Scott Wagner announced his resignation from the Kansas City, Mo., Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners today.
The former city councilman, director of Northeast Alliance Together (NEAT), and Clay County Commissioner has been on the park department board since November 2019.
His letter of resignation is below:
Dear Mayor Lucas,
When you gave me the honor of joining the Board of Parks & Recreation in November 2019, I said at that time that I would resign this commission when you believed it necessary that I step away from this assignment. It appears that day has come. To that end, please accept my resignation from the Board of Parks & Recreation Commissioners, effective at end of business day February 28, 2023.
This resignation comes reluctantly as I believe the best days of the Parks & Recreation Department are ahead and I regret I will miss the opportunity to take part. My tenure has featured many challenges; challenges that were accepted by me and my fellow commissioners. I believe the decisions made by this body have set this Department for success into the future, as long as the Department continues to be supported.
Your leadership has provided an opportunity for us to make needed investments in Parks’ assets now, and into the future, and I thank you for that. As I leave this position, I ask that you select individuals who will continue to fight for a vision that this department should be THE Parks Department that all others around the country should aspire to be. So not only should the Parks Department have the funds necessary to fix its assets, but also the operational budget necessary to provide the first-class experience that every Kansas Citian deserves. When we say this is the Parks & Recreation Department, it should provide both “Parks” and “Recreation” services. Adults and children should not be excluded from our fields because they are priced out of a league. They should have access to leagues and fields here in their city…not somewhere else.
I have had the honor of serving this City in elected office and in the position of Chair of Finance, but I learned even more about our City and our ability to deliver services in a brand new light thanks to this position. I am grateful for my role in bringing this present Director and leadership team together. I believe the path they are taking is a difficult one, but the right one. It is a direction that demands a commitment to making this the best department possible for all Kansas Citians. As your representative on this board, I had no hesitation to defend it as I believed that was why I was asked to serve. I ask you now to do all you can to help this department fulfill the visions of those past commissioners who fought hard to create this department, and those who were its custodians for the last 125 years.
Last year I was given a new honor, to represent the people of the Western District of Clay County which I began last month. I regret that I will not be able to continue my service to a department that I have partnered with as a neighborhood president, worked in concert with as a Councilman, and provided leadership for the last 3 ½ years. There is more that could have been done, but that is always the case at the end of a chapter of public service. But a promise made is a promise to be kept and as one chapter closes a new one opens. It is in this new chapter that I look forward to working with this Department on behalf of the citizens of Kansas City in Clay County and will attempt to do so the with same zeal as I’ve tried to bring on your behalf for the last few years as a member of the Board of Parks & Recreation.
I wish you much success moving forward, and I thank you for this opportunity to serve the citizens of Kansas City, Missouri once more.