How are parks like credit cards?

To the Editor:

How are parks like credit cards?

To the Editor:

Cheeto Barrera’s “Crunch Time” article in the Daily Independent on the plight of Ridgecrest’s parks inspired what I think is an apt analogy between our parks and credit cards! Like parks, credit cards are given to us “free”… and then the trouble starts! But what happens when a credit card can no longer be maintained? No problem! Get another credit card while neglecting (minimum payments/bankruptcy) the other one(s)!

A couple of months ago I recall reading an article that talked about how expensive it was to maintain the parks we already had and that cutbacks in maintenance (watering, etc.) were likely, So, what was 1st District Supervisor Jon McQuiston’s solution? Build another park!

To my knowledge this new park is being built by the county at McQuiston’s behest, presumably at no cost to the city, using money he’d squirreled away during his tenure, but perhaps it could have been put to better use upgrading and/or maintaining the parks we already have. Or it could even have been used to improve our current library situation. If I understand correctly, our current library is about a quarter the area needed by a city our size. McQuiston only need look at any of the several libraries in Bakersfield to see how paltry ours is in comparison.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love parks as much as anybody, but, like credit cards, believe they should be used wisely. I’m sure (or at least, I hope!) that McQuiston’s heart was in the right place when he decided to build another park and was not just looking for a setting to showcase his legacy, i.e. “McQuiston County Park”! I only wish he had asked the citizens of Ridgecrest for their thoughts.

Most troubling to me, though, is that there is apparently only enough money to complete one-half of McQuiston’s park; the other half is to be completed in the unforeseen future (if ever!) He, of course, will be long gone and not have to experience the inevitable dust storms that will surely arise from 13 acres of graded, but incomplete, county park.

Bob McDiarmid

Story First Published: 2012-09-26