The Richmond Parks and Recreation Board of Directors is down one board member today after Deanna Beaman resigned last week.
Beaman had served on the board for two years, but some in the community had questioned her park board role versus her role as part owner of the group that owned first the Richmond River Rats baseball team and now the Richmond Jazz.
The Roosters, as you might remember, used McBride Stadium, which is owned by the parks department and controlled of the park board, under a facilities use agreement. The team played at McBride for several years before dissolving last year.
And now the Jazz is contracting with the city and parks department to use McBride for baseball this summer.
Beaman said she has always avoided any potential conflict of interest while conducting park board business.
In her resignation letter to the board Thursday, said “I have always recused myself and abstained from voting on any measure involving my work with one of the baseball teams or any related facility.”
Snow said that he had discussed the issue with Beaman recently but did not ask her to step down.
“I am tremendously supportive of the work Deanna has done for our community, especially as a member of the park board,” he said. “The decision to resign was all hers. But as a matter of transparency, I think it was a good decision.”
In her letter, Beaman said:
“I have had a passion for outdoor recreation for most of my life, which spurred me into a career of working with and supporting baseball teams for our community to enjoy. I have spent many years working to create an atmosphere in which our community members can come and enjoy “America’s favorite past time.”
In her letter Beaman called this is a “transformative time” for the parks department and for McBride Stadium.
“Given this transformation, I do not want to create any misconceptions of a conflict of interest in my serving on the board. My departure from the board will also give me more time to partner with the city and the parks department in order to assist in the revitalization of the future as it pertains to athletic facilities in our community.”
Park board president Mike Foley praised Beaman’s contribution during Thursday’s meeting.
“She has done a tremendous job for the parks department and for our community. It’s been an honor to serve with her on this board and she will be missed,” he said.
Beaman’s seat on the park board is by mayoral appointment, and Snow said he will begin the search for a replacement this week.
Foley is board president, Beaman was vice president and Tiuana Washington is secretary. I am the fourth member and Clay Miller is a non-voting member representing the Richmond Common Council.
Beaman has agreed to serve on the new McBride Stadium Advisory Committee that will assist park officials with short and longterm planning for McBride.