Friday, December 14, 2012

I Was There

You chose to take Me out of the place where I was needed most today.  In fact you have chosen to remove Me from just about every place where I can most certainly be of service.  You have turned away from Me because you can do so well on your own.  But then when a day like today comes you ask Me, "Where were You God?"  I'll tell you where I was.....I held the hand of the little girl as she lay taking her last breath and whispered to her that everything would be OK and that she would be with Me soon.  I wrapped my arms around the mother who lost her only child to a violent act and held her while she cried.  I watched and placed a hedge of protection around those who could escape the mayhem and saw them to safety.  And yes, I did watch as a man unstable in a world that has made it possible for him to carry out the horror that resided in his head and I made sure that he took only those whom I needed home.

Now you are looking to Me and asking everyone to pray.  Why now?  Why not yesterday, why not tomorrow?  Because in time the memory will fade and the blame will be laid on the gun manufacturers or dealers, or the mental health field that didn't see this coming, or on schools not being safe enough and you will forget that before you pondered all that and more, you prayed.

Evil exists in the world you have created and yet you look to Me to stop what you have done.  I have asked many times over that you come to Me of your own free will and yet you refuse.  You scoff and complain that I don't exist, that I should not be allowed in the places I can do the most good.  My birth shall not be displayed because it might offend someone and forget mentioning me in mixed company.  Then a man or a woman succumbs to the evil that is brewing and you ask Me "Where were You?"  I was here watching and waiting for you to come to Me and making sure that no matter how bad it got you could go on.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

One Big Turkey

I have many things to be thankful for one of which is I am a cancer survivor and many in my family have worked to beat this dreadful disease, some we have lost because the beast was stronger and some are still fighting the battle.   I am also thankful that the town that I live in supports so many wonderful events that help to fund research for things such as this, but with that said thankfulness went out the door this morning when loud music and voices traveled across the borough to awaken not only me, but many residents on a day where we should have had the choice to sleep in.  Today November 23, 2012 Downingtown held a Turkey Trot, to benefit West’s track team and two very worthwhile cancer charities, which in itself is a great idea, but when an event bypasses ordinances of said borough and awakens residents before 7am then I am not so sure that the idea is such a good one.
According to Code 173-6C "No mass gathering authorized pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be held or conducted between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m.” yet I and several other people were rudely awakened before 7am by music and voices over loud speakers.  People began asking on JCG’s Facebook page what was going on and several were not exactly thrilled to have their day of rest arrested “173-6I. At no time shall music be played by mechanical devices or live performance which annoys, disturbs, endangers or might annoy, disturb or endanger the public's health, comfort, safety, repose and peace.”  Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, but those of us who live in Johnsontown live at the very edge of the borough and should not have heard the loudspeakers like it was happening in our own neighborhood, and even people on the east end of the borough were able to hear the hullabaloo.

In addition to the noise, Downingtown officers who were on night shift were required to work from 7pm to 11am instead of the normal 7pm to 7am and then will need to return to work at 6:45 this evening to work until 7am tomorrow morning.  This means that they get no time with their families if they expect to be rested and ready to start their shift tonight which requires them to carry a firearm.  Public Works also had to work overtime for this event because the course went through parts of town.   West Chester had a Turkey Trot also this season, but they managed to have it without making it a nuisance at best and a non-holiday at worst.
To start with there was no reason that this event had to be held today.  Today is a day that should be spent with families and being thankful for what we have, not having our sleep interrupted by overly loud speakers spewing music and voices before 7am in the morning, having our officers and public workers spending extra time on duty and for people to say I did the Turkey Trot.  There are other days leading up to and after Thanksgiving Day that the event could have been held with the same amount of enthusiasm.

 Downingtown is known to be the place to have your event, but it shouldn’t be known as the place to have your event at the cost of the residents, officers and public workers and on a day that should be spent at a long table speaking to family we haven’t seen since last year and consuming food that could feed a small country, wondering if you are old enough to leave the kids table and being thankful enough that we are alive and for all we have.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Election is Coming the Election is Coming!

