At Wednesday's May 7 City Council meeting, the problem of not having a public process in place to determine the fate of our parks came full circle. Since last July, I have been outraged and have been fighting the presence of Astro-Turf in the urban setting of a park that violated the natural state of Church Square Park. This oasis of nature was compromised because of the two people who spoke that night and admitted their role two and a half years ago in reconfiguring the park so that it would be customized for their needs. Because of this a handful of people dictated the fate of a public park for an entire city and has resulted in an unfortunate division between various factions in town.
Since last July when several citizens were outraged at the thought of putting Astro-Turf in a park and tried to stop it from ever being laid down, I have never resorted to any character assassinations against any member of our community. But before I left that meeting at 1:15 in the morning, a personal insult was uttered by one of the members of the public that has been demanding that the park should be configured again, for his family's desires. This was outrageous because it was geared toward any woman who has not married or become a mother.
I, as well as other citizens, have tried to be fair in trying to right a very biased situation regarding the purposes of a public park in a square, and the definition of such park in regard to how it serves all of the public, not just one sector. Many people have been involved to correct any misconceptions of how a public park is to serve the community, while respecting each and everyone's different lifestyles and backgrounds.
It was galling to listen to a couple that night speak about their past plans that they had for the park and which were successful in coming to fruition because the city unfairly acquiesced to their wishes. They spoke as if their direction for a city public park would benefit the town, but their specific redesigning that they deemed necessary for a public entity in the form of Church Square Park, has not served people of all walks of life. This was, in essence, selfish, elitist and totally disregarding because it reinforced the idea that just because someone is not a parent in this town, they do not need a public park in a square to benefits from the nature it has to offer
Once again, a park is for all of the public. It is not a school yard playground, school gym or someone's private backyard. That night in the city hall chambers, it was brought to light the inconsiderate actions and words of some members of this community who obviously are all about themselves with total disregard to their fellow neighbors.