From Larry Drake on FB: Quality. One wonders how the business model, and writing, of Westword appears so superior to the Post when it comes to these sorts of issues. This article does point out that those of us opposed to City Park Loop cannot lower our guard ‘cause they are gonna keep comin’ and comin' at least if Scott Gilmore has anything to say about it.
"The parks are under siege," says longtime park activist Dave Felice. "We have an omnipotent mayor who thinks he can do whatever he wants with the parks. And he's getting strong support from some people on the city council. He may have the legal authority to do it, but he's violating the social contract.
Tom Morris, a retired architect who's tussled with several city administrations on behalf of the South City Park Neighborhood Association, describes Hancock as the least-park-friendly mayor since Bill McNichols. "It's the same attitude McNichols had, that parks are cheap development land," he says. "This administration doesn't talk to people. They give away park land, and then they say it's none of our business."
Hancock is keen on boosting park use, and some of the fee hikes have helped to develop a program that provides free access to rec centers for thousands of schoolchildren. The mayor has declared that he wants to "activate" the parks, in much the same way that he talks about activating neighborhoods, the downtown core and the South Platte; his tenure has been a daily scurry in search of buttons to push and levers to pull. The plan for City Loop didn't originate on his watch, but the notion of an outdoor extravaganza in Denver's busiest park, packed with features to lure young and old, fits neatly with his declared mission of creating — sorry, activating, — a "world-class city."It should be pointed out the Hancock reportedly distanced himself from City Loop.
But in the details, park lovers are finding more crass than class. "At some point, you need to let a park be a park," Felice says. "We don't need to have the city dictate what we should do in a park, what constitutes 'activation' and what we need to achieve it. Frankly, I think this mayor is intent on destroying the parks."