City has responsibility to maintain all parks

Portales City Councilor Antonio Salguero raised an interesting point about maintenance of city parks last month.

During a Portales City Council meeting, he told Public Works Director John DeSha that playground equipment at Lindsey Park on West Ivy is substandard and said he believes the park gets short shrift from the city.

“Children and families complain about it. A lot of people use these parks and children play on them after school,” Salguero said.

At issue, specifically, was the condition of the swings at the park, which Salguero said had been in poor condition for at least six months.

Salguero said he alerted city officials privately before calling them out publicly.

Every park needs regular maintenance and the city has a responsibility to ensure that playground equipment at all nine public parks is repaired or replaced in a timely manner. The city always should stay ahead of residents’ complaints about these matters. Indeed, if taxpayers are going to pay for upkeep at their public parks, their public employees — the people who work for them — should do their jobs without prompting.

To their credit, city officials resolved the issue almost immediately after Salguero went public.

DeSha said he replaced two swings and added a fourth to the park. He added that the department will start a maintenance program that will involve weekly inspections of all the city’s parks.

Perhaps Salguero should have been as vocal privately as during last month’s council meeting when he complained that his constituents “feel like we’re stepchildren over here.”

But this issue need not turn into a neighborhood turf battle. City Hall received the message and responded appropriately.

Common sense should be the rule from here on.

— Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the Clovis Media Inc. editorial board, which includes Publisher Ray Sullivan and Editor David Stevens.

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