Share this article

print logo

MAKE TOWN PARKS PAY TAX FOR KEEPING OTHERS OUT

I am intrigued by your articles and the many recent letters on the town parks in Western New York that are exclusive to town residents. Making a park supposedly dedicated to the enjoyment of nature, an exclusive enclave, appears to be self-contradictory.

I am reminded that America's troubadour, Carl Sandburg, told Edward R. Murrow in a 1957 interview that he thought "exclusive" was theugliest word in the English language.

It troubles me that the citizens of New York State and Erie County -- who provide and pay for the construction and maintenance of the roads, infrastructure and share the cost for any emergencies and water -- are denied access to these parks. I know in the case of Hamburg that federal and state dollars are often used to enhance and maintain the beach and adjacent areas. To maintain Route 5 past the beach, New York State taxpayers bear a special burden.

Since the Hamburg and Clarence parks are virtually private clubs on state roads, perhaps it should be state policy to be indemnified for its infrastructure investment. Cannot a special tax be arranged in exchange for allowing a private club to be maintained in a public place with public funds? For example, private golf clubs are not assessed as public parks.

These sorts of policies have a basis rooted in bigotry, and I dislike them for that reason.

Art Klein
Buffalo

There are no comments - be the first to comment