Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Skating on thin ice....

I attended a meeting at the Hagerstown Town Hall last night, mostly out of curiosity. A group of parents and children, along with the local Optimist club, are trying to figure out a way to build a skateboard park in Hagerstown. I have to admit I've never understood the attraction of skateboarding, but then there a lot of things I don't understand, and I certainly have no problem with somebody enjoying something that I don't understand, and neither do I have a problem with them wanting to have a place to practice that enjoyment.

I do, however, have a problem with some of the opinions expressed at that meeting. The person running the meeting is one of the leaders of the Republican Party in Wayne County. He has already announced that he will seek the nomination for County Commissioner in 2008. He stated at the meeting that it was the responsibility of the taxpayers and the government to provide and maintain a park for people that wanted to ride skateboards.

This is the same Republican that is such a staunch defender of forced annexations, the Economic Development Income Tax and the Economic Development Commission.

I think I've figured out why there are so few Democrats in Hagerstown and Wayne County. They're just not needed anymore.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, I'm Mark Stosberg, the maintainer of, which has been helping people with the public skatepark process for about a decade. I also happen to live in Richmond, Indiana.

Government funded skateparks are the norm now, and the argument goes like this: People have diverse recreational interests, and the government provides recreational dollars to support a diverse range of activities. We support golf courses, tennis, basketball, frisbee golf, and more, and not everyone takes part in all of these activities.

Skateboarding is one of the top ten participant sports in the country, and government recreation dollars spent on supporting the most popular sports only makes sense.

Or is your idea of fairness having tennis players holding bake sales for a place to practice their sport?

2:28 PM  
Blogger Rex Bell said...

A lot of activities are government funded now, and while it may be the norm, that doesn't necessarily make it right.

I believe the government should only receive enough money to provide essential services, and allow the citizens to spend their recreation dollars as they see fit.

Our tax dollars currently support not only the activities you have mentioned, but also multi-million dollar sports stadiums for multi-million dollar owners and players.

Bake sales are one way to raise voluntary funding for private projects. There are many other ways that don't involve forcibly taking someone's money or property.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Mike Kole said...

It's a sad thing that fairness now means "gouge taxpayers for every little activity so that none feel excluded", or, "even though you don't skate, even though 90% of the population doesn't skate, they should fund this activity they do not participate in".

The other way to achieve fairness is to stop funding golf courses, tennis, basketball, etc.

If this fund everything approach is 'making sense', I shudder at a vision of insanity.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Jim Staley said...

The really sad thing is that taxpayers are EXPECTED to fund this type of thing. No one wants to put forth the effort to raise half of the money on their own, and then maybe ask for matching funds. (See the New Castle Pool issue.) What does this teach the next generation about "work hard and you can have anything you want"?

7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, nobody is paying for my bowling!

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish I knew how much money went to fund ALL the recreational facilities, and how much I pay to support these. It would then be easier to determine if a gym membership, which is responsive to the needs of the customers, would be cheaper.

In all likelyhood, the reason these things are owned by the city has to do with liability and deep pockets.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

While I'm sure that skateboarding is a fun and healthy activity, I've encountered many "boarders" (both skat and snow) who have taken the air out of my faith in the inherent intelligence of mankind. I am inherently unable to endorse stupidity as a virtue.

9:59 AM  

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