As the father of a 13-year old who frequents the skate park, it was sad to read Mr. McVey's letter in last Sunday's Letters to the Editor section of the Parkersburg News. His attacking the use of city dollars to construct the park is ridiculous and selfish. Progressive communities understand that their youth are their future and make provisions for them as well as all its citizens.
In addition, his comments make it pretty obvious that Mr. McVey does not have a child that uses the park. In fact, I'd bet he has never actually been to the park. For if he had, he would know that most of the users of his park are of grade school and junior high school age and just can't "go out and get a job." He would have also seen that some of these kids are pretty accomplished skateboarders.
Secondly, the park needs restrooms. Currently, those who use the skate park must rely on the facilities at the Elite Sports Center. Those facilities are not always available. I agree with Mr. McVey that Pot-a-Johns could certainly be installed, but only as a temporary fix until permanent restroom can be constructed.
Finally, based on his anger on how the monies are spent, it appears Mr. McVey works downtown and is subject to paying the user fee. The out-migration of business from downtown is what has created this void in funding. What Mr. McVey fails to understand is that proceeds from the user fee benefits him directly in terms of paved streets, pot hole repairs, snow removal, police, emergency, fire department protections and much more.
I suggest that Mr. McVey stop whining about the fee and be thankful that the funds are being used to protect him, and at the same time, provide for those unable to provide for themselves (the kids that deserve recreational facilities). And, while I do not work in downtown Parkersburg or pay the fee, I commute to Charleston every day. My business offices are in downtown Charleston so I pay the City of Charleston's user fee of $3 per week - and have for several years without whining about it even though I live in Vienna.