Skate Park Users Give Their Views

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As adults, it's all too easy to forget what it was like to be young. We get bogged down with the business of living and turn life into a series of tasks.

Officials from the town are going forward with the business of considering closing the skate park at Rumsey Park. Some adults have complained about the music, language and vandalism that has occurred there. There also are concerns about the bikes being used on the skate park equipment.

At 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, (revised time) the Payson Parks and Recreation Advisory Board will hold an open meeting at town hall to hear public comments for and against keeping the skate park open.

We believe there are valid reasons to keep the park open and that there are many young people who benefit from the facility. Here are what some of the skate park users want us to know before we take up the task of closing it down:

"The town has supported a lot of other sports and given them a place to practice. This is the one safe and legal place we have."

John Ceja, age 15

"For the kids who use this skate park, it's like a second home. If they tear it down we'll be at Bashas', Safeway and Wal-Mart which might bother the adults even more."

Ashley Deany, age 15

"There is less vandalism here than in a high school bathroom. There is cleaner language here than on cable T.V. There is less litter here than along the highway. Should we close down high school bathrooms, cable T.V and the use of highways?"

Erin Fulton, age 18

"We keep the skate park clean and don't destroy it. I've never seen any drugs or alcohol in the skate park."

Kyle Green, age 11

"Little kids use this park too. When the younger children come, the older skaters and bikers respect them and help them out. If a little boy falls, everyone runs over to help."

Ashley Jones, age 15

"Some people want this to be a retirement town, but there are also a lot of kids here. This park helps kids stay off drugs and alcohol."

Jeff Perry, age 20

"This was a good idea to open the skate park. It keeps kids out of trouble. It's a fun place for people of all ages, from 3 to 30."

Chris Schroth, age 16

"From daylight until midnight, this park is filled. And then look around at most the other fields at Rumsey Park they're often empty. And some people have complained about the language they may sometimes hear at the park, but it's no worse or better than you'll hear anywhere else."

Jake Martin, age 16

"If they take the park down, we'll have to go out on the streets."

Nathan Keith, age 16

"We have nowhere else to go."

Jason Rogers, age 15

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