This morning, I was sitting in my car and looking at the field beside Asylum that’s being transformed into more ballfields. It’s a good spot for some fields. I have no problem with them.
But it got me thinking about how decisions get made about what to fund and what to ignore.
I assume that Little League and other organized groups pushed for more fields because they’re needed. I’ll give them that. Politicians feel the pressure and respond, recognizing that many hundreds of votes could be lost or won by approving fields.
So how do you ever get a skatepark?
Skateboarders are numerous, but not organized. They have few adults who will lobby for them or help them raise money. They have nothing but a need.
The town, of course, brushed that need aside in favor of golf courses, ballfields and even a mini-golf course that it hopes to make money on (boy, I know I feel pretty good hearing that my town government is getting into the Putt-Putt business – maybe a town pawn shop is next?).
My concern, put a little more directly, is that politicians put our efforts and our money behind projects that clearly please voters, such as these ballfields. They don’t see — because there’s no organized way to make them see — that other projects, from skateparks to putting nets on the basketball courts at our schools, will also benefit a lot of people, maybe even people who need the help more.
I really think that one big test these days of whether a town government is looking after its residents is whether it has a decent skatepark or two for its young people to use.
I hope our town officials will think about the choices they’re making.