Local newspapers play an important role in our community life because they identify local issues that are often overlooked by national news but which nonetheless impact our day-to-day lives. We look to local newspapers to provide a balanced presentation of these local issues. The Gazette failed to meet that standard in its report concerning the restoration plans for Hollin Hills’ parks. The Gazette article failed to report that these two parks are owned by the Civic Association; there is no statement from the Civic Association’s President, or the chairperson of the Parks’ Committee, who with others has worked for more than 2 years with County officials to develop the County’s plan.
It is impossible to develop a plan that will please everyone. But, the plan developed reflects adherence to federal regulations, provides for the replanting of the parks and meets the Civic Association’s responsibility to ensure the long-term viability of the parks. Those of us who favor the plan realize that there will be some immediate loss, but given the flooding and ongoing damage to the parks, we are willing to suffer that loss to insure that 20 years from now the parks remain a community asset.
Nor was this some decision made in the dead of the night without community input or support. Rather, information has been continually provided and County employees have held community meetings to explain the plan and answer questions. All of this culminated in a very well-attended Civic Association meeting at which the members of the Civic Association voted in overwhelming numbers to accept the County’s proposal.
I look forward to reading the Gazette’s explanation for its failure to include these facts in its report.