On Tuesday November 6th you will get the opportunity to exercise a right that for some was a hard fought battle to gain.  I am sure by now we are all a little tired of the plethora of phone calls and the mailboxes full of propaganda for the candidates, I know I am.  I knew who I was going to vote for long before the final push, but I know some still seem undecided.

Today I got to hear a message that made sense and I would like to pass it along.  Forget your party affiliation....go read the platforms of the candidates, each of them.  Now for sure there will be some silliness in each because that is just an inherent part of politics, but take a look at which candidates share the most ideas and ideals that match up with yours.  If you are spiritual, don't look at what religion a person practices, but make sure that if, for instance you follow Biblical principles that the candidate that you vote for lines up with (voting record) the principles you hold dear.

That message along with taking a good look at experience and how a person handles themselves.  Make sure that when they make a statement that they can back it up with evidence.  Don't fall for the "I did this" statements when there is no possible way that they could have effected what they stated to be true.  Make sure that they have handled themselves while in their present position or office with aplomb and dignity.   Then maybe even take a look at the fliers and cards that flooded our mailboxes and see if their campaigns have conducted themselves above board making sure that they didn't find a loophole to sneak into.

Along with deciding who will be the leader of the nation, we also have local races that are just as important.  Here in Downingtown we will vote for our Representative in Harrisburg and our Congressman as well.  Make sure that when you fill in that dot that your candidate is not all flash, lights, smoke and mirrors, but has substance, leadership ability and experience.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Money Matters?

I hate this time of year and attending council meetings.  It's budget time and sitting through one of these meetings is worse than sticking a hot poker in my eye.  This year they actually had a budget committe and it helped the process limp along but not by much since what they were actually tasked to do got glossed over yet again by the same old same old.

After attending the budget committee meeting the night before I was lead to compose and read the following during citizens to be heard.

Last night I attended the last part of the budget committee’s meeting and I became very discouraged.  It appeared to me that most members and department heads seem to think that taxes need to be raised as a way out of the fact that the cost of doing business goes up each year.  What amazes me is that quite a few residents are able to make ends meet on commission based employment and understand that tightening our belts is a necessity in this economic climate, yet that understanding does not reach any higher.  It did not appear that anyone aside from Councilmen Winkler wished to try something different as what we have been doing doesn’t work.  I am sure that many of you have heard the saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.  I have lived in Downingtown long enough to know that we have the market cornered on insanity according to that colloquism.

I am aware that we share fire and police departments with East Caln.  I would be interested to see if the number of calls that East Caln requires and the number of calls required in Downingtown match up and if the percentages of money paid in by each are equal to the amount of utilization of each entity.  Ideas and explanations for ways to get more bang for our buck especially with equipment were met with a bit of disdain last evening.  For instance hiring two part time officers would save over $25,000 dollars and would meet the needs of both East Caln and Downingtown.    Has the possibility of merging both fire companies ever been discussed?  It was said that at least 110 second calls had to be scratched due to understaffing of volunteers.  Volunteers are also going to be at shorter supply once Robert’s Chevrolet opens their price point in West Whiteland as several techs are part of Minquas Volunteer Department.  The merging of Alert and Minquas lessen the burden of equipment for each company, but the amount of volunteers that are available increases exponentially.

I would also be interested to see how having so many events in Downingtown stacks up against man hours and overtime hours that are spent by police and public works and even possibly fire if needed and how much of that money is actually returned into the borough’s revenue and or is paid by each entity that has the event.  I heard a lot of vague numbers, but wouldn’t it be prudent to see actual graphs and or accounting sheets showing where there is,…. if there is….. a benefit for the borough to host the event?

