Commentary: Location of Dover park outhouses remains a concern

I respectfully respond to your article, “Dover explains location of portable toilets at park,” (Aug. 29) by Mike Finney.

In the article, the director of Parks and Recreation, Kirby Hudson, took liberties with the “facts” of the matter to support his points and clearly overstated his case. The possible north location on the (Silver Lake Park) parking lot is not anywhere near a quarter mile from the playground area; in fact, it’s only 25 feet or so farther than the current location.

His description of the view from the cemetery is certainly self-serving; if you attend a funeral by parking in the lot — as many are forced to do, rather than driving down an alley and past trash cans as the hearses do — you have to pass by the outhouses on the way up a hill to the cemetery. You can’t avoid them. And, no, contrary to his assertion, the trees do not hide the privies or their odor from people who are visiting the graves of loved ones. Mr. Hudson should visit on a hot summer’s day to fully appreciate the issue, especially when the wind is in the wrong direction.

With his comment about being in a “no-win” situation, Mr. Hudson seems to be asking for sympathy. This is not about votes or the number of complaints, but about doing what’s right, what’s respectful to those buried just feet from the outhouses and to their families — especially when there are other solutions. I can’t feel sympathy when he rejected each of my suggestions with what were, at best, weak arguments.

Aesthetic sensitivity for a beach (that can’t be used because of a swimming ban) over respect for the dead in their final resting place? I noticed in the article he didn’t address the suggestion to build a permanent restroom for the park. He told me there wasn’t any money for such a project — that it wasn’t in the Master Plan. Then, he proudly rattled off five or six projects dealing with similar quality-of-life issues the city was currently addressing, not realizing he was contradicting his own “no money” argument. This sounds more like a matter of priorities and political will than it does funding.

Ms. Downes said in the article that the “temporary” outhouses have been there some 30 years. Question: Just how long is “temporary”?

We can do better. Honor, respect, and decency demand that we try. How about the south edge of the parking lot where there are already two oversized trash cans? Works for me.

Eddy Seger is a resident of Clayton.

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