Letter: Let’s be good neighbors
I would like to take this opportunity to comment on the letter Mr. Robinson wrote in your July 3 edition (“Plan to stymie park development is shameful”) concerning the proposed Mathews Heritage Park. First, I wish to point out that I have no dog in the fight, and have no vested interest in either side of this issue. That said, Mr. Robinson’s tone in his letter is very hostile and seems to want to assign blame to everyone but himself.
I dare say that if Mr. Robinson owned property for years, and all of a sudden someone wanted to put something next to him (a pig farm, a 7-Eleven, bowling alley, public park, etc.) that he would be concerned about the changes that it would bring to his neighborhood and home value. That on top of access by narrow dirt/gravel roads would bring extra concern. I think if Mr. Robinson put himself in the position of the neighbors to the proposed park, he would have a different attitude. He apparently has no compassion for their rightful concerns, and is blinded by his passion to establish this park.
These neighbors have enjoyed a nice, quiet residential neighborhood for many years. Now that a proposed public park is in the picture, they are understandably upset and concerned. So would I. These folks did not buy next to a public park; they bought next to a family home that was later abandoned. I dare say they would have no problem if anyone wanted to buy the property and establish a private residence.
These neighbors are rightfully concerned about traffic, people at the park all hours of the night, trespassing on their property, littering, drinking, drugs, property values going down, and many other issues. Not to mention getting a legal, clearly established public right of way to access the property without using their driveways. I see many legal issues trying to be resolved here, and I dare say this may end up in court before it is all said and done.
While I applaud Mr. Robinson’s efforts to try to bring a park to Mathews County, I feel he has jumped the gun by trying to manage the property prior to all legal and moral issues being settled. For someone who has stated they have such a wealth of experience in such matters, it seems to me to be a risky move that most people with that type of experience would not attempt until all legal issues were resolved.
Mr. Robinson believes the board of supervisors should not have gotten involved. Why not? While the park may be public and the day-to-day operations overseen by some other agency, it is still located within Mathews County and the county board has oversight and the responsibility to protect the interests of its citizens. That is what we elect them for. I applaud them for having the courage to try to do things right and without any further legal ramifications. Ramifications that I (we) may have to pay for later if they didn’t.
I say to Mr. Robinson that before he asks people to donate money and time to volunteer to help clean up the area, you need to make sure that all legal issues are satisfied and that you are on the moral high ground. I applaud your attempt to try to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Mathews County, but let’s make sure that we are being good neighbors in the process.