Help stop problems at the borough playground |

Help stop problems at the borough playground

It’s easy for people to complain about the appearance of the South Connellsville playground. Trash cans aren’t emptied as often as they should be and grass and weeds are being left uncut. The attention not being paid the playground has resulted in a string of vandalism and disturbances there.

While there is reason for local residents to be upset, there is something they can do about the problems at the playground.

Borough officials claim garbage cans aren’t being emptied and grass isn’t being cut regularly because of a shortage of employees. There are two workers who normally perform maintenance and cleanup at the playground: one was recently let go and the other is on disability leave.

People upset with the appearance of the playground have an opportunity to take matters into their own hands. If they see garbage on the ground, they should pick it up and dispose of it properly. Perhaps they could take an hour and cut the grass on their own. If they observe suspicious activity at the playground, they should report it to the authorities.

Using the excuse that the aforementioned tasks are solely the borough’s responsibility is, well, inexcusable. There’s this thing called community pride, and it calls for all of us to pitch in and help whenever we can to protect and maintain our neighborhoods.

Some people in South Connellsville have taken this duty to heart. Councilwoman Michelle Mattis said people who walk at the playground have taken it upon themselves to pick up trash. Another resident who lives near the playground has begun cutting grass there. We join Mattis in encouraging residents to follow suit.

“You don’t have to be an employee of the borough to do something for the betterment of the borough,” Mattis said.

That is indeed true. And words to the contrary ring hollow. One resident complained about the prospect of being asked to lend a helping hand, saying, “They (the borough) should take care of the playground. That’s why we’re all paying taxes.”

What we all need to understand is that trying economic times prevents the borough from hiring additional employees. It would likely take a tax increase to bring new workers on. That would me more unacceptable than asking taxpayers to take a few minutes out of their busy schedules to pick up some trash or trim the grass.

Rather than complain about the situation, we would hope residents would try to do something positive for the borough, something that indicates pride in their community.

Pitching in to help keep one of the borough’s most valuable public resources safe and clean isn’t too much to ask.

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