Thursday, April 28, 2016

Loss of fencing a concern

by Darren Handschuh - CASTANET Apr 28, 2016 / 10:00 am
Kathleen Sparrow is concerned for the safety of children using a popular park after fencing was taken down by the city. Sparrow said she often takes her grandson to Sawicki Park and was surprised to see the fencing had been removed. “Fencing was taken down at Sawicki Park because they want better curb appeal and easier access I was told,” Sparrow said on social media in a post that touched off a lengthy discussion with many parents baffled by the decision. “I have been taking my grandson there on a weekly basis and have never found it unaccessible. Now the playground area has no fence. Balls do roll and children run after them,” she said, adding she contacted the city parks department and was told fences at more parks are coming down. “Next up is Heritage Park. Please get involved and keep our children safe while playing in their playgrounds. One voice is not enough,” she said. “We need city hall to hear about this. Keep our children safe.” Amanda Kopiak echoed Sparrow's concerns “This could be especially concerning to parents with two young kids. One could run off, while the parent is helping the other child, or other such scenarios,” she posted. Val Redquest added, “This has to be the stupidest idea, that park is used all the time, we have to keep our children safe.”

Coun. Scott Anderson was asked what his thoughts were and he said he plans to bring it to the May 9th city council meeting. “In the meantime, the best way to take action is to contact council members directly, either by phone or by email, rather than staff. Our contact info is all here ( and make sure you email all of us (even if it's only one email) rather than just one of us,” he advised. “The reason you want to do that, is that council is the only entity with the power to change something already in progress...staff can't unilaterally decide that kinda stuff. I can't promise that council will decide to change it, but we're the only ones who can.” Anderson also encouraged people to “get together and apply to make a presentation to council...choose a speaker, and then all show up in support when the presentation happens.” Sparrow is urging people to follow Anderson's advice and contact city officials about the matter. “I have just emailed all of city council in a matter of 15 minutes,” she said. “Please send your concerns to them. We need community support for this.”

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