Taking back the park

 

I didnít come here to make trouble, any more than I did the first time when the bums started appearing in the park.

            I know many of you werenít here the first time the bums took over our park. But maybe newly elected people can provide us with new solutions.

            I guess I should explain what happened back then.

            I came here the first time because I noticed bums were using the park benches for beds.

            Ordinary people like me couldnít even sit down or when we did, these creatures would gravel and beg, like a flock of pigeons looking for crumbs.

            Drugs or food, who cares what they wanted the money for.

            The fact is I donít want my kids seeing that sort of thing going on in what is supposed to be a public park.

            Think of how traumatic this can be to impressionable minds, seeing dirty, starving people out in the open.

            Things like that could make our children think something is wrong with America.

            So we came here to complain. First to the mayor, then to you, the city council.

            You know where that got us. Although the council told us they would get the bums cleared out, nothing ever happened.

            Maybe things got bogged down with red tape. Or maybe the council was just too afraid to take a decisive stand.

            Whatever the reason, lack of action made the situation that much worse.

            Word got out and our park became a refuge for bums. They came there from every part of the city and made it into a homeless village.

            Cardboard houses and tents went up everywhere so that not only couldnít we sit down in our park, we couldnít even walk without tripping over a bum or his hobo bungalow Ė not that any reasonable person could even make the effort without getting sick at the sight.

            No of those people had even heard of soap and water, let alone used it either for months maybe years.

            And if that wasnít enough, the park flowed with alcohol and illegal drugs.

            And while the city has an ordinance that requires citizens like me to pick up after our dog poops, shouldnít the city also demand the same thing when a bum poops in the park?

            The bums seem to believe the park is their permanent home.

            I mean, they are living rent free on city property I help pay for by paying taxes.

            Why should we have to pay for something the bums have made unusable for anybody else?

            Yes, I admit, the police finally came in to evict them. But this was only because a number of us got together and threatened to withhold our taxes if something wasnít done.

            And yes, some of us were remarkably pleased when the police put out the fires and dragged out the people, some of whom had actually frozen to death.

            That helped for a while.

            But Iím here to tell you they are back, and they are angry, and they know which of us complained about them.

            Not only do they taunt us as we walk through or even near the park, some of them actually have lawyers and radical supporters who yell at us for infringing on ďtheirĒ rights.

            Now if we want them out, we have to take them to court.

            People who beg for food have a defense team my Fortune 500 company would envy.

            As you know, we took the matter to another level, complaining to the state and federal government, and eventually, the governor brought in the national guard and cleared the park out, putting up a fence around it so nobody can use it.

            But I figure an empty park is better than one filled with bums.

            Iím back because things have gone from bad to worse.

            Now that the bums canít use the park, they are using city streets.

            Yesterday I found one frozen to death on my doorstep.  My neighbor found two. And if you donít think it is a health risk having dead people on your door step, then none of you belong in office.

            And can you imagine how this is impacting our property values?

            What we want you to do now is get rid of the bums once and for all.

            Where?

            Who cares? Ship them off to jail or Jersey, or let them die in a poorer neighborhood where property values donít matter as much.

            Or do we have to go ask the governor for help again?

 


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