As the village council swore in a new board member for New Albany Parks and Recreation last week, it also passed legislation that could increase the regularity of that occurrence.

As the village council swore in a new board member for New Albany Parks and Recreation last week, it also passed legislation that could increase the regularity of that occurrence.

New Albany Village Council approved a resolution Tuesday to increase the number of members on the Joint Park District board from three to six.

On Wednesday, Plain Township trustees passed similar legislation approving the change.

The park district was created by New Albany, Plain Township and New Albany-Plain Local Schools in 1999.

The decision to double its governing board drew a 4-2 vote from council. Chip Fellows and Glyde Marsh cast the dissenting votes.

Mayor Nancy Ferguson said the move will allow more people to get involved with the park district.

"There seems to be a lot of people who want to participate," she told council members before the vote.

Council recently had to choose from a pool of five applicants for a vacant seat on the parks board and Ferguson said that choice fueled the resolution.

Marsh disagreed and said Plain Township trustees began pushing for an extended board months ago.

"This came up as a result of action of the trustees making the proposal," he said.

"We didn't pick up on that last summer," Ferguson said. "I think we had our own reasons for it."

According to paperwork from Ferguson, other reasons for getting more people on the board include receiving new input and ideas, allowing more people the opportunity to participate, reducing the workload for board members and having more continuity on the board when terms end.

Marsh said the board should be kept at its current number because operations are working well.

"The trustees are not there to micromanage and that's the political pull behind that," he said.

Some council members said there would be no problems with increasing board membership.

"They can all provide different points of view," council member Steve Pleasnick said. "That's the good thing about six."

"I expect them to be on the ballot soon (with a levy) and continue to grow and by having more, we will avoid micromanagement," council member Chris Wolf said.

Fellows was concerned about not having everyone on board with the idea. Plain Township trustees voted to expand the park board. School board members have yet to discuss the idea at length in public session.

"My concern is that only two agree," he said. "I don't think we should pass this."

Ferguson said the agreement of two of the three entities could prompt the change, and village legal council Mitch Banchefsky agreed.

"I have absolutely no problem legally (with this)," he said.

Plain Township trustee Bud Zappitelli said the township approved a resolution to add three park board members. Earlier, the township considered a resolution that would have added two members.

"The board passed a new resolution very similar to that of village council," he said. "We adopted the language that the village used."

Trustees also added their second representative to the park board after discussions in executive session. Darrell Miller will now represent the township on the park board along with Mark Wilson.

Zappitelli said he was hopeful the school board will begin discussions on the park board, so all three entities can be in agreement.

"I believe the school district will take it up again," he said. "I certainly hope we can all agree."

jnoblit@thisweeknews.com