As a resident of over 20 years I have to say I like living in Downingtown as a whole, but if we don’t find ways to stop the hemorrhaging of our budgets and raising taxes each year we will begin to lose residents hence we will lose revenue.  I would like to see Downingtown stay the place to be and even grow into a greater version of itself, but that is not going to happen if we do not try some things that are different and might work.  If they don’t, how much worse off will we be and if they do how much better could things be?  Thank you.
It was primiarily ignored as many things so often are with this council.  What I would like to know is how many times are we going to dance this same dance before more than one person has enough hutzpah to buck the failing system in D'town?  We as residents need to make it known that the same old same old is NOT working and we need to change.  We need to show up to council meetings and have our voices heard in "Citizens to Be Heard" so that it no longer is Citizens to be tolerated because we have to.  Nothing is going to change if we don't push our ELECTED officials to make the hard decisions.  I can't wait to see what is going to happen when the residents hear that taxes are going up.  I might stay away from Borough Hall in case there is a firestorm.......then again complacency seems to be the attitude of the day and that makes me sad.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

In Pursuit of Special Interest

I love my town!  We have so much history, great people and wonderful activities.  There are so many opportunities to volunteer and we have awesome committees and commissions in the borough.  The restaurants and businesses, that are here and thriving, are some of the best around.    Our fire departments and police departments are simply fantastic and help serve in the community along with their regular duties, but there comes a time when we stretch these entities too thin with too many obligations.  Public works becomes an around the clock job and commerce is interrupted for an activity that is not necessary nor is it an established event in which the above mentioned are prepared for in advance.

For instance it is rumored around town that there is to be a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day.  Now while that might sound like a lot of fun and bring citizens together on a holiday, but the added pressure it will place on our police force is not something that any group that is given the responsibility to protect and serve a community should have to deal with.   The trot would take place on a Thursday morning which means that officers that are on night shift Wednesday night will complete their 7pm to 7am shift and then be held over till 11am.  Once the trot is over with they will be allowed to return home for 8 hours to eat a bit of turkey, sleep maybe 5 hours, shower and report for duty at 7pm again Thursday night.  It is true that every job has sacrifices and that we all have to make them, but I am not sure that I want someone who is carrying a gun to be forced to work under those conditions because a special interest group  decides that we need yet another activity on a holiday. .  Public Works will also have to work overtime to place barriers and remove them along with trash cleanup instead of spending time with their families and friends on this special day.   Yes, Downingtown has wonderful holiday celebrations such as the Christmas Parade, Ghost Walk, Good Neighbor Day and the like, but these things are in the schedule way beyond and past what some of us can even remember.  The police are ready to serve on those days and rarely is it like the above scenario.  The Ghost Walk does not even need police presence and very little from Public Works.  Good Neighbor Day is synonymous with Downingtown and the 4th of July and the Christmas Parade benefits each business on Lancaster Ave that choses to stay open that day.  But what benefit do we gain from forcing officers to work less than reasonable hours?

There is a race scheduled for the last Saturday in October that sounds like a great idea until one realizes that it possibly will close down streets where commerce is present and will cause money to be lost to those employees and the borough.  Normally most of the businesses are closed on holidays so parades and activities don’t interfere with the buying and selling of goods.  However, to have a 5K race on a non-holiday weekend which is the end of the month a time when a lot of businesses close their books for that month, there is no benefit other than to the race promoters and to whom the money will go.  I’m wondering if the registration fee will go to pay the money that will be lost to employees of any of the major (and minor) businesses while the race is going on.

I guess that my peeve is that while activities and events can be fun, entertaining and a draw for the future what good does it do when in the end it costs us, the taxpayers, so much more.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Do You Remember?

I can still tell you the exact timetable of my day on September 11, 2001.  I am sure many of us can and when we really think about it the pain is still a little raw even after 11 years.  How can you be older than 14 and not remember some little piece of that day?

