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stupidity at it’s best

June 4, 2009

June 01, 2009

Man Arrested in OH for Mowing His Neglected Local Park

We have heard so much in the news lately about the budget problems facing parks across the country. From California to Georgia parks are being closed for lack of funding and budgets for park staff and maintenance are being slashed at every level of government. The economic impacts on our parks are just one manifestation of the global economic crisis. The state of our nation’s economy is something that impacts everyone but most people feel helpless to doing anything about it.

In Sandusky, OH, a local man decided to do his part to help out his city by mowing his neighborhood park. After watching local children running through the untended, knee-high grass of Central Park to catch the bus, John Hamilton went home to get his lawn mower. When the police appeared a little while later he was shocked to learn that his civic action wasn’t appreciated by the city. When he refused to stop mowing the park lawn he was actually arrested, handcuffed and taken away in a police cruiser! For mowing the lawn of a public park that had been neglected by his city! This is how Mr. Hamilton is repaid for stepping up to make his city a better place for children to play.

This is not the message we should be sending to Americans during these hard times. We should instead invoke the famous words of John F. Kennedy and asking what “you can do for your country”? Parks are crucially important to the fabric of our civic society. Parks bring people together in the outdoors, to celebrate physical activity, nature, play and even contemplation. They are truly democratic – open to all regardless of race, age, wealth or physical ability. What better example is there of an involved citizenry in a democracy than a neighbor stepping up to maintain his community’s public park when the city lacks the funds to do so. Mr. Hamilton should be receiving the city of Sandusky’s thanks – not a court summons.

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