By Bruce Kentner
Osceola Parks and Recreation chairman
In light of some of the comments published in last week’s paper, I feel the public needs to know more about Osceola’s Parks and Recreation Department, especially the board members.
The department director is Tim Riddle. I have known Tim since he and his family moved to Osceola. Tim took this job hoping he could make a change in Osceola by adding value to the quality of life for the town’s residents.
He has done so repeatedly, and continues to offer suggestions for further improvements. He cares about people and Osceola. He is assisted by Dan Cooper, another young family that moved to Osceola wanting to join our community and help make improvements. Dan cares about people and Osceola.
Mitch Harmsen is the cemetery superintendent. Mitch is raising a family in Osceola. Mitch cares about people and Osceola.
Our board includes Mel Miller, who attended school in Osceola, and is now helping students complete high school through the alternative schooling program. Mel cares about Osceola and its people.
Stephanie Snell also attended school in Osceola, and is now working in Osceola and raising a family in Osceola. Stephanie cares about Osceola and its people.
Amber Abraham also attended school in Osceola, and is now working and raising a family in Osceola. Amber cares about Osceola and its people.
I am Bruce Kentner. I was born and raised in Osceola. I care about Osceola and its people.
Being on the parks and recreation board is a volunteer position. People who volunteer for this board do so because they care. They want to make improvements for Osceola.
No decision made by the board is done without thorough discussion and consideration of what impact that decision might have on the community.
If we vote to change an area, it’s because someone has brought it to our attention, we have decided its a worthy project and the project will add value to the community.
I would like to speak on behalf of Osceola Parks and Recreation Department and try to clarify what is happening in the babyland area at Maple Hill Cemetery.
Babyland was beginning to deteriorate. Many of the shrubs were dead and dying. Many of the headstones were sinking. We, as a board, agreed to go ahead with a a beautification project because this is such a special area.
The dead and dying shrubs were removed. The headstones were raised and set in concrete so they would not sink again. The concrete was poured in a heart shape, keeping with the original design.
Next spring, the plan is to plant shrubs around the concrete hearts. It should be a beautiful area when planting is completed. All of this is being done because people in the department care a great deal and respect the families who have lost someone so near and dear to them.
Thank you for your patience as we complete this important project.