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Park Board discusses vandalism, lewd behavior at local parks

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Brazil Parks and Recreation Board met Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 6:30 p.m., for its regular meeting in the Brazil City Hall Council Chambers.

The board first heard from Ryan French, 16, who apologized for vandalism he contributed to at Wheeler Park. French will pay restitution for the damage and has served community service because of his actions. The board accepted his apology and asked him to combat vandalism from happening in the future if he sees it happening at local parks.

The board heard the treasurer's report from Linda Messmer and discussed various payments owed to or paid to businesses for jobs done at local parks.

Park Superintendent Bill Houck reported that several general maintenance projects have been completed, including small repairs to playgrounds and covering up graffiti.

Houck also reported that the pool house at Forest Park's swimming pool has had some cosmetic changes such as painting and wall repairs.

Houck informed the board that vandalism in the city's parks is still a problem. Subsequently, Houck has locked up Craig Park for the year and is keeping a close watch on park restrooms where theft of toilet paper holders and toilet paper is a reoccurring problem.

The board discussed the price of security cameras. The cameras are $168 each and will be purchased and installed in the next week. The board feels these cameras are necessary to combat vandalism in city parks.

Board President Ruthann Jeffries reported that Brad Pell, head of construction on Forest Park's pavilion roof, found significant hail damage on the roof due to this year's hailstorm. Pell found over 200 spots where hail had caused damage to the roof. That damage is causing leaks in the pavilion. The board decided to table the item until it finds out how much money it will receive from its insurance company for the damage.

Meanwhile, the board discussed Fishing Fun Day, held in Craig Park on Saturday, Sept. 22. The board said the event was a great success, and it received approximately $2,100 in donations from the event.

"It was a humongous success," Jeffries said. "We heard so many great comments about it. The kids really enjoyed it."

Jeffries brought up some concerns she's been hearing from local residents about activities that go on at city parks. Jeffries said several community members have stopped going to city parks because of inappropriate behavior they witness there.

Jeffries said people often catch teenagers and young adults engaging in lewd conduct at parks, as well as using harsh language. Jeffries also spotted a man with an unconcealed weapon at one of the city parks several weeks ago. The man was unaware his weapon had become unconcealed, and he left when asked to by police.

The board discussed researching possible laws or ordinances to ban weapons from city parks. The board is working with Police Chief Clint McQueen to research the possibility of changing the laws regarding weapons in city parks.

The board also discussed imposing an age limit on city park playgrounds to keep unwanted behavior away from children.

"People don't want to bring their children or grandchildren to the parks anymore because of the inappropriate behavior they see there," Jeffries said. "Something needs to be done to make sure children have a safe time at those parks."

The board will continue to work with McQueen to combat this behavior in the parks.

In other meeting news, the board:

* Discussed the recent painting that was completed on shelters at Forest Park. The board said the paint made the shelters look very good, and

* Said there has been a positive community response to the resealing of the walking track at Forest Park.

The board meets on the second Tuesday of every month.

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on thebraziltimes.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

wah wah wah.always crying the park is a victim of vandalizim.boo hoo.bill houck threatend to call police on me if he ever saw me and my leashed k9s in forest park ever again.before that happend,i would call police to report suspicious goings on in the park.the day last summer the little girl went missing from the swimming pool,i grabbed my k9 that has been trained for tracking folks,and went to the pool,i asked houck if there was a piece of clothing available to give my k9 to get the scent of the missing girl,and all ruth ann jeffries could say was get your dog away from the flowers.treating tax paying property owners like myself like they are less than they are is the fastest way to get someone like me to stop calling police when i see something over there in forest park.obviously the current administration and park board does not appreciate my eyes and ears watching their precious park.i see things like night before last,and nope,didnt report it.not required to do so,even if i did im met by rude dispatchers at the police station who are too busy,or my call is low priority,or i gotta go for one reason or another.so go bawl on someone elses news paper about the park being a victim of vandalizim,serves you right.you had eyes and ears across the street that see 85 percent of the park and you choose to crap on this property owning tax payer.

-- Posted by unclegrabby on Fri, Oct 12, 2012, at 12:50 AM

unclegrabby.....interesting screen name.....first of all, if you are a civilian then you should know that it is not in your best interest to "self deploy" to a potential crime screen. As well-intentioned as you might be unclegrabby, although some folks might appreciate it and you might think you are doing somebody a favor, in fact you are not. You should get involved with a local SAR organization whether it be the Posse or Search and Rescue so you can have an affilation of sorts and can be deployed through the proper channels. Just a thought for you to channel your helpful intentions correctly.

