October 12, 2016: Email from Town Manager, Steve LeDoux:
“Please be aware that Tom and Cathy have submitted a budget request for a dog park for next Fiscal Year. I am currently evaluating requests as I have to submit a recommended budget for next Fiscal Year to the Board of Selectmen right before Christmas..”
My meeting with Steve LeDoux was pro forma. I felt he was listening to me and he seemed to be supportive, but what he subsequently told Franny Osman, Selectperson, was not at all the message I thought I was trying to impart.
There has been minimal communication with the recreation department since my last meeting with Cathy, though I did get information that Cathy, Tom Tidman, and Matt Selby had been, and will continue to be, vetting properties for a dog park. In a peculiar case of missing email (which I blame on my switch to Outlook) I can’t document any of this. What I do remember hearing from Cathy, by email, is that they had looked at a property behind the Trader Joe mall on 2A as well as a property right by the sewer treatment plant.
I asked to be part of this vetting process and was denied. Apparently Cathy wants to wait until the selectmen have approved and seated a Dog Park Committee/Dog Committee, at which point she/they will present a list of approved properties to the committee.
I’m not crazy about that, but I’m busy with other things and don’t have the energy to fight about it. I remain committed to Great Hill, as I personally feel that is the best place for the park and resent that the Recreation Department even considered that we be shoved onto the margins of Acton, where nobody else would want to be. This is not uncommon, for dog parks to be treated like landfills, but those of us who own the dogs deserve better. There is nothing disgusting or shameful about a dog park and it shouldn’t be treated as such. Perhaps they could put a few soccer fields next to the landfill. There’s plenty of space.
I am making progress, slowly, on healing with Bruin and we’ve even improved his recall, which I didn’t think was possible. I have more work to do with him, but will be ready for the meeting of the BoS on December 5.