Letter: Disappointed by response
On April 13, residents who live near Sommers Landing Park pleaded with the Park Board not to install a mini skate park at Sommers Landing Park. They urged the Board to vote "no" because of their concerns about noise and delinquent behavior.
According to them, it's OK to send the "perceived" riffraff elsewhere. A teacher of 30-plus years went as far to imply all teenage kids are bad. One resident suggested kids shoulder a rifle to hunt squirrels, as he did as a kid. Few, however, showed up to support a proposed skate park.
Skateboarding is a mainstream activity. There's barely a community that doesn't offer a free skate park. Last week the Star-Observer posted notice where kids should not skate but didn't indicate where skaters can legally go. The YMCA's Royalty Park is one good option, but it is geared to older kids and difficult for younger kids to get to. Where should these kids go?
I don't blame some residents for not liking the idea of a skate park at Sommers Landing Park. What I didn't like is they pretended their opposition was due to their "concerns" rather than their own self interests.
One resident suggested we move the ice rink to Sommers Landing Park and the proposed skate park to Pepperfest Park. That's a good idea. Many successful skate parks are adjacent to municipal buildings. How about moving Pepperfest to Sommers Landing Park making it the central community park with band shell, live music, venders and biannual motorcycle rallies? Does a dog park make sense? Should we be able to ride a bike safely across Lake Mallalieu? Let's work together to make all village parks accessible and provide a safe place for 8-15 year-old kids to go so they don't misbehave because of nothing to do.
On April 13 the park board voted against a proposed skate park location. A skate park is still on the table and a priority identified in the Village Park and Outdoor Recreation Plan. The Board responded to residents who like Sommers Landing Park the way it is - quiet - with little activity except for the occasional toddler and parent. Now it's your turn. Go to www.northhudsonvillage.org. Read the 2008-2013 Parks and Recreation Plan. Review the Village Comprehensive Plan. Show up at the Park Board meetings (second Monday each month). Only then can we truly represent your interests not just the concerns of a select few.
Susan Overson, North Hudson
Park Board member