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Success! Wexford Park looks great, except...

Mike McGarry

October 11, 2011

Several months ago, your reporter complained bitterly about the terrible condition of Wexford Park (the Platform over 1-84, once called "Tunnel of Death Park"). Jared Kupiec, Chief of Staff to the Mayor, was the recipient of our somewhat strident call. His initial response was "oh, that cannot be..." until he actually took a look. Then, thank you Jared, action started to happen. Surely, others have noticed and complained and over the years other efforts have been tried, only to see the weeds return.

Why do we care? Because fifteen years ago, the Republican controlled city council named the park "Wexford Park" in honor of our sister city, New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland. Through the leadership of John O'Connell, funds were found for a modest statue honoring "The Pikeman" of the 1798 Irish Rebellion that is part of the lore of that part of Ireland.

So, with the word out from the top, Jack Hale and John Timm of the Public Works department went into action, enlisting The Hartford, the Prudential and the Hilton as partners in a massive clean-up. Charmaigne Craig of Knox Parks got one more job to do and whoever said no to her?

One job still needs to be done: Graffiti. A mistake was made sometime ago to give spray painters a wall for their "art". This has given way to all kinds of expression all over any surface available. Councilman Cotto, please stay out of such. (He encouraged the "graffiti wall"). You are a councilman, not staff, and your encouragement of anti-social behavior had an expected outcome: another mess to be cleaned up by somebody else. When the councilman had community college students try to clean up the park, all they did was cut the tops of the weeds, leaving the roots. Two weeks later the problem was worse.

So, leave these problems up to the pros who can instruct volunteers how to do the job right. Except for Cotto's graffiti, the park looks great thanks to the public/private partnership developed by the city and Knox.

Reprinted with permission of the The Hartford News.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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