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Justin officials seek input on city parks

Profile image for By John D. Harden / Staff Writer
By John D. Harden / Staff Writer

JUSTIN — City officials want Justin residents to submit ideas and suggestions for events that would make the city parks more enjoyable for the community throughout the year.

Earlier this week, the city’s park and recreation committee e-mailed a survey asking residents for feedback on the kinds of events they would like to attend.

“Our city has not conducted any park-related surveys for a few years,” said David Speicher, council member and parks and recreation committee chairman. “We have worked on developing and implementing this park survey for some time.”

The survey lists examples of potential events, including an overnight sleep-out for kids, a farmer’s market day, a Fourth of July celebration with fireworks, a movie night and a veterans memorial.

“Our citizens can also submit and write in their own suggestions,” Mayor Greg Scott said.

Residents not on the city’s e-mail list can find surveys by visiting

“As elected officials, we are not mind readers. We need our citizens to tell us what they want,” Scott said. “We’re not in the business of telling our residents what we want to do. This is for them.”

City officials said Justin’s parks are popular and that they want to plan activities that will be supported by residents.

Scott said he expects the responses to be positive and constructive.

“We like to routinely put out surveys because if you’re not looking into the future then you’re not working with the citizens’ or city’s best interest in mind,” Scott said. “It’s like running a business. To be successful, you have to figure out what the people want today and tomorrow.”

Scott said he expects the park committee will collect survey responses through the end of the month. He added that the committee could extend the deadline if members feel that residents need more time.

“But we’re always open here at City Hall,” Scott said. “Anyone who wants to submit any ideas, they can do it anytime.”

The city initially tried publishing the survey in a local newspaper, but received little feedback.

“So we are now trying alternative methods to make it easier to respond to, and to try and reach other citizens that may not have read or noticed it in the paper,” Speicher said.

Justin has five parks, which officials said is a lot, considering the city’s size.

Scott said enhancing the residents’ quality of life is just as important as any other city services.

“But in the big scheme of things, I think parks are valuable assets to cities and they help people stay active and healthy,” he said. “I think if we didn’t have these parks, it would set the city back a few steps.”

Participants can e-mail or mail the form back to City Hall.

For more information on the survey and the city’s parks, call 940-648-2541.

JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @JDHARDEN.