Yet today I came across something disturbing to the memory of that day.....conspiracy!  There are still people out there that think that the government killed all those people.  That there were no planes and no terrorists that day, just explosives and operatives.  Jesse Ventura is one of the conspiracy nuts who would like you to believe that, yet again, it's all Bush's fault.  Intelligent, or at least what I assumed were intelligent people still hold on to the deluded assumption that this was all one big cover up for a governmental boo boo.  Most of these people don't reside on the East Coast or even in NY.  They did not see the planes hitting the towers or the crater in the ground from Flight 93 or hear the messages to home and a final, "Let's Roll!"  I am not sure how they can still hold on to an idea that has been debunked by better people than I such as Popular Mechanics whom in 2008 gave their conclusions based on the NIST Report.  People who know how buildings work and fire destroys and metal does collapse with intense heat and yet there are those who poo poo these very facts and chose to believe that it was all a set up.

I do not put my whole trust in the government, but with engineers and architects who state unequivocally that the towers came down because of the heat, that the Pentagon had a plane flown into it and there is a crater in PA because some brave souls saved more lives than were lost, I cannot understand how anyone could be so deaf, dumb and blind.

The thing that makes me the angriest is that instead of keeping these deluded ideas to themselves on a day that should be for remembrance of lives lost they have to try and infect future generations with their, OK I will say it, whacked idea of what happened that day.  Instead, shut your mouth, bow your head and say a prayer for the souls that were lost, because after I am done with that I will pray that YOU find clarity.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Kardon Park Yet Again

Downingtown Does does such a nice job breaking this down for you all I am not going to even try and do a better job.  However I ask those on BOTH sides of the issue to please be respectful in your responses and PLEASE come up with different arguments than the same ones that have been overused in the last few years.

The ongoing saga of the controversial Kardon Park redevelopment project has taken a new twist. On Fri, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania ordered the Chester County Court of Common Pleas to “vacate” and “remand” their earlier decision denying the Borough of Downingtown from selling Kardon Park to a private developer.

You may be asking yourself, what does that mean? In layman’s terms, the higher court ordered the lower court to go back and reconsider their earlier decision. Specifically, Chesco’s Orphans Court needs to go back over their original decision with new guidance given to them from PA’s Commonwealth Court. To better get an understanding of what got us to this point, let’s take a look on how we got here.
Court Gives Kardon Park a Second Chance/Downingtown Does

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Needs of the Few?

I am confused…..for months now we have been hearing about Sandusky and JoePa and the Freeh report and how we need to protect the children and now it comes down from the NCAA that Penn State wins from 1998 are wiped out and no bowl games for four years….can someone tell me how that is protecting the children?  People and a program that had NOTHING to do with the scandal are being punished, I must be slow because that seriously does not compute. 

I used to be a big Star Trek fan and there was always a line that Spock said that made complete sense to me, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one.”  Now we have the NCAA considering the needs of the few and hurting the needs of the many.  This is going to help the victims?  How?  Young men who played their hearts for their school for over 14 years are now the scapegoat for a sick twisted individual and mistakes made by others.  I am not getting this.

I am not excusing JoePa, but what gets me is that he is now dead and can be easily thrown under the bus for the cause.  His statue is now gone and his reputation is tarnished because he did too little.  So I guess he should have beaten Sandusky to a pulp?  Should he have fired him?  Yes, but did anyone stop to think that maybe Joe did not think that a man he had known all those years could do something like that.  How many of you have heard of or had it happen to you where a rumor or an accusation ruined your career or reputation forever or for even a little while on heresy?  Joe went to the people he thought would take care of the situation and THEY did nothing.  Should he have done more, probably, but to vilify him and then say he defrauded the university and the people?  Really?

Now those out for vengeance have drawn first blood.  They have stripped a PROGRAM because an INDIVIDUAL was sick.  That is plain wrong, inappropriate and devastatingly the move of a public with seriously misplaced anger.  Why aren’t you calling for all the monies that Sandusky and his family were given to be given back to the victims?  Why is the outrage not focused on him and the young assistant coach who reported Sandusky to his father and then to JoePa?

