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JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City City Council and the Parks and Recreation Commission had a joint meeting Tuesday night to brainstorm ideas for the city's parks.

It was also an opportunity for the two bodies to formally meet the first time. 

"We do have at least an acknowledgement of who the council folks are, at least they know who some of the commission members are," said commission president Brad Bates.

He said the goal was to discuss a path forward.

The commission is appointed by the mayor and approved by the city council. However, interaction is limited.

"Oftentimes we act parallel to one another, but we don't actually know what the other is doing," said Bates.

The commission has full governance of the parks department. Department funding comes largely from a sales tax dedicated to it since 2005.

The commissioners and council members present Tuesday discussed a variety of ideas for parks improvement, including increased promotion of the golf course and increasing the number of dog parks.

Ward 3 council member Ken Hussey said more city support of neighborhood parks could help the community.

"My thought was, when we have neighborhood associations and other people looking for that walkable small park, let's make sure we highlight those," he said.

The city is waiting on the creation of the park department's master plan to move forward with any concrete goals. There is no set date for its completion, but Bates said it should be done in the coming months.

Mayor Carrie Tergin said she hoped meetings between the council and commission would continue. Ward 5 councilman Larry Henry said he wants the next meetings to include a tour of the parks.

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