Years ago, the city built the recreation center on highway 101 and let it slip out of our hands by making it for ballplayers from all of North Carolina and then some to the point that the city was told it had to build fences and serve food and put up more lighting and so on. It is now not big enough for all of the Havelock children who play ball but big enough to handle all the out-of-towners.
Then, the word went out that it was not safe for the children to get there because highway 101 does not have a sidewalk. Next, the city agreed that one would be built, but the children on the west end of Havelock need some place to play.
The land across from McDonald Downs was for sale, but did Havelock purchase it? No. It was a safe distance for our children to reach. They now want to send players four miles or so out of town on the oh so safe Highway 70 to Carolina Pines to a road that has horse farms. The people there have a golf course and horse riding that both are sports that bond parents and children.
Havelock city has the knowledge of who owns what land that isn’t developed yet, and has the city tried to purchase that? No.
A fellow church-goer who lives in New Bern pointed out to me open land between First Citizens Bank and the car dealership, and Foxcroft, the land where the chili event is held every year and a few other places that he was aware of and the city collects taxes on, so the city is aware of who owns what.
I personally get the feeling that the board is openly telling us taxpayers that it is fun to spend and spend money as long as they personally do not own that money, as it is the citizens who simply have to pay higher and higher taxes as they overspend. I get the feeling that we the taxpayers are too chicken to fight city hall or simply too stupid to see that they are testing us to see how far they can go with it.
I smile picturing in my mind how many on the board would join us if we demanded that they go with us parents and grandparents for a group bike ride out to Carolina Pines for a potluck lunch and then ride a bike back on highway 70 without police escort for safety. Perhaps they have planned public transportation at city cost to and from that park.
And that park may get a grant, but the city plans to spend $75,000. That may build a park but then we the Havelock taxpayers who will not risk to let our children ride on bikes four miles on highway 70 that already has a lot of accidents will be paying higher taxes again to maintain it.
Also, what happens when the out-of-towners come to compete there as it is closer to where they come from, and Havelock will then be told that this and that is not enough and additional things are demanded?
I spoke to one of the horse farm owners who told me the city had a public hearing and the people out there were against it.
Please parents, let’s get together and tell the city that we taxpayers are not stupid and blind, and we know that the tax money is for Havelock and not for risking our children’s lives by sending them out of town and to a place where those who live there do not want them. Please start fighting for our children who are not old enough to vote the board now sitting out of the 11-year behind the times games they are playing at our expense.
Inga DeRoche, Havelock