So you let a few rude individuals ruffle your tail feathers and now you are not going to do the right thing for the good of humanity? You are just like them.....on second thought don't call the Posse. Those folks are very nice and you wouldn't fit in.

And if you are thinking about a nasty retort back to me, don't waste your time. I deal with ill tempered and unwilling people every day. I was just offering a solution to your issues and bringing up a point that you act just like those you are complaining about.

Have a great day! Don't forget to vote!!!!!!

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Fri, Oct 12, 2012, at 6:49 PM

to proud of my country.you are absolutely right.i wont waste my time.fyi,my screen name is from wzzq when i was in radio,able to exert freedom of speech.:)

-- Posted by unclegrabby on Fri, Oct 12, 2012, at 11:14 PM

state law does not require a person who is licensed to carry a handgun, to carry it concealed. had to straighten out alot of individuals in the past, over that.

and anyone who "under the color of law" deprives a person of rights or privileges granted by the laws of this state, federal laws, and both constitutions; has committed a federal criminal offense.

public officials need to take heed to the law; and stop thinking they are above it, just to satisfy their own agendas.

-- Posted by madmarkbedwell on Sat, Oct 13, 2012, at 12:01 PM

to madmarkbedwell,very well stated.seems the ones whove held the same positions the longest,feel its their duty to be dictators.raj,bh,you know who you are and you know who im refering to,i never realized that brazil had osamas,sadams and hitler runing things.

-- Posted by unclegrabby on Sun, Oct 14, 2012, at 12:06 AM

There's a right way and a wrong way to go about being a "good citizen" that doesn't involve bringing an untrained animal to the pool and asking to be part of an investigation. Most sickos who abduct children will often inject themselves into the investigation so they can throw off their own 'scent', so to speak.

What you do, UNCLE, is no different than if you were driving through town and saw police cars (lights on) at a residence and decided to stop by and see if the local police needed help. You (obviously) see nothing wrong with that, but the truth is, it's not only dangerous for the officers (and yourself), but it makes you look guilty as well.

All you can do is report what you see (or not). It's the police who determine whether it's worth checking out - but that doesn't mean you need to call them regularly (you seem like the type) to make sure they're doing their jobs.

Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the grease .. but more often than not, the squeaky wheel gets treated like the boy who cried wolf.

I'm with PROUD on this one .. find another way to volunteer your time instead of taking it upon yourself to "police" the area with your dog. Technicially, it's a K-9, sure .. but that label is reserved for dogs who have been trained by a professional.

-- Posted by Emmes on Mon, Oct 15, 2012, at 11:50 AM

Oh, and be sure to carry poo poo bags for your dog.

-- Posted by Emmes on Mon, Oct 15, 2012, at 11:51 AM

to emmes,one,my k9s are trained by professional trainers,5 to be exact,very expensive.2,normally the one doing the finger pointing,which is you are either the ones guilty or got something to hide.three,bring your shovel to clean the horse crap off the park streets when the christmas in the park comes.

-- Posted by unclegrabby on Wed, Oct 17, 2012, at 6:11 PM

Our parks have looked beautiful for several years. Bill does an excellent job. Ruth ann also has a heart for our parks. I would hate to see what they would look like without them. I'm guessing you wern't picking up your dogs feces or the were hiking their legs on the flowers. A solution would be to add a "dog park" somewhere in the city like most places have. This is a large fenced in area for dogs to run, which also includes bags to pick up the feces. A good example is Heritage Trail Apartment Complex, they have an excellent dog park and it's not that expensive to build.

-- Posted by Unsolicitedtidbits on Wed, Oct 17, 2012, at 10:42 PM

My mistake, UNCLE, you appear to be someone who can afford a good education and expensive professional dog trainers.

-- Posted by Emmes on Fri, Oct 19, 2012, at 12:44 PM

a dog park would be nice. Your not even allowed to take your dog to the harmony park. Where do we walk our dogs and yes we always carry bags to clean up any mess our dog would make

-- Posted by DandM on Tue, Oct 23, 2012, at 10:18 AM

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