It’s funny how things go these days. A skater dude creates a Facebook group advocating that West Hartford build a skatepark. I see it there and mention it on this little blog. A Courant reporter sees it here, calls the kid and the mayor, and shazzam! It’s suddenly on the the town’s agenda.
I guess that’s new age democracy, and a good thing.
In the paper today, Mayor Scott Slifka sounds reasonably supportive of the idea. “We are very much in support of the concept,” Slifka told the Courant. “[There are] a number of questions that they could help us address, and then, really, it’s probably more a matter of when and not if.”
There’s no site in mind yet, but I’m sure everyone agrees it should be reasonably central. Perhaps Fernridge Park is the right spot.
This was my favorite line in the Courant story, because it let me know this blog is making a tiny difference: “Several park advocates said their push for a place for skaters grew stronger after the town’s recent decision to build a miniature golf course at Buena Vista Golf Course. The miniature course, which could open in about a year, will become a large revenue generator for the town, Slifka said.”
Yeah, that’s me they’re talking about.
But it was a little disturbing to read that the mini-golf course is intended as a large profit center. Since when are towns focused on making money. If there’s really such a great business opportunity, then where’s the private sector on this one? Oh, wait. I know. The private sector has to buy land and pay taxes. Government can do it all on the cheap.
What’s next? A West Hartford-owned fill-up station? A town-run Taco Bell? A Starbucks franchise owned by taxpayers in front of town hall? It’s a dangerous road to go down, however noble the rationale.
In any case, let’s get this skatepark done. It’s a simple project, badly needed, and it shows a commitment by the town to our future leaders. Build it quickly and build it well.
Don’t let the politicians skate by on this one.