The last time we talked, I started by saying, “I preface this by saying that as rapidly as things continue changing, there’s a strong possibility that whatever I write here will be outdated by the time you read it. That said, please know I write it with a sense of hope, and for that, please consider giving me an ‘A’ for effort.”
With foresight like that, maybe I should start playing the lottery.
As much as we want to go from uncertain to certain times or from unprecedented times back to precedented times, it’s going to be a while.
Still, the world revolves.
We have a city that needs to provide services to its residents. That hasn’t stopped, so I wanted to take a couple of minutes to let you know about some of the things that are happening with the city.
First, Mauldin has a new recreation director and a new fire chief. Bart Cumalander officially takes over the recreation department after Joe Lanahan resigned this past spring. Brian McHone becomes our new fire chief following the retirement of Bill Stewart. Mr. Cumalander has been with the City of Mauldin since the fall of 1989, and Chief McHone started with the Mauldin Fire Department at the beginning of 1998. To me, and I hope to you, it’s exciting that of the applications we received and of the applicants who were interviewed, the last ones standing turned out to be internal appointments who know the city and its people.
Second, by the time this is published the new playground equipment at Springfield Park should be finished, so for 2020, Springfield and City Parks have all new playgrounds, two playgrounds have been installed at the Cultural Center (one for younger kids and one for older kids), and the Cultural Center also got new picnic shelters with restrooms. When the weather’s nice, get out in the sun, and make sure to take your kids or grandchildren to any of our city’s parks and enjoy them.
Third, the athletic fields at Sunset, Springfield, and City Parks will be buzzing with activity soon. Registration for fall sports programs has closed, and football, fall baseball, and fall softball will be kicking off their seasons in September. If you take in a game, please being your own chairs and practice social distancing.
Finally, we have the Senior Center. This is one I’m asked about the most frequently, and it’s the one that’s most in flux. As Mr. Cumalander wrote in a report to city council’s recreation committee earlier in August, “The Senior Center is home to the most at risk population and Recreation staff wants to make sure we take proper precautions before safely reopening.” From what I’m hearing, the Senior Center reopening timeline is around mid-September, with similar measures that were implemented in the reopening of the Mauldin Sports Center. This includes temperature checks upon entry, social distancing for shared spaces throughout the facility, modified activities, and reduced occupancy.
As you can see, in spite of COVID-19 turning 2020 on its head, the city is still working and is still continuing to move forward.
— Taft Matney serves in Seat 1 on Mauldin city Council. He can be reached at email@example.com.■