Thursday, May 6, 2010

Moms, We can make a difference

Monday night I was reading Facebook and noticed that one of my mom friends had written on her status that she and her children had visited the park that day...

She also said that after climbing up the castle tower to look for any trash - (something we mom's ALWAYS do before letting the kids play freely)

at the top of the castle, which has become a popular hangout for local teenagers, she made a DISGUSTING discovery!

At the top, in front of the slide she found condoms and a "big ole pile of POOP"

YUCK!

Tuesday, I called and spoke with the Parks Department Manager and told him all about this and how upset my friend and her children were that they could not use that area of the park b/c of the poop.

When I was there to take these photos I could still SMELL THE STINK even though the poop had been removed. There was still traces of it left on the wood! So a proper clean up was NOT made - still leaving the tallest slide unusable in my opinion to my children. I don't want them sitting in it and their hands touching that contaminated area.

I knew I just had to involve myself in this b/c when I read about it on facebook Monday night, it really upset me and I just couldn't let it go. I changed my facebook status immediately to

CALLING MOMS -we must stand up to the punks who are RUINING our local parks! Raise your hand if you are interested in helping me take back the Lion's Den park in Orange, TX I want to organize a letter writting/email/calling compain soon to bring attn to the disgusting & nasty condition. Also would like to see KBMT-12 get involved!

Also under that I provided several City official's contact information and it wasn't long before several of my friends both local and long distance started leaving comments supporting this idea and also telling of their findings at the park.

Tuesday I contacted and spoke with 2 people, left voice messages with 2 others while also writing several emails to each of them. I also contacted the local news channel and was asked if I would be available to meet a reporter at the park the next day.

When I woke up Wednesday, I found a very lengthy reply email in my In-Box from the Chief of Police and was very happy to hear what he had to say.

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Hello,

I wanted you to know that I have your message regarding Lion's Park. I appreciate, and share, your concerns. We are going to go through your note line by line and see (from the police department perspective) what we can do to address those issues. Many things are easily done. I too drive by the park at night and find it open and cars and/or people there. I will stop, clear the park, and have it locked up for the night.

It used to be easier for us when the fire station was adjacent to it. That presence, along with cameras on that building directed at the park, really went a long way toward security at the park. I have instructed our patrol division to increase our patrols and vigilance at the park.

I will get back with you as I explore some other options regarding cameras to be placed in the park that we can monitor at the police department. We have that at the boat ramp off of Simmon's drive and they have been very beneficial in maintaining security and for other issues related to the river and surrounding area. We were able to get those funded through the Economic Development funds that created that facility.

I believe that what is now a more reasonable cost for cameras would make it so that we could absorb the cost in our current operating budget. That seems simple but after two hurricanes we are like so many families in that we have seen a declining revenue because of the hurricane damage to taxable property. But I think we can handle the cameras and I am sure the City itself will absorb the cost of the dedicated phone line that it takes for us to monitor the cameras.

While I hate that our citizens have to encounter the things that you do I have to say that I appreciate people like you who will take the time to bring those issues to the forefront. We all get consumed in the totality of all of the issues that we have to deal with and sometimes we neglect something as significant as this. I apologize for what you have encountered. We will do our best to address your concerns.

I will be getting back with you soon to let you know what we have come up with as a plan to address your concerns. I have called my senior staff for a meeting this morning and we will discuss your note and move things forward. Some things we can do immediately and some we will have to either get with outside vendors or other departments in the city to arrange.

I just heard from the City Manager and he asked that we meet as well to discuss your concerns. I know I did not respond to everything in your note. I will do that shortly. I want to meet with everyone before I do that so I can provide a workable response.

Thanks again for taking the time to write. Please feel free to call, come by, or email me directly anytime.

Sam Kittrell

Chief of Police


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I'm so glad I received such a FAST response and that he shares my concerns. It also pleases me that they are meeting the same day of receiving my letter! Increase paroling of the park area after hours is something they can do immediately and I look forward to hearing other plan of action they come up with.

I'm also glad that I received this before my interview with the News Reporter, so that we could be sure to state that we are happy with the city's eagerness to find a solution and have made addressing our issue top priority.

and speaking of - top priority - I was surprised to sit down tonight to the watch 10:00 news (when they said it would air) and see that the park reporting was their very FIRST story of the night! WOW! ;) awesome! Special thanks to Stacy and Shelby for coming to the park today with me, and for the many others who helped support this through their comments and letters.

if you'd like to see it - click on the logo or her to their video page and today it's the fist one, but is updated daily - so if you need to look for it look for "Orange County mother makes a disturbing discovery at local park" with the small photo of a concrete Lion.

Reporter Michael Seiden and his camera man did an excellent job representing our concerns! So, stay tuned, I'll be and share followup of any progress made by the city. ;)

As I watched this online and thought about how fast I was able to make a complaint and get a response, as well as media to raise awareness, it reminded of the song we sing at church .... Go make a difference, we can make a difference, go and make a difference in the world...

and as a Mom isn't that what we want most? to make a difference in this world in how we raise and bring up our children? ;) Yes, Mom's we can make a difference - and to our children, WE DO make a difference! ;)


2 comments:

Jill said...

Way to be, Bonnie! You looked cute on the news!

Sandy said...

You go girl.....wonderful response and I hope it makes a difference for all of the children!