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Renewed calls for the resignation of the Elkhart Park Board

Tolson supporters call for Elkhart Park Board to resign // WSBT 22 photo

Supporters of the Tolson Center told members of the Elkhart Park Board at their monthly meeting Tuesday night that they want them to step down.

Supporters believe the park board could have helped keep the center open.

Many supporters believe the Park Board members failed to act, and just stood by as the Elkhart City Council voted to stop funding the Tolson Center.

It's been one week since the Elkhart City Council voted against funding for the center.

“I think it's time for you to resign,” said Arvis Dawson, Tolson supporter. “You have failed us woefully in your effort as the Park Board. People lost their jobs because of not following policies and procedures, so you should probably resign.”

“I ask the mayor to move to replace this park board,” said Kenneth Hunt.

“I ask you to resign,” said Dwight Fish, 4th District councilman. “Also for the mayor to take action to remove these members of the Park Board.”

One supporter claims the Park Board put an end to a mentoring program the Tolson Center offered.

“So every program -- new program, old program -- whatever the situation may be she couldn't do anything unless the Park Board agreed to it,” said Kenneth Hunt. “If the Park Board is over the Parks Department and Tolson Center is under the Parks Department, if the Tolson Center failed that means the Park Board failed them. Because that board had oversight.”

Elkhart City Councilman Dwight Fish spoke out against the decisions made by the Park Board.

“Bad decision-making, not informed decision making. And it affects the people of the 4th District but it is affecting the city as a whole.”

After public comment, Park Board VP Tonda Hines says she will not resign unless the mayor makes that decision.

However, Hines feels the Park Board could have done more.

“I'm confident that we could have done more, that we could have gotten more creative, and what's in our budget for the entire Parks Department. And we can agree to disagree on that but I really do think that we really could have done more for funding to extend it, to bring it back.”

Hines was the only Park Board member to speak after the public requested them to resign.

The mayor attended tonight but did not mention board member's resignations.

Until his office gets a written request, no actions can be done.

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