Saturday, June 17, 2017

Muskrats for Mental Health & Park Safety

From the Tuscumbia Muskrat:

Insanity is defined as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." I think this is the perfect slogan for Tuscumbia’s Park Director – Joel Kendrick. Every year the same mismanagement practices are done over and over again – so why does the Mayor expect different results?

I am sure most everyone in the Shoals area has heard about the many calamities at Tuscumbia’s Spring Park. With each new incident we are supplied with a new Times Daily article spotlighting the current park issue at hand. As I dove into the latest TD article (“City hires safety consultant” June 13, 2017) I began to draw a question that has perplexed me for quite some time – Why is the Mayor covering-up for the Park Director?

According to the article, Mayor Bubba Underwood is working toward solving the ride safety issues at Spring Park. The main solution came from the city hiring a safety consultant. Apparently in just a few days the newly hired safety consultant determined that city employees need training on ride safety protocols and found that there were insufficient safety guidelines in place for the park rides. (By the way – I also identified that a lack of knowledge and training were indeed a major issue for park employees.)

In addition the safety consultant informed the city that employees were incorrectly operating the Python Roller Coaster ride. Apparently park employees were unaware that ALL 5 cars needed to be in operation in order for the ride to function safely and correctly. Instead only 4 cars were in operation on May 31st which was the day that the 6 children became stuck on the roller coaster ride.

I truly appreciate the Mayor hiring a safety consultant and addressing our children’s safety. However, could Mayor Underwood please explain the job duties of our Park Director? Spring Park employees are under the supervision of the Park Director and it is HIS responsibility to ensure that training and safety protocols are in place. 

I find it extremely discomforting that the Park Director has been just “getting-by” on a wing and a prayer for all these years. We are very blessed that no park visitor has ever suffered a severe injury from general ignorance of ride safety. If a Production Manager at a plant didn’t give his employees proper safety training --- would the manager be fired? If we continue to keep a park director who keeps dragging the park down then that is Insanity indeed!


The Keller Festival is at hand. Let's hope all rides will be functioning safely and that no muskrats, er, children will be injured during the event. 

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