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I am writing this letter to voice a formal complaint regarding the basketball hoop being taken down at Laurel Park. Anthony Cancro, the township administrator informed me this was an interim solution to the complaints addressed at the last township meeting by several residents. I understand that my complaint towards the townships actions can be discussed during the next meeting on August 28, however, I am not willing to wait. The summer is coming to an end, meaning the college kids (many of my friends) will be returning to school. Also, it will be getting darker much earlier, so for Springfield residents that work in New York (like me), it will be impossible to play during the weeknights for much longer.
I have been living in Springfield my entire life of 23 years. I work full time in New York City and am a registered voter. My friends and I have been playing full court basketball games three times a week for the entire summer. We would like to continue playing at Laurel for the short time left we have to enjoy the weather and extended daylight.
Taking down one hoop to prevent the full court games is not a solution I am willing to accept. The township committee needs to come up with some type of solution quickly so residents are able to enjoy the rest of the summer.
I am especially disappointed that this issue will not be addressed until the next meeting. It seems like the township intentionally delayed fixing the problem until August 28, which is nearly the end of the summer anyway. This would “solve” the problem for both sides. People would get the hoop back and the residents who were complaining would have to deal with less issues (language, garbage) since most people will no longer be available to play. It is a very sneaky way of handling the situation, but in the end, the people who can only play for the next two weeks or so are getting the short end of the stick.
I know many younger residents are displeased with this solution. I do know that we will continue to play elsewhere, maybe in Weber Park on Rahway Avenue in Union. Weber Park is convenient, but the issue is we are in Union and are more likely to stop for drinks and food in Union afterwards instead of going out in Springfield. With the hoop down, fewer outsiders are coming to play in Springfield and more residents are going outside Springfield to play. This will hurt revenue for local businesses, is the township committee willing to explain to each local business the reasoning for these actions taken? The township wants residents to frequent local places and support our community, but what are we getting in return? The township is driving us out of our own community in order to engage in the activities we love.
“Recreation Department offers a wide array of year round activities and programs, including for senior citizens and a community swimming pool for the recreational benefit to meet the diverse needs of Township residents. Programs are intended to support, regulate and encourage participation in programs; and to facilitate the use and enjoyment of the Township parks and recreational facilities for the residents of Springfield.”
This quote is taken from the top of the recreation department section on the Springfield website. I would consider changing this “mission” statement if these actions are not reversed. Please voice your opinion on this issue to the local township committee members.