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Mike Musgrove, the recently elected chair of the Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation Commission, accompanied by local architect Courtney King, attended the Monday afternoon meeting of the wayfinding and signage subcommittee of the Town Tourism Committee, and in perhaps the most telling moment, was forced to introduce himself to Jon Johnson, the subcommittee’s leader — the two had never met before.
SUN readers will recall a Jan. 31 report on the most recent meeting of the Friends of Reservoir Hill where Musgrove was quoted as saying, “The TTC removed the trail signage at the Hot Springs Boulevard trailhead as well as the San Juan Motel trailhead. Then they basically looked at the parks department and said, ‘Oh, there’s no trail sign up here. You guys need to do something about this.’ ”
A re-reading of the Jan. 31 SUN will reveal the point of the article was not to attack the TTC or to lend credence to Musgrove’s claim, but simply to highlight the misunderstanding and to point out the need for better communication between all town committees, commissions and boards.
Musgrove’s presence at the TTC meeting indicated an understanding of the problem and a willingness to rectify the situation.
TTC director Jennie Green started the encounter by affirming, “I’ve had many conversations with Tom and Jim regarding the Hill.” Green referred to Parks and Recreation director Tom Carosello and parks superintendent Jim Miller.
Musgrove had a stack of photos and the conversation centered around what the TTC had placed on the back of the present sign structure — a sign that has since been removed.
“Right,” Musgrove responded, “I went back and looked at the minutes and e-mails that have gone back and forth, and that was supposed to be on the back of it.” Musgrove held out a picture.
“And it was,” Green promised. Everyone present expressed their surprise at the sign’s absence. “That sign was meant to just be a placeholder. You can see what it was meant to cover up. There was graffiti on the plywood, so we just did something to fill the space.”
“So these are from your e-mail back in March?” Musgrove held up a couple of the pictures.
“It would have been in June,” Green corrected. “I presented to you guys in March, and before we had any designs done I showed you maps, showed you concepts, and then I got your permission at that time for the signage subcommittee to get the work designed. ”
“Let me just start by saying I am very frustrated,” Johnson said, praising the hard work his group does and complaining about the way they were portrayed in the press.
“We try to do everything above board,” Johnson asserted, “and contact everyone we can think of. I’m personally very proud of the hard work this group has done, so if we’ve overstepped our bounds in any way, I personally apologize for that.
“I wish I had some photos of what those trailhead markers looked like before we got started. I think these are a tremendous improvement.”
“The signs are very beautiful and they are well-designed,” Musgrove admitted, “and, yes, these signs Jennie did present to the Parks and Rec Commission last year in March. The signs were reviewed and we were notified of what they were going to be.
“Basically, these signs are the same sign that was going to be on main street at the Overlook and it isn’t really appropriate as a trailhead sign, in my opinion, and that’s an oversight on the parks and rec commission for not catching it when they were presented, but now they’re a problem, and we need to figure out how to go about solving it.”
From there, the group spent another 30 minutes or so brainstorming ideas for how to provide more accurate information — everything from a trail difficulty rating system to GPS mapping to creating an app that people could download on their smart phones by scanning a QR code on the sign. In the end, the two parties promised to continue to work together to reach a mutually satisfying solution.