in Geezer, Parks and Rec

Last man standing

Two things happened at Thursday’s Parks board meeting/holiday social. We bid farewell to long-time board member and previous chair Jimmy Thiem, who has served his full six years on the board. It’s been great working with Jimmy and we will certainly miss his parks expertise. I hope we can put him to use on upcoming parks committees like one for Dix Park.

There’s another aspect to Jimmy’s “retirement” from the Parks board that I only realized afterward: I’m now the senior member of the board. This boggles my mind as it seems like only yesterday that I was a fresh-faced newbie on the board. Now I’ve seen all of the previous boardmembers rotate off to be replaced by fresh faces.

There’s a catch to this senior status, however. While I’ve seen everyone replaced since I joined the board, I’m not actually the longest-serving member. That title is held by Richard Bostic, who put in five years on the board before stepping away and then being reappointed this year. Richard’s served five years and I’ll reach that milestone in September 2013. He was on the board when I first joined, too, so we’re serving together again.

The other cool thing that happened at the meeting was our introduction to the Park Locator that the departments GIS department has been putting together. It uses the city’s GIS system to map area parks, letting folks find the nearest park to them as well as letting them search on park amenities. It’s still in beta but can be found at While it doesn’t render cleanly on my Android smartphone yet, this is a cool use of the city’s mapping data and I’m really excited to see it.