In this morning’s Record Journal there is a story regarding the interest of getting a playscape to the park. As I mentioned to Robert Cyr, the reporter that called me yesterday to speak about it, the only way that park or really any other park in town is going to see any type of upgrades or added amenities is if residents and neighbors band together to raise the funds for the materials and to pay for the construction labor.
As the story points out and through my own comments – the town is cutting back on services, critical ones like EMTs; there is no way the town is going to fund anything extra for the parks and we’re lucky they are not cutting back further on maintenance and upkeep.
There are even those in town that don’t want residents or special interest groups to take on initiatives like this or the Linear Park over at Community Lake (as one additional example) because they maintain the narrow view of “once it’s built the town has to maintain it and all these extras cost more and have to be funded out of the tax base.”
We are talking about a few hundred additional dollars each year that basically doesn’t equate to a dollar in additional taxes on homeowners yearly. It’s a poor position to take in my opinion. People expect recreational areas and expect them to be maintained. If people came together to fully fund additions to a park which the end result was an additional dollar in taxes each year for the extra maintenance only the most frugal and petty would complain about it.
With respect to leading the cause, I simply cannot do it. I have a full plate with my new job in New York City (I wrote this post and put it online from the Metro North train), my four kids, the upcoming fundraising season for the Wallingford Fireworks Fund (and I have to find a new supplier – Telstar who has presented the show for more than a decade been bought out). With all of this I am also already committed to another additional effort in the coming months (announcement forthcoming) that is going to take up the last bit of my free time after the fireworks are all set in July.
I can help out anyone that wants to take the reigns on this – I simply don’t have enough free time to lead the effort.
If anyone else is able and willing, I can most certainly pitch in.