Sparks had made his decision early in February, after months of meetings with the council, concerned band parents and band director Andrew Mroch.
Many of those parents, already aware of the decision, were on hand at the meeting Monday to thank the council for any part they played in the decision. Council member Jackie Clark told the parents they actually had Sparks to thank.
Sparks said he reconsidered his request after efforts to develop a rotating basis for rights to the proceeds fell through. He said that development would mean the athletics program would have been taking a crippling amount of money from the band.
“I’m not about taking the money away from the band,” he said in a telephone interview after Monday’s meeting. It is a point Sparks has made several times over the preceding months, as he explained that he was fighting to support his program’s students just as the band representatives were fighting for theirs.
“To be quite honest,” he said, “it looked like we’d get the concessions.” But he said that, with money tight for everyone, he didn’t want his program’s gain to come at the band’s expense.
As he said he would do in previous meetings, Sparks said he is moving on without hard feelings, looking for ways to trim the program’s budget.
Though he said sports themselves will not be cut, their related summer camps might, and their uniforms will be replaced less often.
‘We’ll be okay,” he said. “[The local businesses] give until it hurts.”
For the rest of this story, please see this week's edition of The Cadiz Record.