Thursday, April 15, 2010

Community Priorities

Got an email tonight through our community's listserv that I thought was a bit misguided, through no fault of the sender. Seems this person is a member of a tennis player's club or some such and they've been working for a while to get the tennis courts in my community resurfaced and lights put in. In and of itself - a very valiant effort and a true benefit to our community. Now it looks like the City Council will be discussing the funding for the project and she's trying to get folks to speak out, for or against the plan.

Here's part of her message:

It has taken several years to get to this point - where the Council might actually be considering making repairs. We have a very real concern that the city council will not approve the entire budget needed to resurface the courts (#1 - #4) and install the needed lights on all 8 courts. Please come and be part of the audience so the city council is reminded of the number of active tennis players in our community. Or come to give your opinion pro or con.

I used the word misguided in the beginning of this, and even with the general usefulness of her cause I still feel that way. Why? Because of the overall lack of _any_ suitable basketball court anywhere in the city. These folks are trying to get pretty usable (if I remember correctly) tennis courts resurfaced while there are absolutely zero usable basketball courts anywhere in town. Here was my response to her message:

This is in response to _____'s message about possible resurfacing of the Braden tennis courts. While I agree that it is important to repair the much used tennis courts I need to put something else out there for public consumption - the almost absolute lack of quality outdoor (or indoor for that matter) basketball courts in our community. I'm not sure what argument I could make to gain the attention of the city council, especially if a seemingly well organized group like Ellen's has been working for years to get repairs done on the tennis courts, but the current situation is absolutely laughable. This is even more true with our being a community where so many of our youth are eager for spaces to gather and play.

I started to compile a list of "courts" spaced around Greenbelt and on paper it seems quite impressive. I use quotes because none are close to full size, none have lights, most are downright dangerous. I know I don't have an absolutely accurate count but there are at least a dozen in various states of repair, and none are in any condition to play a safe game. I'd like the tennis players to try playing one game on the basketball court at Greenbelt Lake then you'd understand what's going on here.

Again, not taking anything away from the tennis players of our community, but if we had to make a decision according to the pure numbers of potential players I think building at least one decent basketball court would win. Or, maybe it's because most of those potential basketball players are young, non-voting, and (am I allowed to point out without starting a brouhaha?) *whispering* minority, that revitalizing our city's basketball courts hasn't happened?

I'm wondering if there's any hope of going to the meeting Monday night when they discuss this issue. Pretty sure JAM has a baseball game so it unlikely but at least, through this message, I've put my opinion out there.

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