Name: Todd LaBarge. My wife Renee works for Midwest one Bank. Daughter Ashley is 21 currently goes to Hawkeye College and attending Iowa State in January. Daughter Jordan is a sophomore at GR. I have worked for Hotsy Equipment Co. for 13 yrs. as the parts and service manager.
I am running for my second term on the park board. I first got on the park board to help with the youth softball and baseball programs. I had coached softball since my oldest daughter was in it and found that we need to make some changes like moving the games from mornings to evenings so the parents could watch and be more involved. We now have a great group of parent volunteers every year. A lot of communities are losing their youth program for lack of volunteers and declining numbers of kids that want to get involved. Reinbeck has great community involvement whether its youth football, baseball, softball, or soccer and I think it will continue to grow. I believe the parks in Reinbeck are second to none. Elmwood park and the pool are great for families and visitors. We have tried to make improvements every year with a sometimes limited budget and I think the Park Board does a great job. I think the biggest improvement in the last couple years has been the ball field complex with the new concession stand and bathrooms. We have one of the nicest fields in the area. I hope that by the upcoming soccer and ball season we can have the concession stand up and running.
One of the biggest challenges of the Park Board is the swimming pool. Every year there is a challenge to find enough staffing to operate smoothly. Getting life guards has become more and more of a problem and it's not just Reinbeck, every pool in our area has struggled the last couple of years to find the numbers they need to make it through the summer. My hope is that with some proper planning and getting the word out to the kids early and offer them some incentives we can cut down on some of the issues. I think that the biggest thing people in the community don't understand is how much it costs to run the pool on a daily basis. There is not a small town pool in the state that makes money and we are no exception, but it is a big attraction that brings people to town. I know parents get upset with some of the policies and rules regarding when the pool is open, or if it closes early, but they have keep in mind how much it costs to stay open if there are only one or two kids in the pool. The biggest change I would like to see is to get a full time manager that will be here for years to come so that they can implement their own policies and communicate with the public about what works and what they think can be done better. Lastly the Park Board meetings are open to the public and I would tell people to come to the meetings to learn what we do, or to voice their concerns. It helps to hear about problems or concerns in person rather than to have to read about it in the letter to the editor or from people on the street.