Letter to the Editor: Park District owes taxpayers best effort to maintain fiscal responsibility

Mark Philpot

Mark Philpot

I wanted to take an opportunity to provide clarity on the perception that the Quincy Park District is somehow not interested in partnering with its counterparts on the Quincy City Council, Adams County Board and the Riverfront Development Corporation.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Quincy Park District, in its role as a dedicated team of faithful stewards entrusted with our community’s beautiful landscape and natural resources, is invested in the success of any initiative that increases the utilization of our facilities and contributes to the cause of promoting tourism to our great city.

As in all capital projects, fiscal responsibility is paramount. Our revenues come from the hard-working taxpayers of Quincy. We owe them no less than our best effort to maintain that fiscal responsibility in every endeavor to which we attach our name.

Our partners in county government were fortuitous enough to receive generous funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, which they smartly tucked away for future projects. The City of Quincy has the benefit of accessing Tax Increment Fund revenues.  This also includes contributions from taxes gleaned from revenue that would otherwise have gone directly to the Park District. The district commits to these contributions in 23-year increments. One could argue that commitment hardly suggests passive support.

The Park District, however, received a whopping zero dollars in ARPA funds. This means that any capital projects that present themselves must be carefully mulled over by a combination of staff and commissioners, all committed to spending tax dollars as frugally as if it were their last penny. Not having access to those additional funding streams, while trying to maintain a balanced budget, is not an easy task. That makes beginning new projects outside of that budget more challenging.

I punch a time clock every day. I’m required to account for not only my time but the quality of the product that I produce with that time or I can expect repercussions.

When I vote on fiscal matters, I employ that same veracity, and I believe others do, as well.  I hope a common ground can be reached to find an amicable solution to collaborating with our counterparts.

But at the end of the day, our first responsibility is to the taxpayers of Quincy. Period.

Mark Philpot
Quincy, Illinois

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