Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Local chiropractor resistant to giving away park property

Letter to the Editor
I’m writing in regards to the hospital expansion proposal. I would like to ask why the city feels its only choice is to give our ice skating rink to the hospital. Our council evidently does not feel comfortable doing this, because they are asking us citizens to vote to give them permission, not a mandate, to give away our public park property. Many may not remember just how much time, energy, and expense it takes to create a park – they seem to think they’re just “always there.” Ask past city council members how much work it was to get that ice skating park built. Now, we are just going to give it away? 
I fully understand that the hospital needs land to expand and the easiest option is to just have the park given to them. But, I would like us to step back and consider other options for a few moments. Another option could be that the hospital could buy a parcel of land from the city – for example, the lot on 3rd Street by the Boys and Girls club, or the lot on 4th Street by the Jehovah’s Witness Church. This land could then be donated or swapped to the city for the park land it wants. The hospital could then finance a grant writer, and we could use the value of the land to match funds in from a grant to build a skateboard park on the land. 
Business and property owners all around town will applaud the idea of our youth having a safe place to ride instead of on steps and walkways. The city would get a more useful facility for its youth and the hospital gets land to expand. This would not only be wonderful for the community, but also would  be a great gesture to not just take away from the city to expand – but to give back. 
I urge you to consider other options and talk to your city council members and the hospital. Let’s make this a better place to live and to raise our children and not just abandon our forefathers’ dreams and planning. Let’s stop the entitlement attitude, stop the “give me” mentality and work together to create a solution that works for all. 
If the hospital wants the park, then I think it is their responsibility to work with the city to replace it with something bigger, better and greater.
George Toyne, DC