GP Leadership Issues/Problems (list of 14 . . . so far)
a. 6.Excessive Infrastructure – GP leadership has not only created excessive infrastructure at an inordinate waste of taxpayer dollars, but it has come at great loss of wildlife habitat. Read about some of the worst examples of this taking place . . . click here. 7.Lake Dredging – I am not saying that the lakes shouldn't be dredged, but there is a lot more to this issue than what you read about or hear them talking about. Furthermore, this issue should not be such a huge high spending priority over far more urgent needs such as the removal and control of invasive plants. 8.Trail Access – Where have all of the nature trails gone? Many of the trails I walked on as a youth no longer exist. Once again we are talking about priorities, and the current leadership is bad for Great Parks and the residents of Hamilton County. Read more by clicking here. 9.Wildlife Photos – Why is it that a district with over 20 parks covering over 17,000 acres has no photos of the amazing plants and animals that live in or visit Southwest Ohio? Yes, technically they do have images of seven birds, and six mammals, but even those photos are very difficult to find on their web site. Read what should be available on their web site . . . click here. 10.Leadership (lack) – Great Park's leadership lacks leadership in many key areas. Read more about that . . . click here.
12. Current Leadership Structure - Read why the current structure is a total mess, and why change is crucial moving forward . . . click here.
13. Lack of Openness - Here is a list of several examples of where current GP leadership could have and should have been far more open . . . click here.
14. Deception - Another word for deception is lie, and here is a list of times when current leadership has been less than honest in order to sway public opinion to their side . . . click here.
The bottom line to all of this is that the current GP leadership is not at all passionate about wildlife and wildlife habitat. In fact, the evidence is abundant and clear, that they not only lack passion in these areas, they actually show very little interest at all. It is all about priorities, and to have leadership over this great park district, for which wildlife and wildlife habitat simply is not a priority, is inexcusable. Recreation is fine, fundraising and marketing skills are fine, having beautifully landscaped areas in the parks is fine, hosting all kinds of public events is fine . . . but promoting all of these far ahead of wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation is not fine. It is unacceptable. Using deceptive means to mislead the public into supporting your agenda is not acceptable either, and tarnishes the entire organization.
It starts at the top! Before we get into all of the serious shortcomings of the current Great Parks leadership, we have to look at where it all begins . . . at the very top. The district is overseen by five commissioners. Did you know that all five of the commissioner seats are appointed by ONE INDIVIDUAL?
That's right, all five Great Parks commissioner seats are filled by one person, and that my friends is a sure recipe for disaster.
Now if you were going to select five commissioners to oversee the park district, and the thousands of acres of wildlife habitat that they are entrusted to protect and preserve, would you include two attorneys, and two marketing executives in that five?
Should the park district's first and highest priority by far be to cater to the recreational wants of the residents of Hamilton County . . . or should the first and highest priority be to preserve and protect the 17,000 plus acres of land they have been trusted to protect? You can certainly have and do both, but the protection and conservation of the land and the wildlife it supports must come first, and the recreational wants for the people can be provided in balance with the conservation of the land.
Here’s how I got to the place of where I am calling for a replacement of most of the top leadership of the Hamilton County Park District. That would include first and foremost the director Jack Sutton, and the head of natural resources (title recently changed to Chief of Conservation and Parks) Bret Henninger, as well as Rebecca McDonough, Chief Operating Officer, and Todd Palmeter, Chief of Planning. It would also include consideration of a significant change in the Board of Park Commissioners who have endorsed these employees, as well as the highly questionable process by which these board members are appointed. Two commissioners have terms that do expire at the end of this year, but I am still deeply concerned that one and only one individual is responsible for making those appointments Process was established at the state level).
My primary concern is the extreme lack of prioritization of wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation. See solid examples here. My second concerns are the ongoing distribution of misleading information that has been used to persuade individuals, businesses, and organizations to endorse and support their initiatives, and some of the rampant waste of tax dollars due to their lack of creativity and lack of understanding about the very nature of one of the key components of their jobs.
I am not saying that this leadership team has not accomplished great things in the way of providing recreation opportunities, and making the park district’s parks wonderful places to visit on some levels. They have also done an excellent job of promoting the district, or at least as far as what they feel is important. The problem is that they have prioritized these segments of the mission of the district, while sacrificing what I believe should be the first and primary mission of the district, to protect and conserve native wildlife, and the habitat that is required to sustain them. They do not even make this a close second priority, not even a distant second . . . barely any interest at all, and what little interest they have shown is no doubt due to all of the complaints they have received from visitors.
You can also read and look closely at all of the news stories that were published prior to the levy being passed in 2016, most of which show repeated mis-information, sensationalism, and some outright lies.
Now granted, you will most certainly see some verbiage that relates to nature, and a fair amount of talk about the money they have spent and the programs that they offer related to nature, but a great deal of that is little more than smoke and mirrors, and their efforts to try to look good in the public’s eye, while most of our parks are wasting away.
This campaign for leadership change is not simply about the current leadership’s lack of interest (we won’t even waste words talking about passion) in wildlife and wildlife habitat. It is also about how they treated me when I first approached them in a very friendly and helpful way regarding a property they owned but weren’t doing much of anything with. Read that sad story here . . .
I tried a second time, a third time, and finally a fourth time, but by then it was obvious that the director's arrogance and utter ignorance about the pressing issues left me with no choice but to share my concerns with the public.
So, just below are my fourteen primary concerns indicating why we desperately need a change of leadership within the Hamilton County Park District. (obviously some links are to pages that have not been finished and published yet.
Plus, I am holding back a lot of crucial information, because they're no doubt going to be scrambling to try to cover some of their tracks. Need to have a bunch of major bombs to drop later, once I have more people helping me with this campaign. Don't worry though, I've downloaded everything I can . . . and have made screen shots of almost every page on their website. Let them start putting bandaids on the situation by trying to hide stuff. I'll be more than happy to point that out.