OGDEN -- While the management contract for the Marshall White Community Center is set to expire in the next few weeks, some patrons there would like Ogden city to find someone else to run it.
The city is negotiating a contract with the Ogden-Weber Community Action Partnership for continued management of the center, said Mark Johnson, Ogden's chief administration officer.
OWCAP last signed a three-year contract to manage the 45-year-old center in 2010.
Under the expiring management agreement, the city reimburses OWCAP up to $30,000 a month for expenses to operate the center at 222 28th St. The agreement also stipulates that savings and cost overages be split equally between the two parties.
While the city and OWCAP negotiate a new contract, some users of the facility have been outspoken about the need for a management change.
During a May 21 Ogden City Council meeting, residents who regularly use the center aired their concerns.
"The staff is great," said Terri Chugg, who regularly uses Marshall White's swimming pool. "But as far as (OWCAP) getting the contract, we don't want that. We don't think (daily center staff) has gotten the support they deserve."
Kathy Perkins uses the center's pool for water aerobics and said she would like to see a change in upper management because she feels the center's daily staff members have been treated poorly by OWCAP management.
"I'm sorry to say, I don't want this contract signed," she said.
At the same council meeting, Jill Barker emotionally announced her resignation as the center's assistant director.
With tears in her eyes, Barker said the center has "totally outgrown its ability to serve the community" and that the center lacks things like a Boys & Girls Club, a YMCA and a decent senior center.
Attempts to reach Barker after the meeting to gather details about her resignation were unsuccessful.
Donald Carpenter, agency administrator for OWCAP, said the center has flourished in the past few years since OWCAP has taken over.
"There is always room for improvement," he said. "I think there are things we can certainly do better, but we're committed to working on further developing the center. And the progress that has been made so far has been substantial."
According to a "growth report" OWCAP presented to the council in March, the center averages 6,000 more visitors per month than it did in 2008. The report also said the center has increased its youth, adult and senior programming as well as its staff and hours of operation since then.
The Marshall White Community Center opened in 1968 and is named after Marshall N. White, an Ogden Police Department detective who was killed in the line of duty in 1963.
His portrait hangs near the main entrance of the center.