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Letters to the Editor

Park district should take a new direction

The SVM editorial on downsizing Dixon Park District [“Downsized district should be explored,” Aug. 2] makes valid points on expenses and the unlikelihood of increasing revenue through any future referendum, all things staying the same.

Throwing additional money at the same mismanaged problem historically has poor or no results (Memorial Pool). The likelihood of our current park district selling off redundant property taxpayers are unaware exists and will never use is not likely.

Our children receive the smallest return on your tax dollars. Our park district’s inability to run children’s programs like football, baseball, softball, basketball and soccer must then be accomplished by volunteer organizations. They do, however, profit from these very organizations, charging outrageous fees while dictating unfunded mandates on their programs.

Let’s look at our playgrounds. There are several hazardous health, safety and risk problems with equipment currently used, most notably Lowell and John Dixon parks. These problems have been well documented and are on file at the park district representing a huge risk for them to be sued for lack of attention due to their “choice” to ignore problems and “refusal” to move toward minimum standards in a timely manner. The park district is obliged to comply with statutes or standards administered by professional organizations.

The children of our community don’t know whether the equipment they play on is safe or not; they just want to play, and their parents assume that a responsible party is properly maintaining their equipment. Do you believe they are?

Spending hundreds of thousands on curbs in Page Park, some being torn out and redone, shows it’s not all lack of funds but poor priorities.

Again I say, the Dixon Park District should voluntarily dissolve and reform using school boundaries, with a new board representing everyone, with fresh revenue, ideas, direction and new focus on serving taxpayers.

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