Today’s rant is about something that I know is the smallest of issues - given all that’s facing us these days, but it’s something that just fries my catfish nonetheless!
I am an extremely early riser on most mornings, and usually I’m out walking: exercise for me and my pooch. And when I walk I like circuitous courses that don’t require me to cover the same ground if I can manage it. One such course that I used to enjoy took me thru a local park that includes a public boat ramp. I expect due to the boat ramp that park was generally open 24 hours a day. Like so many public properties now a days, this park has its own “live in” LEO on the property too. The city gives this poor underpaid servant of the people a place to lay his weary head, rent free, in exchange for the crime deterring effect of his mere presence.
The other morning I was walking in the direction of the boat ramp park, only to discover that the park gates have been chained and locked! Needless to say I wasn’t overjoyed at having my route involuntarily re-directed.
My attitude simply stated is this: Public Property of a recreational nature (which includes ALL parks and boat ramps) should never have their access restricted. And so much the more when there’s a LEO domiciled on the property. I mean after all – what’s he there for if not to ensure law & order?
I am so damn sick and tired of this knee-jerk reaction because someone screws up – EVERYBODY thereafter must be discomfited as a result. Yes, I know parks have been used by lovers for rendezvous points, or teens doing some late night partying. But so what! Does this then always mean that such taxpayer funded locations must be restricted to taxpayers’
use only during daylight?
There’s more. Last year the city decided that having only one park with a dock and boat ramp within a half-mile radius of each other was just barbaric. So near the first existing park, they built a massive dock that I would bet cost the taxpayers upwards of a million bucks. I know from inside sources that the parking lot, road access, and elaborate gate system, cost the city another cool $400,000. And like the original park, this one has a strictly controlled access monitored by another LEO who lives about a block away.
Why in the hell do we have to have two parks so close one another, and why the hell do they have to close at sunset? If I am walking thru there at 4 a.m., and someone accosts me, then they’ve taken their life in slippery fingers. I certainly don’t need LEO to come to my rescue. And not only did I NOT need the cost of such a park, but I don’t need the never ending labor costs (at what $30 or $40 bucks an hour) to have some uniformed yahoo come around day and night locking and unlocking gates that never should exist in the first place!
The city bureaucrats are proud that they filched your taxes to pay for this facility. One sign bragging on funding sources wasn’t enough. They had to have two signs that identify this park as the property of Jacksonville Florida’s taxpayers.
Yet at the same time, they make it clear in the lengthy list of rules that “Management reserves the right to close park facilities to the public”. Note rule # 2:
Look at that list of rules will ya! I'm surprised they don't say "Fun not allowed at this facility. If you are caught having fun you will be arrested, beaten, tasered, and locked away as a felon!"
First of all, I am of the humble opinion that Governments don’t have “rights”, they only have “duties”. And second of all, if I paid for it – I ought to be able to use it whenever I so desire!
Government is totally out of control my friends. As if you didn’t already KNOW that!