Cooperation is the key
We've seen a lot of cooperation going on among the big players in the Baldwin community and that's a great sign. We now have a concrete sign of that cooperation regarding a possible community center and a promise to address a recent problem.
Members of the Baldwin City Council, Baldwin School Board, Baker University and Baldwin City Recreation Commission have been meeting on a fairly frequent basis over the past month to discuss a community center. After several meetings, it was decided -- wisely -- that a project of that scope is beyond what those groups can address while still tending to their own "real" business.
It was decided to hire an outside consultant to conduct a feasibility study regarding such a venture. We applaud that decision all the way around. Needs are many and should be looked at by outsiders who have nothing to gain from it. Ballard-King and Associates will do that.
It's also a great sign that the city council, school board and recreation commission have agreed to split the $15,000-plus cost equally. There's cooperation. The groups did a similar effort this summer in getting proper lighting on the baseball fields. It's apparent this cooperation idea is catching on ... and working.
As for the "problem" area, that involves the parking situation around Baker's Liston Stadium. It's been inconvenient for years, but came to a head recently when fans from Chanute High School claimed to have received 140 tickets at a playoff game against Baldwin High. Of course, those claims were unfounded. There were only a total of 37 tickets issued that day and only 10 of those went to fans with county tags from Chanute.
But, it brought up that something needs to be done around Liston to solve the problem. Whether that's more no parking signs or warning tape put up in the area before games, such as is done during the Maple Leaf Festival.
Mayor Gary Walbridge, head of Baker facilities, summed up the issue and answer best during Monday's council meeting.
"I think it's something that Baker should take up with the city and the police chief for games next year," said Walbridge.
We couldn't agree more. Cooperation.