Not only does the situation make me sick that people like Sandusky exist, but those who want a school to suffer, a program to suffer, other kids to suffer, for the actions a few people makes me ill to my very core.  Serious evil exists in this world when people like Sandusky walk the earth, but it also exists when others want suffering of people who had no hand in the crime.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Throw the Dead Man Under the Bus

I have watched the whole Penn State scandal and then listened to the Freeh report this morning and I have to say that I am disappointed and a bit angry.  First of all let me put a disclaimer here so as to not be accused of making light of a serious situation.  As for what has gone on it's appalling to me that people would want to blame the dead man.  Joe Paterno is being painted as the bad guy in this whole sick twisted situation because he is not alive to defend himself and I find it pitiful that the Freeh Report came out as it did and the media is now eating it up that Paterno is a horrible human because he allegedly did nothing.  Why are we not blaming who actually committed the crime and the young man who witnessed behavior that was not in the least appropriate?  JoePa was allegedly told that Sandusky was dealing with young boys in a manner that no one would approve of,  he did his due diligence, he told the administrators and they chose to do nothing.  McCreary witnessed the acts and went to his father and then to JoePa.......why not to the police?  Social Services?  The parents of the child?  Yet JoePa is now the scapegoat and is conveniently not here to defend himself.  This opens the gate for survivors to sue the Paterno estate.  How is that going to wind up being fair?  Paterno's widow had nothing to do with this whole issue and she and her children have every right to live out the rest of their lives quietly and with dignity. 

We as a society are constantly looking for someone to point a finger at when something goes horribly wrong instead of taking responsibility for ourselves or placing it where it should go, on the individual who committed the act.  Joe Paterno gave decades of his life to that school and money to boot.  His players were expected to be upstanding young men and for years and years Penn State football was a respected program, now because one coach chose to sabotage his career, reputation and life we are all ready to sully a good man's story.  How are we much better than the hate mongers that we propose to despise?  Not much.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Get Your Facts Straight

Just out of curiosity I did a google search when one of the residents of Johnsontown created a picture of the present day train station and the old one.  Then the discussion moved to when that one had burned down.  What I found were not facts about that incident, but some disturbing blogs and ill thought out articles stating that Downingtown did not need a new train station because the present one was less than 20 years old.  Skimming some of the blogs it was evident that none of the writers had even seen the station in it's present state.  I wanted to set these people straight but I wasn't about to log on to every blog account out there or register for every news service that I could.  So I come here.

Yes, it's true the train station is only a little over 20 years old.  However, it is not ADA compliant and it is the only one on the R-5 line that is not.  The pass through tunnel smells like a urinal on good days and I try and stay away from it on really hot ones, and parking and traffic can be quite challenging on any given day the line is running.  The other misinformed bloggers also complained that D'town had 213 parking spaces.  What they did not mention is that there are quite a few people that are dropped off and or walk to the station from various parts of town.  The station is sometimes only a mile away from different sections of D'town.  It was also not mentioned that parking for the train station also limits the spaces available for Johnsontown Park goers to put their vehicles.

I will tell you that I am staying skeptical about the new station, but this is only because I am waiting to see what they propose to do with the old once it is built.  The west end of town tends to be a forgotten entity and it has taken the hard work of many residents to bring it to the forefront even in the small capacity that it is now being recognized and I am sure along with many residents of particularly Johnsontown we don't want an eyesore existing at one of the entrances to our little burg.  However with that being said I challenge these bloggers and news people to actually come and see the present station, watch the flow of traffic, see how many spaces are used and how many people walk, and then try and get a wheelchair up to the platform.  Then and only then can they accurately describe what our 20 year old station is like.  Don't speculate people, you don't do it well.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

