Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My Letter of outrage to the Salt Lake City Council

Hello City Council,
My name is Mickelle Weber and I live in District 4 in Salt Lake City.
I have been spearheading our neighborhood actively promoting the inclusion of our dog park in Phase 1 of the Pioneer Park renovation.

I am outraged and completely appalled by the news in the Salt Lake Tribune 7/31 that funds for the Dog Park have not been approved. We, as a neighborhood have done everything reasonable, within our power, to let the council know of our wishes for this much needed improvement to come to light. As a neighborhood of lofts, condos and apartments you may assume that we are not dog owners. This would be a mistake on your part. If fact our dog to owner ratio would most certainly compete with any suburban neighborhood in our state. The plan for a dog park to be included asap in Pioneer Park has been fought for, pleaded for and is definitely a need and not only a want. In our efforts to reclaim our park from years of illegal activity and an overall bad rap we have formed a group called Parktivites( www.slurbanite.blogspot.com) that is committed to sponsoring and planning daily, weekly, monthly activities in the park year round. At each of our functions dogs are a big part. We believe that a dog park would not only help bring more and more legal and healthy activity to the park but according to a study by The Trust for Public Land:

"...dogs in Seattle have even helped
reclaim some parks from illegal users: in 1995, when police reported a high volume of
unlawful alcohol, drug and sexual activity in three particular parks, the park department
converted them to pilot off-leash areas and criminal activity soon evaporated."

Also in the same report:

"There's no doubt that off-leash areas are good for dogs and their owners. The dogs can
run and cavort; the humans can stand or sit, talk or read, watch and provide comfort, if
necessary. It's pretty similar to a children's playground and just about as much fun, even
for non-dog owning passers-by who often stand at the fence and enjoy all the activity.
The more enterprising sites even have playground-like props and accoutrements - sprinklers,
fake fire hydrants, wading pools, bridges, tunnels and more - often in bright, primary
colors (even though dogs are largely color-blind). When dogs run off excess energy
they become less aggressive. When people socialize they often strengthen their community."

Please do not ignore our pleas, letters, emails, and petitions any longer. We have been told repeatedly that our dog park WOULD BE included in Phase 1 and to find out in a small article in the paper that we have been misled is pretty upsetting. As our neighborhood is growing exponentially(slated and sold out building projects will at least double the amount of residents living in immediate area surrounding the park) your attention to not only the dog park, but to Pioneer Park's renovation in general, will be carefully watched and will matter in the not too distant future not only to you personally in the polls, but also to the greater good for our city.

I appreciate your attention to this matter. And look forward to hearing your thoughts and also your reasoning for not including this in phase 1 budgeting. I hope that you will do the right thing and vote to include funding for our dog park in the upcoming capital-improvements budget meeting,which our neighborhood Parktivites group will most certainly be attending.

Thank You,

Mickelle Weber
SL City Resident