I’ve been thinking about this article for the past few days, and I’ve been trying not to be angry about it, but it’s nigh on impossible.
It’s obvious that Karen and Gerald Powers have worked hard to make improvements to their neighborhood (Columbus Park) and that part of Coes Pond certainly needs improvements, so good for them!
One quote especially bothers me.
Gerald Powers says that “someone in the city figured out that the city can’t come around and tell a neighborhood what it needs.”
Now, perhaps that was true in this neighborhood, in this situation.
But it’s unclear to me whether the people who live downtown want an ice-skating rink, or tables and chairs on the Common that are locked up on the weekends.
It’s equally unclear to me whether the people of Crompton Park really want a mega-pool. There were plenty of people who showed up in support of the Save Our Poolz plans, and the voices of those people were completely disregarded by elected and appointed individuals.
In short, we as a city can pony up $500,000 in matching funds to put in a playground, to improve a beach, and to make it possible to use non-motorized craft on Coes Pond, and we can ask private foundations for nearly a quarter of a million dollars for Wheels to Water, but we can’t look for grant funds to improve pools in neighborhoods around the city?
Also, as someone commenting on the article said, and which I immediately thought upon reading the article, what will the city be doing to address the lack of lifeguards on Hillside Beach? If we’re going to make it possible for people to kayak from that point, how can we also make sure that people swim on the part of the beach where there are lifeguards (along Mill Street)?
Again, I don’t want to fault the Powers for doing what they can to improve their neighborhood. But let’s not pretend that this is the start of a beautiful plan to give neighborhoods what they want, either.