BUZZ: Parks conditions worst in 30 years

Absolutely shameful. The abject laziness and uncaring attitude exhibited by KCMO Parks and Rec Employees charged with keeping Kessler Park mowed and free from trash is, as a tax paying citizen, absolutely mortifying. 

Pictured are three separate trash cans near the Concourse Fountain. Normally, a brand new Parks Department trash truck rolls through on Monday to empty barrels of heavy weekend trash. Never mind that frequency needs to be doubled or tripled in order to keep up, but that’s a sermon for another day. 

This week however, Concourse Park was skipped and this is the end result. Trash and litter. Left by park users on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, blowing everywhere through the overgrown weeds in the park. 

Which brings us to another issue, the length of the grass throughout Kessler Park. According to Parks officials, Kessler is on track for 20 cuttings per year as per a contract that pays out roughly $240,000 per annum to a mowing contractor. That’s roughly $11,800 per cutting by this Dog’s math. Nice work if you can get it, huh! 

This News Dog says that’s highway robbery given what this community is being subjected to in terms of the abhorrent and absolutely intolerable conditions in Kessler Park. Given what’s pictured here, would you want your kids playing in this park? Maybe Director Rynard’s pending retirement isn’t such a bad thing after all. The department desperately needs a new paradigm at the top and it needs to happen in short order. A continuation of the status quo is unacceptable. 

Here’s the bottom line in this News Dog’s eyes. The City just spent upwards of $23 million in renovation and restoration funds at the Kansas City Museum, creating a regional history and culture gem right in the center of Cliff Drive and Kessler Park. Subjecting Museum patrons to the drive through the overgrown, blighted and trashed conditions in Kessler and Concourse Parks is absolutely reprehensible. The Mayor, the Council, the Parks Board and Parks staff should be ashamed of themselves. You can bet Ward Parkway sure doesn’t look like this. Neither does Brookside Boulevard or Tiffany Springs Park. 

The Kansas City Museum reopens in less than 120 days and will do so to great fanfare.  Maybe a permanent reallocation of resources is in order. Northeast Parks have gotten the short end of the stick for too long. Time to get it right. Madame Director, our community awaits your response.

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