For Everyone

Tomorrow there will be a parade in Downingtown and then a short service at the memorial for which I am profoundly glad that I live in a town that recognizes the sacrifices of those who have served and gave their all.  Today while at the ceremony in Marinelli Park I was reflecting on not only the young men and women who have gone before us, but those who are still here who served and are still serving our great country.   I guess the moment that it truly hit me was when I watched my husband wipe away a tear after the singing of the National Anthem.....he gave up a few years of his life so that we could have a ceremony like that one and then I really looked around and saw the others who were there, standing in the shade, or sitting in a chair or on a bench and leaning on a cane and I wanted to give each of them the biggest hug that I could muster.  I respect those so much who gave their lives, but the horrors of war for them are over, yet men and women all over are still here and carry a pain in their hearts that none of us will ever know.

I am sure that every Memorial Day and Veterans Day they relive what they endured for our freedom, yet we don't thank them enough in our everyday lives........when you can go to church services and then attend a ceremony, you can say that you disagree with our governmental leaders or to peruse the Internet without fear of someone breaking down your door because you have gone to a place that you cannot.  So today I would like to say thank you to them men who worked for hours this morning cleaning up the Memorial in Kerr Park, I would like to say thank you to my husband for the time that he spent keeping us safe, I would like to say thank you to the gentleman whose chair we carried to the circle so he could attend the goings on, and I would like to say thank you to those whose lives are still in the line of fire because without you, I could not do the things I do and say out loud "I am proud to be an American!"

Monday, April 23, 2012

Primarily Organized

Yes, tomorrow are the primary elections in Pennsylvania, and sadly, no I am not ready for this.  I have a sense of who I need to vote for locally, but nationally I am in a quandry so for those of you who need to know who, what, where and when I have compiled a bunch of links that hopefully will help.

First of all here in D'town we are the 6th District and 155th Representative Area

Also do not forget that this will be a dry run for the requirement of ID's to vote in the regular election come November.

Republican , Democrat, Libertarian, Independant it doesn't make a difference just exercise your rights for if you don't they most assuredly can be taken away.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Mountain Out of Molehill

People talk about the political wrangling that goes on in various types of government and how dissatisfying it can be when it doesn't go the way that you think it should.  Me, I am surprised that anything gets done at all having watched government at work on both the state and local level in person.

Here's a for instance;it took over a week for the Voter ID bill to get to the Governor's desk of Pennsylvania because legislators were debating whether a person will become disenfranchised because they have to show and ID at the polls.  It boggles the mind how anyone can possibly think that showing a picture ID is going to make voting harder for honest people, what it will make more difficult is voter fraud because not just anyone with a voter registration card can walk in and vote.  I have had to show my ID to various entities since I was 16 years old and obtained a driver's license, in fact I am flattered when I am "carded" if I wish to purchase an alcoholic beverage (which happens about every five years so it's a really big deal).  Now there are people saying that those who don't have IDs won't be able to vote......was that not the point?

Another instance on a local level:in Downingtown parking is at a premium.  Residence know this just like they know that if it rains some part of D'town will flood.  However, when residence ask for parking spaces or ordinances that will make streets easier to navigate and our quality of life that much better it is actually debated in council!  The one issue that always seems to be at the forefront is, "What about the businesses?"  I am not sure if council members have noticed, but businesses are leaving D'town on Lancaster Ave. and those that are still here have their own parking.  As a residence and a taxpayer I think our needs should come first above those that don't live here.  However, when parking requests come down that seem reasonable it is actually debated for quite some time.  It boggles the mind how they can blow past some ordinances which appear to be so much more important yet parking requests of residence that have little to no effect on anyone, but those making the request are discussed ad nauseum.

