I am responding to the letter to the editor in the Aug. 29 issue of The Leader-Union.
That letter was headlined, “Shame on city for allowing our pool, Scout House to deteriorate.” I assume the headline was composed on the content of the writer’s letter, inferring that the Scout House and swimming pool have not been kept up over the years in a timely manner, and “have been let go to die a slow death.”
I assume the writer is aware of the fact that the city of Vandalia and the Vandalia Park District are separate legal entities, each with its own taxing authority. The maintenance of the park district's property, including all the parks, the swimming pool, the airport and any other property, is the responsibility of the park district, not the city of Vandalia.
By the inclusion of reference to the city in the writer’s letter, I assume that he/she is intimating that the citizens of Vandalia, including its elected officials, should be concerned with the status of the park district’s property. I wholeheartedly agree. Our parks are an invaluable asset to the city. When marketing the city to companies in the attempt to have them locate here and create much-needed job opportunities for our citizens, good parks are considered, as they may have employees who would move to the city and parks do matter.
We have parks from the south end of town to the north. Although I don’t drive by each of them on a daily or even weekly basis, the times I have, I’ve been greatly impressed with the way they look. I’m concerned that many of our citizens are not aware of the time and, yes, money that has to be spent by the park district to maintain the district’s property. The cost includes supplies, equipment, payroll for employees, etc.
I believe that I may have a better understanding than most through my experience as chairman of the city’s cemetery and landfill committee.` People are concerned about the “look” of our cemeteries, but are unaware of the costs required for their maintenance. Believe me, it is no small expense!
I’m not a “native” Vandalian. I first came to the city in the 1960s as an employee of the city’s first radio station. My life circumstances…mainly health issues…forced me to leave the city. But other circumstances led to my return to Vandalia as my family and I were able to purchase the local radio station. Since that time, Vandalia is my “hometown,” and there is no place I’d rather be.
Ward 1 alderman
City of Vandalia