Playground center of debate

By Bonnie J. Neal | Published Wednesday, August 22, 2012

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Just left this month’s Newark City Council meeting and must say this.

When it came to the agenda item regarding discussion and possible action for the 2012-2013 budget, Mayor Pro Tem Laura Pixler spoke clearly and strongly for funding of playground equipment for the Delora Doughty Royal Park. The current budget shows about $50,000 available for spending, and a previous agenda item for tonight’s meeting brought in another $40,000 from the sale of what used to be the City Hall property on Farm Road 718.

Ms. Pixler asked for $13,000 to purchase approved playground equipment that would be installed and guaranteed. It is available through a local company in Mansfield. She had already spoken to them back in 2009 for the Heart For The Parks program she had initiated at that time. She also mentioned the lack of interest in donating to that program due to distrust of the city council’s actions.

Earlier at this meeting a citizen had already stated he felt the city should do something about the lack of a playground. That citizen had already walked out before it was time for Ms. Pixler to make her plea for funding.

Councilman Bob Wells firmly and loudly objected to any funds being used for anything for the park. He agreed children should have a place, but there did not seem to be that many and not before all the streets in Newark are repaired.

He understood the street repairs are very expensive, however they must come first.

He continued to object to any offer to help the children have a playground since “only two people in the population of 1,000 have donated any funds to the Heart For The Parks program, so there is not enough interest to fund the playground.” Ms. Pixler did not agree with him and was polite about it.

It was stated that at the next meeting (Sept. 13) it would be great to see a whole room full of citizens wanting the playground returned to the Royal Park.

Bonnie J. Neal

One Response to “Playground center of debate”

  1. Thank you Bonnie. There was a meeting, minutes were recorded, that I was promised by councilwoman Chana Massey that the playground equipment would be placed BACK at the park. Well what are promises any way??!
    The children NEED this park. Mr Wells does not even go to that part of town so how would he know what is needed and what is not. The reason there was not donations made by the people of the city is that most of the families that did and would use this park are unable to buy a swingset of their own, let alone donate money for one.
    I dont know why I continue to try to have this equipment bought for this park, I have moved out of Newark. I am not that far away, I moved to Rhome where they understand that a park is vital to the children of their city.
    Ms. Dolera was a very kind lady and to uphold her wishes I will always have something to say till the equipment is placed back at the park.
    Ms Pixlar, thank you for having a vote for the children!
    Kathy Killough


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