When we were kids I know many of us heard the saying, "You're making a mountain out of a molehill" when we screamed over a paper cut, or a friend called us a "dummyhead".  But we aren't kids anymore and the issues at hand need to be given their due, yes, but stop making a mountain out of a molehill and maybe more things could actually get done.  Imagine that, government working as it should.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Up for a Challenge

I know everyone love contests......ok well not everyone, but this one can get you some recognition for that great photo you took of the flood waters last winter in Downingtown that turned out really cool, or the robin who signaled the first day of spring, or the puppy having fun in the park.  The Downingtown Historic and Parks Commission is sponsoring an amateur photography contest for a calendar that will be published for the 2013 season.  The contest is open to all amateurs, but the photo(s) must be taken in the 19335 area and follow the rules that are stated at the website.

So if you are a budding photographer and wish to have your skills noticed, love the photo you took of downtown last Christmas at the parade, or just want to see your photo in print submissions are being taken here D'town H&PC Calendar Contest

Each photo must be geotagged (tagging on the map where it was taken) for authenticity and you must comply with the simple rules stated on the site.  Flickr is free to join, but is great place to hone your photography skills or to just see some wonderful work being done by pros and amateurs.

Everyone have fun and good luck....who knows you could be the next Downingtown star photog!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

SkateTown USA

Where is the skate park?  At present nowhere and that is causing some tempers to flare a bit.  Last night Wesley Terry came before Borough Council in hopes that it would rubber stamp the location that the steering committee for the park decided would be the best spot.  However, I don't think they were prepared for the objections that came with those hopes.  The proposed site would be in Kerr Park at the south end of the parking lot that also services the All Abilities Playground and the pavilions that are rented out for activities in the spring and summer.  DSP has already reduced the size of the footprint of the park due to the lack of funds at the present time.  Mr. Terry said that DSP has about $26,000 in funds and hopes to raise $10-15,000 more once the smaller version is built for upkeep and possible expansion.

I can certainly understand the need to "scale it back a bit" because fundraising for this sort of project is difficult, but the plans for what was to be placed in the park as obstacles and ramps was to my eye less than impressive.  Also the fact that the park would take up at least 20-30 parking spaces in a town that has very little parking to begin with was a serious sticking point for Councilman Gazzerro.  The parking lot in question during the winter months looks a bit desolate, but when the weather begins to clear up and it is not so cold, the parking lot becomes like the mall at circle hoping someone will leave so your kids can go play or you can have your activity in the pavilions.  The lot only has about 80 spots to start with and then to remove 20-30 makes a huge impact.  Also it is proposed to have the Downingtown Library moved into the Micken Building which fronts that particular piece of real estate.  Where would library patrons park if the skate park has reduced the availability of the places along with a burst of spring weather?  I am sure that businesses along Wallace will not be happy to have their spots hijacked for this purpose and Rite Aid may become a opponent.

Mr. Terry seemed quite upset that council was not willing to say yes right off the bat and it become a done deal.  He claimed that not having a spot picked out was hindering fund raising efforts.  That may be true, but how productive would fundraising be if the spot that you wanted created a serious issue in the borough and you had too many people against what you were proposing?

Ann Feldman brought up some very valid points that the Historic and Park Commission had discussed and Patricia Todd even offered the proceeds from the H&P events if Mr. Terry would consider another location.  Mayor Maxwell whom is on the steering committee along with Steven Henning seemed to be of the same mind as Mr. Terry that it needs to be built now.  Nick Winkler appeared to be on board that the placement requested by DSP was the place for it to go.  Cara DeStafano brought up a valid point about impervious ground.

However, with all that said, a skate park is something that would be an asset and a good place for the kids who enjoy that sort of play, but placing it in an area that will cause more trouble than good is not the right thing to do. It is not an immediate need in the borough.  Is it wanted? Yes.  Would it help to keep some of the kids off the streets with their boards and bikes? Yes.  But can you just decide to place something of this scale in a spot that is questionable and not expect to have resistance?  No.  Look for other locations and make your decision, then fund raise to make it the best that it can be, not a rendition of the dream.  It does not have to be completed by the first day of summer.....the kids and the skaters will be here long after that.