Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Problems at MacDonald Park

Macdonald Park Maintenance Problems


Anonymous said...

Would this happen in Central Park? I think not. When is the media going to grow some balls and start asking the tough questions on why these issues are happening in some areas of the city, but not others, and hold people accountable?

It is a shame but parks does not give a f about queens its parks or its trees, though they pretend they do. Telling them about it doesn't work either. I have called 311 for numerous dead trees in my area to be taken care of and they just say that they can't find the condition even though it is explained perfectly to them. I have come to the conclusion that residents of Queens are only here to pay into the system and not get anything back.

Rego-Forester said...

Thank you QC for assisting my colleagues & I of Rego-Forest Preservation Council, and the greater public in the publicity of this important community concern. According to conversations with the park manager, the Parks Dept is open to our idea of forming a volunteer team to help maintain and beautify MacDonald Park (and they suggest this for others parks as well). Anyone who is interested, please e-mail me at unlockthevault@hotmail.com

Please help the community preserve and beautify historic anchors such as MacDonald Park.

- Michael Perlman

Anonymous said...

I'm a senior citizen all by myself taking care of the park at 67th Avenue and Austin Street. Cleaning twice a day, weeding and watering. Parks Dept. is supposed to pick up the garbage every day - if we're lucky they come once a week. Also, this is a heavily used park.

Homask said...

Why did the trees die? Because the contractor did not water them weekly as the Parks contract requires. How did the contractor get away with it? Because there are not enough Parks inspectors to monitor their contractors properly.
What's going to happen to the trees? They will be replaced once with a fresh tree which then will also not be watered. Yes, most will probably die again but they won't be replaced again. They only have to be replaced once.

Planting the tree is cheap. Travelling to water the tree every week is very expensive. Even with cheap labor, the cost of watering is way more expensive than the cost of planting a tree. Isn't it smart to let contractors manage themselves without pesky inspectors getting in their way? I'd say you should increasingly get used to this scenario in a city run along Bloombergian lines.

The person who mentioned Central Park does not understand the new city, hatched by Giuliani but ripened and mellowed by Bloomberg. Central Park staff and maintenance is well endowed by tax-deferred contributions to their charitable non-profit corporation, Friends of Central Park. Not only do the wealthy corporations and private benefactors get a nice tax dodge when they give to Central Park, but their tax contribution to the general city fund is reduced. So their turf gets nicer while yours turns to crap. They hate having to pay taxes for places the underclass inhabits, and the new concept of public-private partnerships lets them avoid their civic responsiblity. Hell, they have their asses kissed for it at lavish "charity" events.

Many people can't understand how there can be so much money to construct parks and so little money to take care of them. Parks and everything else in the city are constructed with capital money. Capital money is money borrowed from banks. Bankers and investors get rich when capital projects are done. Get it?

By law, you can't use borrowed money to pay the salaries of city employees, nor can you use borrowed money to pay a contractor to maintain anything. Only to construct or reconstruct things. Since bankers can't make money off maintaining anything, the new city has decided it isn't very interested in maintenance. Get it???

But it gets better. Because infrastructure is not maintained properly, it falls apart and turns to crap way before it should. Oh goody, time for another lucrative reconstruction project. What seems like a dreadful state of affairs to sensible, honest people is actually the best of all possible worlds for those who own the city. Good times.

Putting aside the snark, the only answer for regular working slobs is exactly what Rego-Forester suggests. Roll up your sleeves, realize that most of us now live in a crumbling shell of our former great city, and do the work yourself. The nice park reconstruction is going to turn into weeds and garbage very soon if you don't pitch in.