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Letters to the Editor

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 Letter to Editor:


The oil derrick is an asset, not a liability. It is an attractive addition to an attractive city park. As to the petition against where the derrick is erected and the woman's fear that children may be tempted to climb it, thereby endangering themselves - that may be so; however, the same could be said of slides with ladders to be climbed, trees, tree houses, and forts among other things.

When children are playing in a city park or a public place, they should be supervised by an adult or they shouldn't be playing a public areas. Wanda Johnson

 Publisher's Note: The Hawkins Chamber has taken a strong position in favor of the Oil Derrick and is conducting a Fund Raiser to support and cover the cost of restoration and erection of the Derrick, estimated at $15,000. Donors of $100 & more will get names on a bronze plaque. Call Chamber at 769-4482 for info.

 Dear Editor:

I did not attend the 15 January 2007 Hawkins City Council meeting so my information on Ms. Maricle's objections to the oil derrick in the City Park is secondhand. If I understand her objections, Ms. Maricle wants the derrick removed because it could be dangerous if someone decides to climb it and falls. Per the City's Park ordinance, for their safety minor children are not allowed in the Park unsupervised. An adult is supposed to be with them; this adult can keep them from climbing the derrick. Adults are supposed to be responsible enough not to climb the derrick especially if there is signage prohibiting the climbing of the derrick.

At the present I don't know anyone energetic enough to climb a derrick. I have lived with derricks most of my life and have never had the urge to climb one. I have climbed other tall structures but never had any reason to climb a derrick. In the past there were lots of derricks in this area; I can't remember any problems associated with them. It is completely unreasonable to remove the derrick from the Park. Derricks are part of our heritage and the derrick is an excellent addition to the Park.

I disagree with Ms. Maricle when she states that the people of the City of Hawkins want the derrick removed. A few people signed their name to a sheet of paper, some of which are not entitled, indicating that they do not want the derrick. Petitions do not represent the true wishes of people because most will sign anything that is placed before them without thinking just to get rid of the pushy person presenting it. Most who give serious thought to the derrick will not want it removed.

Our society has to abandon the idea that we can make everything perfectly safe. We have to accept the fact that we are the only ones that can even come close to guaranteeing our own safety and only by acting responsibly can we do that. If we remove everything that could possibly cause harm or be used to cause harm this will be a stark world. One of the first things that we would have to eliminate would be the automobile and we would finally get around to removing all tools and even the utensils that we use when we eat; a steak knife is a very dangerous thing when used irresponsibly.

I also disagree that the derrick is ugly and gaudy. I see ugly and gaudy everyday and the derrick is not ugly and gaudy. I would not call it beautiful, but it does represent a special part of our past and as such is an excellent prop for our Oil Festival. As a structure the derrick is very well designed for the purpose for which it served; it is not ugly. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; it is a matter of opinion. Some of us see beauty in function.

The government of the City is not a democracy, which is a very inefficient and cumbersome form of government; it is a republican form of government. The people elect representatives to take care of their business; we do not hold elections to determine every action. There is no reason to hold an election to place something in the park; those things are decided by the people elected to represent the populous.

If one is going to deliver a petition to a governmental entity, they should first do some research so that they can deliver a legal petition. As a taxpaying, voting citizen, I am entitled under open government to view the petition that was delivered to the City. This petition was pathetic; it should be filed in the round file.

The Hawkins City Council needs to stiffen their backbone and reject this petition. They cannot fold every time someone brings them a petition of this nature. If they are going to fold every time they are confronted, they should just close shop and go home. They were elected to use their best judgment when deciding issues related to the operation of the City; they can't call elections to decide issues of this nature. Tabling the issue does not speak well of them; they need to be decisive and do the right things. This type of action by the Council is analogous to our national scene; where we need more patriots and fewer politicians.

Wayne Kirkpatrick, Jr. (former Mayor)


Last Updated on Friday, 01 May 2009 14:22  

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