When I was attending the alma mater, the city where I resided converted a regular field adjacent to the college into a dog park of sorts. The city also has an excellent dog owners’ group website that lists the parks that are designated as dog parks, and the parks where you are (and are not) allowed to walk dogs. (Which, incidentally, is a problem in Worcester: technically, no dogs are allowed in any park in the City of Worcester, but some dogs are more equal than others in that regard.)
Now, I don’t know which websites Clive has been looking at, but I don’t think anyone is asking for “a wading pool with dock, exercise equipment, drinking fountains, dog beach, a full-time attendant for monitoring the dogs, and a dog washing and retail shop.” I think they’re asking for a field that’s fenced for dogs to run around in.
Not everyone has a kid. Yet we still have playgrounds and schools.
Not everyone has a boat. Yet we’re going to be putting in a boat ramp at Coes Pond.
Not everyone knows how to swim. Yet we still open beaches (and hopefully a pool or three).
Not everyone has a car. Yet we own parking garages and parking lots, and make the parking available at a reasonable cost.
Not everyone reads. Yet we still have libraries.
Not all citizens are going to use all city services. (I, for one, hope to never have to use the amenities in the Worcester PD lockup; nor do I wish to ever again have a fireman visit my house at three in the morning.) To reject a proposal just because you’ll never use it is not completely valid. To belittle a project by attributing ideas that were never mentioned doesn’t prove your point.
I’m not sure if Clive’s second point — about putting specifics in the master plan — were directed more at the citizens who actually think something might be able to work right in this city, or more at the city management themselves. I wish the column were more focused on either snarkiness towards the city, or snarkiness towards those who want a dog park. I don’t think it’s a news flash for any of us that the city parks are not the best maintained parks on the planet.
I’d rather hear about other communities who are doing a better job on park maintenance, and how they do it. (Frankly, I’d rather hear about why the 2005 parks master plan isn’t available on the web.) I’d like to hear about why the city doesn’t enlist volunteers who previously worked on other trails to at least improve the trails at Cookson Field…for free. I’d like to hear if Holy Cross would be willing to provide students (volunteers or work study) to make improvements to the park and/or install fences & playground equipment. That’s what I’d like in a column.
Not a bunch of complaining about the things we already complain about and the problems we already know exist.
[Side note: did anyone else read about the $20,000 donation from Holy Cross towards improvements to this park, and think that maybe that is, in part, why they’re leery of PILOT?]
Also — since the T&G doesn’t provide a link — here’s the (14MB pdf) Cookson Field Master Plan.