To the Editor:
The most recent city debate defines the fact that both Bill Euille and Kerry Donley have no allegiance to neighborhoods. When the candidates were asked if they would place lights at T.C. stadium both Euille and Donley answered affirmative for lights while Allison Silberberg said no. Euille's answer was expected and on the record however Donley's answer highlights the fact that he too is insensitive to the plight of the Woods community and their history and has no regard for neighborhood agreements made with the city. The insensitivity of city government to neighborhoods is a big part of this election campaign and Mr. Donley threw cold water all over the neighborhoods with his answer leaving but one candidate Allison Silberberg as the only candidate who reveres the tranquility neighborhoods.
Such a lack of concern for neighborhoods leads me to another issue — the school renovation of Patrick Henry. The cost to rebuild Patrick Henry has been guesstimated at $38.7 million. Plan II seems to be the most acceptable plan — to keep the existing school structure standing and build the new school around it, less disruption to the students. The big hiccup in this project is the Recreation Department’s idea to build a 30,000-plus sq. foot. recreation center in the middle of the neighborhood — a structure 3 1/2 times larger than what is currently available at an additional cost. The rec center will house an indoor field with an indoor track encircling the field. The new structure will have no gym, no rooms for daycare , no activity center for the children or the elder community.
Just when it seemed it could not get any worse for the neighborhood, we are removing the tennis courts (I thought we did not have enough that’s why we built tennis courts at T.C.) and the baseball field to develop a field that may have lights attached.
The city will rent this field so it can pay for it; it will become a source of revenue for the recreation department at the expense of the tranquility of the neighborhood. We do not need a Taj Mahal rec center; we have enough Taj Mahals in the city already. I have a real bad feeling about this school infrastructure project. I see it as a means for the recreation department and city to fulfill its stated destiny to light and turf all school fields under the guise of a school rehabilitation. Lights and monstrosity structures are coming to your neighborhood – it begins with Patrick Henry and continues. The election cannot come soon enough — elect Allison Silberberg to save our neighborhoods.
William A. Goff