Resident Accuses Parks Board of Unfair Treatment


Tuhey Park Playground Structure
Tuhey Park Playground Structure

This past year has been a shaky one for the City of Muncie’s Parks Board, and tonight’s meeting was no different. City resident, Wayne Scaife, complained to the Board, and more specifically to Parks Board President, Mary Beth Lambert, that he, and other residents, have felt like there is “disparity of treatment” on how the board handles its meetings, and requests from citizens. Mr. Scaife presented several examples to illustrate the “rudeness” exhibited by the Board President, and at one point, he complained that Ms. Lambert’s comments about park fees made to Fox59 News during an interview were “outright lies”. Unfortunately, Ms. Lambert was unable to hear the complaints, since she did not attend the meeting this evening.

Many residents are still upset about the $2.95 million spent at Tuhey Park when all other parks have received very little attention. Residents have requested that light maintenance and repairs be performed at McCullough Park, but they were not completed in a timely manner, and sometimes, not at all. If you have made requests to the Muncie Parks Department, or Muncie Parks Board, and they have not been attended to, you can send an email to Muncie Voice at, and we will follow through on your request.

Additional news from the Parks Board meeting:

  • Fees should stay relatively the same for 2012 – for existing park fees, you can visit
  • Canan Commons is now open, and will shortly begin taking reservations for 2012.
  • The $250 thousand playground structure at Tuhey Park should be finished within the next two weeks, and a ribbon cutting ceremony will be announced by December’s meeting.
  • Ball Foundation contributed monies toward the spray pad at Tuhey, expediting construction plans.


Todd Smekens

Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.
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Steven N. Tomboni

I have witnessed this disparity of treatment first hand and can attest the treatment of the African-American citizens is sickening. Why was this allowed to continue meeting after meeting?
Was this treatment reported to the star/press or our outgoing mayor? If so, why wasn’t something done? Why wasn’t there a reporter there to cover the parks board over all these months as a potential race relations flash point could have developed into a huge problem.
I would commend the African American citizens for controlling their anger at the blatant discrimination.
We need a new parks board president ASAP!

Jason Donati

I disagree with the previous comment and have not personally seen the issues talked about in the article. I have not attended every parks board meeting and wish I had more time to attend more government meetings but would like to hear and know more details about the complaints the African American community has with the parks board and their president. I will admit, I am biased being a friend of the Parks board president and having worked with her on multiple positive community projects. I still disagree on the “sensationalizm” I keep hearing about the”disparity” mentioned. I definitely wouldn’t commend whoever the vandals are that attack the presidents personal property on a consistent basis with threats, attacks, letters, spraypaint, etc. Is that anyway to handle disagreement? Why do these threats go un talked about. What took TSPress so long to report on it and still didn’t till after it was plastered on a forum? Why does it not get brought up in connection to this article? Race relations in Muncie is still very much a taboo subject and is never handled well through any sort of media. This community needs a reconciliation plan as extensive as the Muncie Action Plan and we need it ASAP. I personally think that a volunteer who spends countless hours participating in multiple community functions without getting paid should be supported and thanked. Criticism is always okay, but it has gone beyond that for sometime now and it frustrates me. I understand that the Tuhey Pool project has multiple disaggrements and issues associated with its development and it has cost a lot of money and I think we all wished it could have worked out better. I know, being a parent from the East Central neighborhood, that my family will be happy to enjoy these ammenities we they are complete. I think claims about the president being “racist” are “outright lies” and have no substantial backing at all. I hope these issues with the Parks Board and the African American community can be resolved soon and in a mature and civil manner by all parties involved.

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