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