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Petition to Change Town Recreation Rules by 36 Residents Presented

by on July 1, 2013

A petition was submitted to the Town of New Hartford to change the recreation rules more to someone’s liking.   There is no indication of the originator(s) of the rules and the petition anywhere on the document; only the circulator’s name, Barbara Coppinger appears.  I’m sure the originators’ names are listed in the signature portion of the document, and the first two will be no surprise to anyone.

This is not a set of rules determined by the people we elect or who are appointed to develop the rules for use of town owned land.  It’s not the set of rules that the Special Committee appointed to develop an updated version of recreational use rules that were legal, came up with.   That Committee contained representatives of all interested groups, and it included their group’s representative.  Those are the rules that were adopted by the Recreation Commission.

This is a different set of rules, and it’s an attempt to give neighbors of these parks more authority over town land than the rest of the taxpaying residents whose money went to purchase this land.

The petition and the set of rules they propose is posted here:  Rec Rule Petitions

Please read the rules carefully.  Note how many times Town Meetings will need to be called whenever there is an exception to these rules.  Note that the skaters at Chapin Park will be able to use lights, but “must be quiet after sunset to avoid disturbing the neighbors.”  (Boy am I glad these folks aren’t campers, where quiet hours start at 9:00 pm!)  Please also note, that 2/3 of the neighbors of each park will have more authority over the use of our land than the rest of the Town.

The petition must be addressed by the Board of Selectmen at their meeting tomorrow, so the Town Meeting will be called.  The time and place of the meeting to “adopt and consider” these rules will likely be set for July 11 at 7:00.  The tentative location is Antolini School.

We have to make every attempt to make that Town Meeting, as there will be a vote to pass them.  Their intention is to create an ordinance, making them enforceable by Town and State Police.

  1. momgoose72 permalink

    Are you serious? I for one will be at that town meeting.

  2. Consequences permalink

    How many people live within 500 yards of Brodie South? Brodie North? Chapin Park? Callahan? I’d love to see maps with that distance shown so the Town knows the exact consequences of requiring a 2/3 approval on any activities at Town parks. Who is collecting these votes (and who pays that person’s salary?) What if we can’t get responses from enough people who live within 500 yards of the park to establish a 2/3 vote? Can it really be up to 2 people who live near BPS to determine the use of a park owned by all 6,000+ tax payers? This proposal raises a lot of serious considerations for the Town and its taxpayers.

  3. Bob Goodskey permalink

    Please keep us informed on the confirmed date of the vote, there are 3 voters in my house that will be there.This crap has to be put to rest.

  4. The BOS will be meeting tomorrow night to set the date, but the date looks like 7/11. The BOS do not like these rules, but are required by Statute to entertain them at a Town Meeting. I also have the signature page, and Bob and Maria Moore are the first two to sign the petition, then Barbara Coppinger, which I thought was a little interesting, that the person who was putting forth the petition didn’t actually sign it first.

  5. The approved rules from last year, #16, states “Alcohol is prohibited without prior approval”. The new rule states “Alcoholic beverages are prohibited except for specific events at Berkshire Hall (such as wedding receptions) that are authorized by the Recreation Dept/Commission.” I think this one is pretty similar, but a little more clear who gives the authority. Of course, no one else would give the authority except the Rec dept/commission. There are others that are much more problematic, such as #5, 12 and 18.

  6. Chris permalink

    So here let me say it. This is in response to New Hartford Football and Cheer using Brodie South. Where a Family and community gathering that takes place and parents can take pride in their son or daughter activities. So in October when the coaches are trying to get those extra minutes of practice in and have to cleanup under the lights, or the parents are waiting for their children to be released or picking them up . They are subject to infractions. How ridiculous do we look as a community?
    Rule# 11 Parking in designated areas, yes on Niles Rd they use the grass on the side of the road. Not resident’s property. Is the road passable? Absolutely, I’ve come by there in a large vehicle and had no problem with two lanes of traffic.
    Rule #5 Really , our residents know when there is a private event and they need to access an area of the park, or have to pass through the area to be respectful. The people using the facility do not need to put up boundary marks and carry copies of paperwork.
    Rule #6 Swimming in designated areas only. Our residents and lake users swim entire sections of the lake. Are they in violation for a ticket?
    Rule #12 Noise, I live within or darn close to 500 yard rule from Brodie north. Who’s going to measure that out? We can hear most music or announcements from the events, Weddings, Concerts in the July, Big Wheels at Brodie, New Hartford days. I can hear people playing basketball, having a great game. Kid’s day camp, are they going to be in violation of the noise. We live near the park and expect it. Now you want someone to come to me, and ask if they can have music at their event because I chose to live here.
    Rule #17 No unregistered vehicles, so no using your golf cart to go to Brodie north or from your residents to the Westhill Grill on that side of the lake. Oh Wait, that’s Barkhamsted , so go ahead and enjoy your not hurting anyone.
    Now let’s make using the park for an event a major pain. Parks are meant for all, Sports , Recreation, Community,and Families.
    Stop the Kindergarten Whining , I can’t believe I had to write this.

  7. The BOS set the call of the meeting tonight, for July 11, 2013 at 7:00 pm at Ann Antolini School. Please show up and register your vote. We expect to have something from our town attorney stating that the petition is either all or nothing, meaning, you either approve or disapprove the rules as presented, no modifications of the rules during the meeting. Hopefully, this will then lend itself to a shorter, rather than a long, meeting.

  8. Lori Roth permalink

    unbelievable but not unexpected……i read the names on the petition and I have a very hard time believing that some of those people, whom I know, would sign this had they really been told what they were petitioning against.. Chris, you are absolutely correct, it is about football and what comes next to BPS after football leaves this year.

    I have a good idea, lets build a senior community in town and put all these ANTI CHILDREN people in there and lock the gates.

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