I was poking around in some of our Annual Reports from the Board of Park Commissioners for Cleveland Metroparks, and as I figured, some interesting tidbits popped out to help me understand more about Cleveland Metroparks and its past.
Of particular interest in the Board’s policy regarding construction during tough times for our country. This is something not seen by most casual guests to the reservations or Zoo. And I know that even today, this is the case. The brevity of this blog simply reflects the description found in the “Report of the Park Commissioners of the Cleveland Metropolitan Park District 1950-1951.”
“In submitting this biennial report…the Board of Park regrets that it does not show as much progressive development towards the completion of the park system which it had hoped it would…
From the start of the trouble in Korea and the extension of our national defense program, prices have risen steadily and the demands of private industry have practically exhausted the supply of both labor and construction material.
It has been the policy of the Park Board over the years to postpone the doing of unnecessary construction when private industry is making heavy demands for both labor and material. When local governments enter such a market to build improvements which properly can be deferred to more normal times, it tends to further increase prices and to lower purchasing value of the dollar.
It was through the adoption of this policy during the flush 1920s that the Board was able to make the great progress it did. In the 1930s, when in cooperation with the many federal agencies, it secured for the park district values far exceeding the local tax dollars expended.
The result of this policy also made a small contribution to the economic well being of the country. Such a policy, if adopted generally, would tend to flatten peaks and fill the hollows in our economic cycles.”
Interesting how a little poking around helps me better understand the thoughts and actions of the past Board. Not that everything stopped completely, but I can appreciate their concern for the greater good of our country. Thank you, Director Stinchcomb and Board Members for thinking beyond yourself...and for acting on the betterment of our future.