By Jason Sehon
MCSD Parks & Recreation
McKinleyville Community Services District (MCSD) presents the Community Builder Award monthly to local individuals, businesses and organizations for their volunteer service, sponsorship, promotion of programs and events, outstanding service in the interest of the District, and for other contributions significant to McKinleyville’s quality of life.
The Community Builder Award for the month of May 2011 goes to the McKinleyville Press. In the last several years, the McKinleyville Press has sponsored various community special events and parks & recreation fundraisers.
In addition, the McKinleyville Press has donated advertising spots in the local newspaper in order to help promote leisure and recreation programs and events.
The McKinleyville Press has been a great resource to keep residents updated on various events in McKinleyville.
Recently, I interviewed Jack Durham, who has been the owner, editor, and publisher of the McKinleyville Press since the summer of 1996.
Jack says he likes McKinleyville because, “It’s a friendly town with nice people. It has a small-town feeling, but with plenty of stores and services.” Another highlight for Jack is the Hammond Trail and the beautiful views of the Mad River.
When asked what Jack likes about McKinleyville Community Services District, he said, “While an occasional controversy flares up and makes the newspaper, for the most part the MCSD is an efficiently managed agency providing essential services to the community. It does a good job fulfilling its mission. And, if you don’t like the direction the district is going, you can always run into board members at a local coffee shop and tell them what you think.”
Jack feels Park facilities are all about quality of life. “When you live in a nice place, you can walk out your front door and be on a trail or at a park within a few minutes. You can run around with your dog or rocket down a trail on your bike without having to jump in your car and drive somewhere. There are lots of neighborhoods in McKinleyville where you can enjoy this. Those neighborhoods that don’t have such facilities can get them if we work together to make it happen.”
As for a future vision for MCSD, Jack says, “I’d like to see the MCSD evolve into something closer to an actual city government. I don’t think incorporation is feasible, but there’s nothing to prevent the MCSD from taking on more powers and responsibilities. This would give the voters of McKinleyville greater control over what happens in their town. I’d also like to see continued park and trail expansion throughout town. Let’s face it – you can never have enough parks.”
Jack added, “The McKinleyville Press has helped give this bedroom community a sense of identity. The paper has also served as a watchdog when it comes to local government and it’s provided a forum for residents to debate the issues of the day. This year we launched a special fund raising program for non-profits, which we hope to expand in the coming months and years.”
In a final thought, Jack said, “The McKinleyville Press is made possible by the businesses that advertise and the people who subscribe or buy the paper each week. The content comes from a small army of reporters, columnists and contributors from throughout the community. All of these folks are the ones that deserve to be thanked. And thank you for the award!”