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Work together in Collinsville

The city and the park district share a name, but sadly that’s about all they seem to have in common.

The Collinsville Area Recreation District is suing the city of Collinsville to save a baseball diamond that would be lost to the city’s planned water plant expansion. The park district argues that it has a 99-year lease and the city just can’t take the land without negotiating. And so the residents and taxpayers have an ugly, public, costly fight about to play out in the courts because their leaders can’t or won’t work together.

This isn’t the first fight between the city and CARD. The two sides couldn’t get on the same page about the Miner’s Theater for a long time, either. It’s all so frustrating. These two taxing entities should be cooperative and complementary, not at odds with each other. They represent the same people, after all.

A lawsuit is a measure of last resort; it signals a breakdown of communication. The two sides can point fingers at each other over who’s responsible for this latest brouhaha. The truth is, both sides share the blame for this failure of leadership.

There’s still time to find an amicable settlement to this disagreement. Only the lawyers will win if the city and CARD insist on fighting this out in court.