor Kristen Brown agreed in mid-August that the Sept. 10 parks board meeting would be her last.

Macy said she and her husband are empty-nesters and wish to have the freedom to come and go from Columbus as they wish.

Being a parks board member requires that Macy attend once-a-month meetings, and Macy said she no longer could guarantee that she could be present every month.

Macy said she felt the board accomplished a great deal in the time that she served, including parks renovations and overseeing a process in which arts organizations applied to receive grants to support programs.

She mentioned that she enjoyed working with parks director Mark Jones and the mayor.

“But it’s time for me to move on,” Macy said. “It was a true honor to serve, but I can’t be there every month.”

Macy works as a substitute teacher and tutor for Bartholomew Consolidated Corp. She formerly taught Spanish at the International School of Columbus.

Macy was appointed by Brown as a Republican on the board. State law requires that a city park board have four members who are appointed by the mayor, and no more than two members may be affiliated with the same political party.

Parks board member Amy Kleinert, whose term expires Dec. 31, is serving as a Democrat; and David Jones, whose term expires Dec. 31, 2017, is serving as a Republican. Board member Jennifer Carroll, whose term expires Dec. 31, 2018, is serving as an independent.

Kleinert, Macy and Carroll all were appointed May 30, 2014, after three members of the park board resigned en masse a week earlier. Brian Russell, Nancy Ann Brown and Mary Tucker resigned after failing to resolve differences on the issue of authority over the parks system after two private meetings with Brown and two community leaders.

The resignations came after the city parks department had operated without a permanent director since Dec. 30, 2013, when Brown demoted Ben Wagner from director to marketing coordinator. That set off a controversy about whether the park board or the mayor has the power to fire or demote a parks director, and who has the power to oversee and run the city’s parks.

Park board members supervise more than 235 adult and youth programs, supervise maintenance of more than 1,000 acres of land, 23 parks, five large facilities and about 30 miles of trails.

Brown, who lost a bid for the Republican nomination to retain her job in May, will appoint a new park board member to replace Macy. The new appointee’s term will expire when Macy’s term ends, at the end of December 2016, city attorney Jeff Logston said.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.