Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Skatepark Clouded by Politics

At last night's council meeting, skateboarders came to question the governing body as to when, if ever, the skateboard park would be re-opened.  Keep in mind, the skatepark was closed two years ago.  The skateboarders, while not getting the answers they were looking for, remained tactful and respectful. 

Originally, the skatepark was placed in Dobson Park with no imput from the surrounding residents.  Worse, the residents weren't even notified of the drastic change that took place in their neighborhood.  I took a ride over there myself one day and the noise was thunderous.  The skatepark was practically in the backyards of the surrounding homeowners.  I also attended a wake at Leonard Lee during the period the skatepark was open, and I could see why the owner of the funeral home was upset.  He had every right to be as did the other residents who pleaded with council to shut the skatepark down.

Council President Bunk thinks the noise is just fine and dandy and said as much last night. I disagree. People should have a right to an expectation of some peace and quiet. A skatepark in your backyard is anything but peaceful.

Council President Bunk did little to hide the fact that the skatepark has become a political football and, in fact, added fuel to the fire last night by practically laying all the blame at Councilman Harvanik's door.  The only problem, real or imagined, is that Councilman Harvanik was not even a council member when the skateboard was voted upon nor was he when it was placed in Dobson Park.

While a skateboard park is a great idea, it was a hastily, poorly thought-out concept.  I found a skateboard website which contains a good deal of information here.  IMO, the first mistake council made, besides not having a practical location, was purchasing a pre-fabricated skatepark.  A poured concrete park, while more expensive, would have lessened the noise impact.  It also has a much longer life expectancy. 

Wherever council decides to place the skatepark, the decision should be made for the greater good of the entire community and the safety of the skatboarders as well.  Leave the politicking for election time.

Amendment:  According to President Bunk, the skatepark will be built at either Memorial Park inTremley or Wheeler Park.  The City will apply for Green Acre approval for the Memorial Park location, which may take up to 120 days.  Once that approval is received, council will decide between the two locations. 


Anonymous said...

Wasn't that skate park allowed under Boland's watch??

NFS said...

Yes it was. If I recall correctly, Boland's excuse was that he was unaware that it was being placed in Dobson Park, which I find hard to believe.

I'm sure President Bunk is sincere in wanting the skatepark relocated somewhere for the kids to enjoy, but I did detect some bitterness coming from him towards Councilman Harvanek. The skatepark may have added to the downfall of Boland and helped Harvanek win that seat.
It could be why the majority of council are now relunctant to put it in Wheeler, Councilman Sadowski's ward.